Recent Reviews

The trip we booked with captain Chase on vessel No Doubt KOKA charters was not good. I would not recommend him to anyone.

James G. with Chase Newton of Orange Beach, Alabama

Cpt. Drew took my father, uncle, cousin, and I out for a four our trip and I couldn’t have been more impressed with his knowledge, professionalism, and spirit. He knew all the tricks to get us going, and within minutes, we had our first catch. We caught over 15 fish on our trip and brought a few home for dinner! Will be looking forward to booking him next year as well!

Elliott M. with Drew Downing of Chatham, Massachusetts

Great trip. Captain Bryan was awesome.

Brady S. with Bryars Bishop of Orange Beach, Alabama

First Class fishing trip. A great guide who will put you on the fish. Created great memories! Been out with many guides over the years and Capt. Hal Herrick is the best of the best. My family has been fishing with Hal during many summer vacations on Nantucket and he always treats us very well. He knows the waters and fish surrounding Nantucket and the Vineyard better than any other guide I have been with. Very accommodating to girls, kids, first timers, and experts.

Cole B. with Hal Herrick of Nantucket, Massachusetts

Everything You Need to Know About Bonito Fishing

What is a Bonito?

The bonito (Sardini) is actually a tribe of fish that contains eight different species across four different genera. These species include the Australian, Eastern Pacific, Pacific, striped, Atlantic, leaping, and plain bonito, as well as the dogtooth tuna. All bonito are members of the Scombridae family, which is shared with the mackerel, tuna, and spanish mackerel tribes.

Their tops range from green, to blue, to violet with silver and whitish bellies. All species have some form of stripes on their back, varying in color, direction, and amount, as well as some have spots. They also have torpedo-shaped bodies and are very muscular, with two dorsal fins and a deeply forked tail fin. This makes them fast swimmers and ferocious fighters when caught.

How big do Bonito get?

The size of bonito depends greatly on the specific species. The smallest type of bonito is the leaping bonito, which will weigh about a pound. The largest is the dogtooth tuna, which will weigh around 40 pounds and grow to about 45 inches.

The most common bonito is the Atlantic bonito, which grows to around 12 pounds and 20 inches long.

What's the biggest Bonito ever caught?

The largest bonito ever caught was a dogtooth tuna. Caught off the coast of Tanzania in 2015, the behemoth weighed in at 236 pounds and 15 ounces.

There are several other world record bonito species recognized by the IGFA. These include an Atlantic bonito weighing in at 18 pounds, 4 ounces, caught on July 8th, 1953 near Falal Island, Azores, Portugal by D. Higgs. Also, the Australian bonito record, weighing in at 20 pounds, 11 ounces, caught on April 1st, 1978 out of Montague Island, Australia by Bruce Conley. The largest Pacific Bonito was 21 pounds, 5 ounces caught by Kim Larson on October 19th, 2003 out of California. The largest striped bonito was 23 pounds, 8 ounces caught by Anne Cochain on February 19th, 1975 out of Seychelles.

Finally, the cutest bonito of them all, the record leaping bonito weighs in at a whopping 2 pounds, 2 ounces caught by Wayne Colling on May 7th, 1995 in the Macleay River, Australia.

Where is the best place to catch Bonito?

The Australian, Eastern Pacific, Pacific, and Atlantic bonitos can be found in the tropical and temperate waters of the regions they’re named after. Striped bonitos can be found in the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Leaping bonitos are found near Australia and New Guinea. Dogtooth tuna are found in the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Within these oceans, gulfs, and seas, they can all be found in temperate to tropical waters.. They are all pelagic, meaning they tend to inhabit the upper layers of the open sea, not too close to the seafloor or the shore.

When should I catch Bonito?

Bonito can be fished for year round. Due to their semi migratory nature, and the different oceans that they reside, though, there are some seasons that are better than others. With all of the bonito species it seems that the consensus of the best time to fish are the summer months, though fishing begins to get good as early as May and stays good as long as September.

How do you catch Bonito?

Bonito are schooling fish who chase prey like menhaden, alewives, silversides, sand lances, squid, and sardines to the surface to feed. Look for surface activity or sea birds to find a school.

Then either use either natural bait that would be the same as their local prey choice, or soft plastic lures or metal jigs. Then start trolling, when they are on a feeding frenzy, it will be a quick bite, so be ready for the fight!

Are Bonito good to eat? What are the best Bonito recipes?

Bonito are oily fish that have a moderate fat content, and are eaten, but are considered of lesser quality than many other table fish such as tuna. Bonito is usually either canned, or eaten as steaks, which can either be grilled, or baked and served cold. They are most popular in areas like the Mediterranean and Spain.