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Bonita or Albacore

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
ok im confused, can someone explain the difference between the bonita / albacore and false albacore, what they look like and which are good eating?

I thought I read someplace - the best way to tell the difference was that if it had teeth you could eat it (meaning Albacore (not false albacore), but I am not sure I could tell the difference between an albacore or bonita since I think they both have teeth.

I keep hearing that false albies are not good to eat - so i think i have that down- (no teeth - dont eat it) but then i hear conflicting reports as to whether or not bonita are good to eat.

Not sure If i'll ever catch one of these wonderful fish, but IF I do, I really don't want to be taking home a nice fish that everyone is going to spit out and go YECHHHH!!! that would be a waste of a good fish.
post #2 of 8
While I never heard it put the way you state it, the theory deos work. Teeth = good to eat, that's an oceanic bonito. It will have horizontal bars running from head to tail on the upper portion of it's body above the lateral line. A little tunny (false albacore) has a wavy mackeral-type pattern on it's back. They also usually have some spots below their lateral line closer to their pectoral fins. It is not even worth giving to the cat to eat.

You also mention the Albacore (true albacore or Longfin Tuna) very good to eat and they do have teeth. The also have very long pectoral fins and pretty much are only available very far offshore in the vicinity of the canyons.
post #3 of 8
Bonito are very good eating and do have quite a few prominent teeth, with a more tapered body. Picture a mini king mackerel. They should be all over the lumps right now, and can be trolled and chummed.

False albacore=little tunny--not edible. Can be caught off the beach in Jersey. I have trolled them off Deal and the Highlands bridge, within a mile of shore on many occasions in September.

One more confusing inshore tuna is the Skipjack, which is sort of between the little tunny and bonito. Has stripes, no spots, no conspicuous teeth, and can be eaten. They are a commercial product that ends up as dark meat tuna when canned. Also called mushies due to their soft mouths. They often account for knockdowns when trolling, with no hookups, due to their weak mouths. Common on the middle grounds offshore.

I've never seen longfin albacore anywhere inshore of the true canyons. Our biggest was a 67 pounder caught on a spreader rig at the Hudson.
post #4 of 8
It should be noted that in places like Florida the little tunney (aka false albacore) is called bonito.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks folks, at least now I will be able to tell the difference.

I found a pretty good sight last night that gives a nice description of the fish in our waters among a host of other information about NJ fishing
although, I am sure many of you may know it already.

commercial link removed

It has a nice pic of the false albie (unfortunately the bonito is the same pic.)

Happy fishing

[ 09-23-2003, 11:08 AM: Message edited by: TimS ]
post #6 of 8
Flukezilla, thanks for clearing that up, I fish off the Keys in March and catch quite a few of those "bonito" and am always told they cant be eaten, no wonder!!! Not bonitos at all!!
post #7 of 8
false alby


study these fish so you dont end up preparing catfood for dinner
post #8 of 8
false alby


study these fish so you dont end up preparing catfood for dinner
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