Black Skipjack has a long slender light silver body with a dark blue dorsal fin. The best method for catching Black Skipjack is trolling or bait casting with small live bait.
Habitat: Bay, Ocean, Coastal Waters
How to identify Black Skipjack
The fins on a Black Skipjack make it easy to identify. Black Skipjacks are often confused with the bonito but they have very different dorsal fins. The dorsal fin of a skipjack has 13-15 spines and is higher on the front than in the back. A bonito’s dorsal fin is long and low in shape and placement. The anal fin on a Black Skipjack has 11-13 rays and is close to the dorsal fin in shape and size. Black Skipjack only has scales on the anterior corselet and along the lateral lines, lacking them everywhere else on the body.
The Black Skipjack is the only species of Euthynnus to have 37 vertebrae. All other fish in this species have 39 vertebrae. The jaws on a Skipjack hold 20-40 small, cone-shaped teeth. An easy way to tell the Black Skipjack apart from similar species is to look for the four or five broad black stripes that run horizontally along their back. They also have dark spots between the pectoral and ventral fins.
Black skipjacks are sometimes confused with the skipjack tuna because of stripes visible on both living fish along their belly. Once a black skipjack is dead, these stripes are no longer visible; however they will remain visible on a skipjack tuna after death.
Where to catch Black Skipjack
Black Skipjack live in tropical and warmer waters along the eastern coast of the Pacific Ocean. They range from California to Peru and aren’t usually found in the central Pacific. Black Skipjack typically feed near the water’s surface at night. During they day they may dive to a depth of 850 feet.
The following are habitats where you can catch Black Skipjack:
- Backwater Fishing
- Coastal Waters
- Deep Shore Water
- Floating Foam and Debris
- Reefs, Wrecks and Shoals
- Rocky Sea Floor
- The Open Ocean
How to catch Black Skipjack
Trolling and bait casting small whole or strip baits works well to catch Black Skipjacks. They travel in schools and are migratory, looking for small surface fish to feed on as well as squid and crustaceans. They will also go after small lures and feathers, especially if a lure is being trolled at a speed of around 8-10 miles per hour. Other effective methods for catching Black Skipjack include chumming, drift fishing and fly fishing.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Black Skipjack:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Black Skipjack
The best bait to catch Black Skipjack is small live baits, or small lures such as jigs, plugs, spoons, and featuers.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Black Skipjack: