Black Skipjack, Mexican Little Tunny
Barrilete, Bonito, Barrilete Negro, Barrilete Negra
(Euthynnus lineatus)

Black Skipjack, Euthynnus lineatus: The Black Skipjack is one of the most common members of the Scombridae or Tuna, Bonito, and Mackerel Family found in Mexican waters.

The Black Skipjack is characterized by its “tuna-like” appearance, dark blue back, silver flanks and belly, a series of 5 to 6 horizontal stripes that begin at the base of the dorsal fin and extend to the base of the caudal fin, and its characteristic and distinguishing black spots between the pelvic and pectoral fins.

This fish species might be confused with the Skipjack Tuna, Katsuwonus pelamis (4 to 6 horizontal dark stripes on its sides with no spots); the Eastern Pacific Bonito, Sarda chilensis (5 to 6 oblique dark stripes on its upper back with no spots); and the Striped Bonito, Sarda orientalis (8 to 11 horizontal broken lines on its back with no spots).

Distribution in Mexico fishing areas

The Black Skipjack is a coastal pelagic schooling species found near off shore reefs in all Mexican fishing waters, normally in the first 125 feet of the water column. The “all tackle world record” caught in Mexican waters as of 2004 stands at 36.4 inches and 20.0 pounds.

It is normally an incidental catch on live sardinas, rapidly trolled feathers or hootchies, or off the bottom with chrome yo-yo iron. For their size they put up a horrific fight. They are viewed by locals as a bait fish returned immediately to the deep or cut into chunks.

Black Skipjack fish picture 1

Black Skipjack, Euthynnus lineatus: Caught during a fishing trip with Captain Pata in the panga Salome, La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico, early morning in September 2003, in 84-degree water, utilizing a black-and-blue hootchie on 30-pound test, trolled on the surface, 10 miles north of La Playita. Size approximately 16 inches and ten pounds. Primarily used as cut bait, or as a chunk bait. When huge fish are present can be used as a live flylined bait. Description and photo courtesy John Snow.

Black Skipjack fish picture 2

Black Skipjack, Euthynnus lineatus: Photo courtesy Baja On The Fly.

Black Skipjack fish picture 3

Black Skipjack, Euthynnus lineatus: Photo courtesy Trout Traubman.

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