atlantic bonita
Atlantic Bonita

Along the Mid Atlantic coast, anglers sometimes catch Atlantic bonita. Atlantic bonita are silver and green, marked with black stripes parallel to the body and large sharp teeth similar to king mackerel.

Schoolie bonita are typically 3-4 pounds; adult fish usually weigh 5-8 pounds. In most areas, Atlantic bonita begin to appear when water temperatures rise above 66 degrees.

Small bonita usually arrive first, appearing on inshore humps and around structure such as fish pot markers.

These small members of the tuna family can be caught by trolling a planer/ spoon, drail/spoon, cedar plug daisy chains, small bird/feather rigs, bullet-shaped lures or other downsized lures.

Larger bonita appear just before or with early season bluefin and king mackerel. In some areas, Atlantic bonita remain in an area for only a short time. Bonita make good table fare as well as excellent baits for shark fishing.

Thru the summer, schools of juvenile bonita sometimes migrate along the coast. These schools of small fish may cover an acre or more and can be thrilling to see. While jumping, they are difficult if not impossible to catch. Large bonita sometimes appear in fall along the Mid Atlantic coast before move southward for the winter.

Related Information

Trolling for Tuna

Fish Species

Saltwater Fishing