- Large fish with compressed, tuna-shaped body and a pointed, conical head with downward-slanting mouth.
- Blue to violet coloration on back, with ten or eleven silver-blue stripes on back running obliquely from the back fin forward.
- Short, long, black dorsal (tail) fin that runs almost whole length of fish.
- Can be up to 40 inches long, and weighing up to 25 pounds.
- From Alaska to tip of Baja California, Mexico.
- Not common north of Point Conception.
- Found anywhere from inshore to about 100 miles offshore.
- Can be in depths of 300-600 feet.
- They reach sexual maturity at age 2.
- Spawning generally from late January to May.
- Eggs float freely in top 300 feet of water.
- Eggs usually hatch within 4-5 days after spawning.
- Small schooling fishes, such as sardines and anchovies, squid, shrimp.
- Larger fish such as tuna, as well as other bonito.
- Humans (fished for sport and for seafood).
- Bonito populations heavily fluctuate with warm and cold water, which often fluctuates with atmospheric fluctuations like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
- Unlike most fishes, they have no swim bladder.
- They often swim in large schools.
Sources: California Sea Grant; FishBase; California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Photo: Paula Selby