Offshore, Warm Water
2 - 4 pounds
8" - 19"
The frigate tuna or frigate mackerel has a strong and elongated body and a single line of tiny pointed teeth. Its dorsal fins have a well-defined gap in between them. Its second dorsal fin is tiny and has a row of even tinier finlets, eight in total. Its anal fin is also characteristically small, and its pectoral fins quite short.
Its coloring on the back is a deep metallic blue-black, and it fades to a kind of purple approaching the head. It is hard to distinguish it from another species in its genus, the bullet tuna or bullet mackerel. One quick way to distinguish them is to look at the height of the corselets of the two under their second dorsal fins. The ones on the frigate tuna are so much shorter compared to the bullet tuna, only one to five scales, compared to the bullet tuna’s height of ten or more scales.
The frigate tuna measures around 12 inches on average and weighs 2 pounds. But it can reach a length of 22 inches and weight of 10 pounds. This fish species is reported to live up to 5 years.
The frigate tuna, considered omnivores, normally consumes smaller fish, planktonic crustaceans, squids, and stomatopod larvae. It is also reported to feed on the young of its own species.
The frigate tuna, like other tuna and mackerel fish species, feed when the currents of the ocean are warm, so that’s when it’s great to target them when fishing.
The frigate tuna is known to be quite aerodynamic, so anglers will benefit from using a high speed reel like the Shimano Saragosa, Stella or Daiwa Saltiga, or Penn Slammer 3 when fishing for this species. Anglers should consider using a 3000 or 3500 threadline reel for the frigate tuna. The key to catching this fish species is to retrieve it as fast as possible. However, varying your action such as employing sudden stop might also attract the fish that you're targeting as it fools the fish you're targeting.
More experienced anglers can also consider big baitcasters, as they guarantee casting accuracy and distance. They are a little hard to master, so beginners might want to steer clear of them.
As for the lure, a white metal lure attracts the frigate tuna the best. Chrome works well, too, but this fish species seem to be partial to the white color, especially during low light situations.
A school of this fish species, along with other Scombrids, can typically be found in the shallower areas of oceanic waters. Oftentimes, seeing schools of scombrids is an excellent way of finding an even bigger game fish.
The frigate tuna is known to be a cosmopolitan fish species. It exists worldwide in coastal and oceanic waters. Its eggs and larvae are pelagic, but its adults are epipelagic, neritic, and oceanic, preferring to stay in shallow coastal waters and water columns.
This fish species can be found in tropical and subtropical waters. It is reported to rarely occur in the Atlantic Ocean. The subspecies that resides in the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean are now distinguished from the frigate tuna with the scientific name, Auxis brachydorax.