- 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 or 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