Bonito Fish Fishing Guide


The bonito fish generally weighs between 7 and 13 pounds. If you are lucky, you may be able to hook up a 20-pound bonito. For its size, the fish is a good fighter once it gets hooked. To reel in a catch, both bonito fishing beginners and experts have to be careful.

If you intend to go after the bonito fish, knowing how to catch bonito can make your work much easier after you put on your best fishing sunglasses. In this guide, we will show you everything you need to know about bonito fishing.

Where Can You Find the Bonito Fish

When learning how to catch bonito, you must understand where to locate the fish. The bonito likes cool, inshore, coastal waters. They are fond of shallow reefs and structures capable of holding large numbers of baitfish. You are highly likely to hook up a bonito if you cast your spinning rod in headlands and coastal rock walls.

If you are going after the Pacific bonito fish, you will have higher chances of success if you navigate the area between Chile and the Gulf of Alaska after wearing your best fishing shirt. The bonito fish is abundant in the northern hemisphere. You can find the Atlantic bonito fish on both sides of the Atlantic, along the shores.

The bonito feeds on squid, mackerel, alewives, menhaden, silversides, and other types of small fish. This tells you that you will have more luck if you use your best saltwater fishing rod in areas with large baitfish schools. If you happen to notice a school of baitfish, this means that the bonito fish is close by.

In Southern California, the bonito fish can be caught from the shore. This makes it accessible to anglers who are just getting started with fishing.

The Lures to Use When Going After the Bonito Fish

Irrespective of whether you are trolling from a boat or casting from the shore, you should find success using small hard-bodied lures. The ideal length of the lure ranges between 10 and 20 cm.

When fishing from a pier, you can use live bait. Some of the ideal live baits you can use when going after the bonito include scaly and blue mackerel, small herring, whiting, and the unweighted mules.

One thing that a lot of people ignore when learning how to catch bonito is the fact that the fish does have teeth. When this fact is ignored, chances of bite offs increase significantly. Heavy fluorocarbon or nylon leaders are generally necessary to prevent bite-offs.

The bonito fish can be caught using both lures and bait. They are generally fond of flashy lures with the silver color in them. The fact that the fish is not shy means that you can chum it to your fishing boat.

Bonito Fishing Gear

According to professionals who are familiar with how to catch bonito, the fish generally makes powerful runs after being hooked. For this reason, your saltwater spinning reel should be large enough to handle these runs. Also, the reel should have a smooth drag.

The ideal tackle should be scaled to the size of the bonito fish you intend to go after. If you are going after the bonito found in piers, you should expect to catch a 6-pound fish. For this size, a 10-pound fishing line should be ideal.

If you intend to catch the bonito fish found at the offshore islands and banks, you should expect to catch larger fish. For this reason, you should invest in a 15 to 20-pound tackle.

When compared to the other types of fishing lines, the braided fishing line offers the most benefits when going after the bonito fish. The most notable benefit is the positive impact the fishing line has on the casting distance. Additionally, since the braided line does not stretch, you will get a more solid hookup.

The Bonito Fishing Techniques


Locating the bonito fish is often easy. The fish tends to give away its presence by leaping from the water as it goes after its prey. Diving birds also make it possible for the anglers to find spots that feature the bonito. The terns and gulls tend to behave differently whenever they are above feeding bonito.

When you locate the bonito fish, maintaining a constant speed is important. Generally, the fish cruises the water fast. This means that the chances of out reeling them are generally low. However, speed variations do cause problems.

If you move too slowly, however, chances of an opportunistic tuna picking the lure increases. If you move too quickly, you may end up causing the lure to skip across the water and hence making it tough for you to get an ideal hook set.

If you happen to come across breaking fish, you should try positioning your fishing boat up current or upwind of the fish school. Next, shut down the motor. This way, you will avoid disturbing the feed before the bait arrives.

If the feed is still in position when the bait arrives, you should be able to put your offering on target. Leading the fish by about 3 to 4 feet will allow them to see the bait.

If the bonito are not popping up or showing in the water, trolling can be an effective method of catching the bonito fish. You can troll almost any lure you use when going after the bonito fish.

When handling the bonito fish, you may find it difficult to remove the hook. The fish tends to put up a fight. You can calm the fish down if you hold it upside down, sideways.

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If you are into going after fish species that put up a fight after being hooked, you might be able to turn bonito fishing into your hobby. The main challenge that anglers who are just learning how to catch bonito fish face are the fish’s speed.

The bonito fish generally moves from one point to the other at an incredibly high speed. Flipping your lure or fly into the melee generally takes accuracy, a high degree of discipline, and speedy casting. With practice, however, bonito fishing should become easy for you.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!