How to identify a Black Skipjack
The dorsal fin of this fish has 13-15 spines and is higher in the front of the fin than in the back. This feature distinguishes it from the bonito, Sarda sarda, which has a relatively long and low first dorsal fin. The anal fin, which has 11-13 rays, is similar to the second dorsal fin in size and shape. The body lacks scales, except on the anterior corselet and along the lateral line. This is the only species of Euthynnus that has 37 vertebrae. All others in the species have 39 vertebrae. Each jaw has 20-40 small, conical teeth. Bonitos have fewer and larger conical teeth than the black skipjack and mackerels have flat, triangular teeth.Black skipjacks can be distinguished from similar species by the four or five broad, straight, black stripes which run horizontally along the back and by the dark spots between the pectoral and ventral fins. In live specimens, stripes may be visible on the venter as well as on the back, which has frequently led to confusion from anglers mistaken it for the skipjack tuna, Katsuwonus pelanis. The stripes on the belly rarely persist long after death in the black skipjack; however they remain prominent in the skipjack tuna long after death.
Where to catch Black Skipjack
The black skipjack inhabits tropical and warm temperate waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean from California to Peru, and rarely is found in the central Pacific. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish: