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Orlando Bonito

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Monday January 22, 2018

One of the prettiest ocean fish is the common bonito which are in the tuna family. Not known for the extraordinary taste of other tunas, bonito are often thrown back or used as strip baits and/or chum. The flesh of this fish is bright red and resembles a can of cranberries according to Captain Richard and other anglers. It's dark red meat is not considered the table fare for many, but is edible.

Like all tuna, the bonito is a hard fighting fish with a football shaped body that's ready to go into high gear when hooked up. Bonita will not disappoint and are highly regarded as a sports-fish for light tackle enthusiast.

Atlantic bonito belong to a group which have the dorsal fins very near, or separated by a narrow interspace. Its body is completely scaled, with those scales in the pectoral fin area and the lateral line usually larger in size. Bonitos (fishes in the genus Sarda) differ from tuna by their compressed bodies, their lack of teeth on the roof of the mouth, and certain differences in colouration.

Atlantic bonito share Atlantic waters with the striped bonito, Sarda orientalis (the Atlantic population of which is sometimes considered a separate species, Sarda velox). The striped bonito has been taken on the Atlantic coast as far north as Cape Cod. It is similar in its habits, but somewhat smaller than the more common Atlantic bonito. The Atlantic bonito can be distinguished from its relative by its dark oblique stripes on the back and with a maxillary only about half as long as the head, whereas the striped bonito has striping on its topside nearly horizontal and a maxillary more than half the length of the head.

Atlantic bonito grow up to 75 centimetres (30 in) and weigh 5?6 kilograms (11?13 lb) at this size. The world record, 18 pounds 4 ounces (8.3 kg), was caught in the Azores.

The little tunny is found in the neritic waters of the temperate and tropical zones in the Atlantic ocean. It can also be found in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. In the eastern Atlantic, the little tunny has been found from Skagerrak to South Africa. Although found it this broad range of latitudes, it is rare north of the Iberian Peninsula or farther south than Brazil. On the Atlantic coast of the United States, they can be caught as far north as Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and as far south as the tip of Florida, as well as throughout the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.[13] The little tunny's habitat tends to be near-shore waters, much closer to shore than most other tunas. They live in and around inlets, points, jetties, and sandbars. All of these places are where bait fish like sardine and menhaden, both favorites of the little tunny, form large schools, which are very helpful to the little tunny's feeding style. While the little tunny is abundant in offshore ocean waters, it is unusual to find it in brackish water of estuaries. The very young will enter estuaries in South Africa. The little tunny prefers relatively warm water, from 24° to 30° Celsius. The little tunny migrates south in the winter and fall, and northward in the spring, through coastal waters. It is not as migratory as other tuna species.

The little tunny is typically a schooling species.[12] It lives in schools based primarily on fish size rather than species, so other members of the Scombridae family, like the Atlantic bonito, may be present. These schools cover areas up to 3.2 kilometres long. Little tunny that have not yet reached adulthood form tight schools offshore. Larger schools are more common offshore whereas smaller groups may wander far inshore.

Remarks

Bonito travel in large schools sometimes a half mile square. Most anglers catch Bonito while fishing for Kingfish; Bonito will hit on any bait if they are in the area. This fish is fun once hooked because it puts on an aggressive, furious fight.

The Bonito is in the Tuna family and is not commonly eaten in Florida due to it's size which is 4 to 15 pounds. You can identify the Bonito called False Albacore or Little Tunny by it's spots on the belly (not visible in this picture but there) and they do not have stripes but a wavy blue and silver pattern on their tops. This Bonito is similar to the Atlantic Bonito in structure and often misidentified. The Atlantic Bonito is from the Mackerel family and is not palatable where the Little Tunny Bonito is excellent eating because it's from the Tuna family. The bloody red meat of this Bonito must be bled in ice water for hours and the thick blood line must be removed before cooking it like any other Tuna. For more information visit Anglers Trash Sushi Grade Tuna.

Bonito feed on herrings, menhaden, hake, mackerels, anchovies, shrimp and squid. Bonito is a popular bait for Billfish, Kingfish and Sharks used by tournament anglers who go out the day before the big day and catch Bonito offshore for live bait during their tourney.

Regulations

Of the thousands of fish species found in Florida waters, the vast majority have no specific regulations at all. These ?unregulated? species include some very popular sport fish that are commonly caught by recreational anglers such as white grunt, gulf kingfish (whiting), gafftopsail catfish, ladyfish, cero mackerel, blackfin tuna, bonito, great barracuda, gulf kingfish, pinfish and jack crevalle. The list also includes thousands of other species that are less frequently targeted but sometimes caught incidentally including spadefish, American eels, silver perch, croakers, hardhead catfish and many others. The term ?unregulated? can be misleading because standard recreational gear requirements still apply, and there is a default bag limit established by Florida Statute for any species harvested by a recreational angler. Harvesting amounts that exceed the default recreational bag limit (which are defined as commercial quantities) and commercial sale of all unregulated species would require a saltwater products license.

State Record

Florida Record: 27 lbs.

Bonito Fishing Near Orlando

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: February 08 2017 01:52:31.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

January - 2018 Fishing Report

The Banana River comes alive during the colder months of year and January is the peak season for deep hole trout, redfish and juvenile black drum. We've been fishing the deeper canals and slews with success during the cold fronts when the water is cold and also catching some great sized fish on the flats adjacent to these holes. Look for the Banana River to improve as the winter gets colder and the fish transition to their winter haunts in pursuit of cold, stable water. Look for mature fish to seek warmth on the shallow shorelines nearby.

Fishing Forecast

January - 2018 Fishing Forecast

Is it going to be an Indian Summer this January or possibly a deep freeze Polar Vortex? These are the questions that all fishing guides want to know. Depending on how this winter plays out with temperatures, winds and other conditions will dictate how our fishing will pan out in January. Unless the water is churned up by high winds, January will produce some of the cleanest and clearest water of the year in Central Florida as colder water kills of plankton life in the lagoons and mild northeast winds often push in clearer water in the ocean. Look for great inshore fishing in the Mosquito Lagoon and Northern end of the Indian River toward Titusville. If the winds and water are all frothed up it can be a crap shoot for fishing in almost every inshore locations and will shutdown all offshore fishing due to small craft warnings and safety warnings. However, between fronts, look for some of the best fishing of the year in January both inshore and offshore in Central Florida.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
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TripAdvisor Review

Review / Trip Advisor

Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

Excellent people and experience! - My husband and I had never tried anything like this before so we were a bit nervous about being sea sick. Captain Richard was so nice and laid back and gave us tips and tricks to try and fight it off. My husband unfortunately was very sick even before we started to get the lines out. Captain Richard took control and told him what to do and even where to stand in the boat to make it better. Unfortunately after captain Richard tried all his tricks my husband was still pretty sick so we had to call it a day an hour early.
The day was definitely not a loss though. Even though we didn't get to catch any fish I still got to see tons of wildlife! We saw everything from dozens of turtles to Dolphins, Rays, and even an 8 ft hammerhead shark! Captain Richard is a pro and definitely knows what he's doing and talking about. I would recommend this trip for sure!

about Lagooner Fishing Charters on June 28, 2015

5 / 5 stars 5 star rating

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