Secret Tips To Know About How To Catch Bonito

Are you looking for the proper guide to catch Bonito in the next fishing trip?

Anglers used to consider Bonito as a bait fish, but its properties of eating were often ignored. The fish would actually taste great if after capturing it bled straightly and cooked freshly.

Bonito could be claimed to be one of the popular fishes among the anglers. This is because it could fight hard and quick thereby offering influential sport on lighter fishing gear.

To help you to fight correctly with these great fighters, we have brought a list of how to catch bonito along with some other information.

Hold on your interest and keep on reading


Brief Identification of Bonito

identification of bonito
  • Bonitos are known to be prevalent in the waters of North America.
  • You would find different species of this fish like Pacific and Atlantic Bonito, Australian Bonito as well as striped bonito.

Pacific bonito would be found in cigar- type shape and a little bit compressed. You would find this bonito with a big mouth and sharp and pointed head.

The color of the fish is usually dark blue in the above and sides are dusky followed by silver beneath. You would even find many slanted dark stripes across the back.

identification of bonito

However, Atlantic bonito is even known to look same in color and shape like the Pacific ones. The largest bonito of Pacific could extend up to 40 inches with 25 pounds weight. The Atlantic ones could range up to 18 pounds 8.2kg.

Bonitos are known to be the surface eaters so that they could frequently be found closer to the shorelines, reefs, and hard wash places.

  • You could catch them quickly from boats or else you could even cast off from jetties or rocks. However, the best time for catching bonito would be when the temperature of water ranges from 16 to 20 degrees Celsius at dawn in autumn and summer.
  • The spawning time of bonito would vary from place to place. The spawning in southern California is known to start from late January extending to May.
  • On the other hand, spawning in northern waters would begin with the fall of spring while it is warm, particularly for the Atlantic ones.

Bonitos are known to prefer small size fishes as their food like menhaden, sardines, and anchovies. However, they could even heavily depend on squid occasionally for their regular diet.

These vicious fighters will attack several kinds of baits and lures if a school arises. While locating Bonitos on the surface, you could look for the diving and circling birds above the water body.

Such an activity would indicate that the fish might be on the surface.

What You Will Need

Fishing Rod And Reel

A fast action spinning rod of 7 foot could be a perfect option for catching the hard fighters, bonito.

Such rods would help you in making longer and accurate casting incorporating several kinds of lures or live baits.

Within the process, the rod would even provide you the backbone to drag Bonito towards your boat.

You could consider one of these products to catch bonito:

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Fishing Line

The braided line of about 15 pounds could be a better option than monofilament line for bonitos.

The strength and small diameter of braided lines would allow in spooling more lines compared to monofilament ones of similar strength.

Here are two products that could worthy of purchase for bonito fishing:

Last update on 2018-02-27 PST - Details

Fishing Lure

Anglers are known to use Rapala kind plugs to troll for bonitos frequently. If they are spotted out, you could even use shining spoons like Krocadiles for casting.

However, retrieving steadily with an unstable lure or unstable retrieve with stable lure could work well.

You would just have to ensure that the lure consists of abundant flash.

Fishing Baits

The primary bait for bonitos could be lively and fresh anchovy. The very next option after anchovy would be the sardine.

However, mackerel, butterfish, herring, and pilchards would even work well for fishing bonitos.

Step-By-Step Instruction: How To Catch Bonito

Step 1: Hold The Rod Properly

You would have to first hold your fishing rod till about the waist level.

Keep it in such a way so that the reel stays above your rod while your thumb stays on the spool's bottom naturally.

The employed lure or bait would have to hang 8 to 10 inches beneath the tip of the fishing rod.

Step 2: Putting The Reel In The Free Spool

Now you would be pushing the button for putting the reel into the free spool while you hold the thumb in opposition to the spool so that it doesn't unwind.

Step 3: Pulling The Rod Back

Your fishing rod would have to be now pulled back for letting its tip to wipe over your commanding shoulder.

After this, you would be bringing it to the front quickly and point the tip of the rod towards your catch or target.

Step 4: Pulling The Line From The Reel

Now, when the rod is brought in the front over your commanding shoulder, the thumb would have to be taken off the spool.

This would allow the lure to pull the fishing line from your reel.

Step 5: Ready To Fish

The lure would splash in the water, and after it occurs, you would have to put the thumb again on the spool.

You would now have to reel for once or twice for engaging the anti-reverse. After this, you would get ultimately ready for fishing your target.

Pro Tips On How To Catch Bonito

  • While you handle Bonito, it could spazz out and then it would become difficult in removing the hook. You would have to hold them sideway keeping upside down to make them calm to a little extent
  • You would have to handle the fish with wet hands while releasing it. This would not remove the slime coat on them
  • Bonitos would be fulfilled with lots of energy, but they won’t climb on the jetty for biting the lure. Hence, you would be keeping the lure in the water only
  • It would be better to fish a considerable drag setting.


  • Bonitos are known to be competitive eaters rather than picky feeders. They would attack ferociously to the live baits and lure as soon as their eyes fall on it.
  • However, to catch the Bonitos effectively, you could even have to follow certain procedures, especially while hooking in the bait.

Well, perfect combos of fishing equipment would let you to the successful bonito fishery.

We tried to offer a brief knowledge about the fish through our list of how to catch bonito which we hope would be beneficial enough for your fishing trip.

However, if you have any suggestion or queries related to this article, please let us know in the comments below.

Ted Thomas

Hi there, I'm Ted Thomas, an ardent adventure writer. I write for readers with a genuine interest in enjoying the great outdoors. By sharing my experiences camping, hunting and fishing, I hope to inspire others to fully explore the depths of their passion.

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