Atlantic Bonito

Atlantic Bonito have a similar body shape to the closely related tuna species.

The back transitions from blue to green and the undersides are silvery-white.

The most distinguishing characteristic of the Atlantic Bonito is the series of dark lines (stripes) that extend from the fish’s back to just below the lateral line.

Atlantic Bonito Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round
Size Limit No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person No Limit
Delaware Range Atlantic Ocean
Abundance in Delaware Waters Common
General Habitat and Food Preferences Generally an oceanic species, the Atlantic Bonito is common in shallow waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Normally it travels in large schools.

They feed primarily on fishes, squids, and shrimps.
Did You Know? Atlantic Bonitos have a small mouth with prominent teeth and are known to be cannibalistic.
Common Lures and Baits Most anglers prefer trolling for Atlantic Bonito. Because they are surface feeders, you want to keep your bait just below the surface while trolling. Shiny spoons and feather jigs work best for Atlantic Bonito.

Some anglers prefer light casting tackle with fish imitating lures.
Typical Sizes Caught Atlantic Bonito are commonly caught in the range of 3 to 8 pounds by anglers.
Citation Minimum Length and Weight Atlantic Bonito are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award, but a large specimen may qualify for an “Unusual Species” award.
Delaware State Record Atlantic Bonito are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.