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How to Catch Bonito and Fishing for Bonito Tuna
Bonito can be caught by trolling a small lure just offshore and around offshore reefs. Bonito tuna are fantastic fun on light gear and two or four-kilo spinning outfits



Angling & Fishing for Bonito:

Bonito can be caught by trolling a small lure just offshore and around offshore reefs.

small photo of a bonito tunaBonito respond to the same techniques which take skipjack and mackerel tuna, and also fall for those employed to target salmon, tailor and kingfish. Boat anglers sometimes take good hauls by trolling diving minnows parallel with the shoreline, close to headlands and rock ledges, or by casting and retrieving lures around "washes" of broken white-water adjacent to these areas. Land-based anglers also do well at times by casting and retrieving lures from the ocean rocks, jetties and breakwalls. In addition to lures and flies, bonito will attack pilchards and garfish rigged on ganged hooks, as well as live baits and strip baits or cubes of fish flesh , especially when these are free-lined in a berley trail.

Bonito are fantastic fun on light gear and two or four-kilo spinning outfits allow these fish to display their full potential when boat fishing. When fishing from the shore or jetty, a heavier spinning outfit will often be necessary for casting distance. In which case a six-kilo spin stick should do the job. I would prefer to fish lures for bonito, but they will take a range of small fish and cut baits

Best Bait: Garfish, Herring, Live minnow, Pilchard, Slimy mackerel (blue), Squid, Yellowtail scad (yakka)
lure: Jigs, Slice, Slugs

Saltwater Fish - What bait to use for fishing - a list of saltwater baits with the main "diners" who will be tempted.

Other Lures: High speed chrome baitfish lures, chrome spoons, slugs, flathead jigs and plastic squid for trolling and metal lures such as Juro Shiners and Halco Hex slices work for spinning. Saltwater flies such as Clousers and Deceivers.
Tackle

Link: 3 - 7kg main line.
Hook: No. 2/0 - 6/0 Mustad 34007 Stainless Steel.
Rig: Whole live or dead bait under a float. Light to medium trolling and spinning gear. Fly gear.
More info: Locked Half Blood Knot

Hints
Fish frequent wash areas of rocky headlands and inshore reef areas so fish close to rocks. Best fishing is at dawn. Trolling over reefy areas and around headlands. Trolling speed of around 5 knots works best. Summer and autumn produce good fishing.

Current Pacific Bonito All Tackle Record (IGFA)  21 lbs. 5 ounces.

Current Atlantic Bonito All Tackle Record (IGFA) 18 lbs. 4 ounces.

 

Picture showing the difference between the common bonito (middle) and the Watson's Leaping Bonito (Top and Bottom fish)
This picture shows the difference between common Bonito and Watson's Leaping Bonito.  The Middle fish is the common bonito

 

 


See Also
Bonito Tuna Photos & Information

Angling & Fishing for Bonito Tuna

Cooking Bonito Tuna and Bonito Recipes

Bonito (Sarda australis & Sarda orientalis) Tuna Fishery | Commercial Fishing for Bonito

Bonito Links & Resources

 


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