Butterfish is the most popular bait for tuna chunking. Frozen butterfish are available at many coastal bait tackle shops in 20 or 30 pound boxes. In some areas, fresh butterfish are available from local suppliers or commercial fishermen that offer seafood at boatside.
Butterfish can be cut into pieces and stored in a cooler prior to a trip or cut up on the fishing grounds. They are usually easier to cut when still partially frozen. Cutting with heavy duty scissors is the most popular method, although some anglers prefer to cut them with a knife. The best butterfish are usually set aside for use as baits.
When available, fresh large butterfish are sometimes prepared for the table.