How to identify a Skipjack Tuna
The presence of stripes on the belly and the absence of markings on the back are sufficient to distinguish the skipjack tuna from all similar species. The lower flanks and belly are silvery with 4-6 prominent, dark, longitudinal stripes running from just behind the corselet back towards the tail, ending when they come into contact with the lateral line. Though some other species do have stripes on the belly, they have markings on the back as well, and these stripes located on the back remain prominent even after death.
Where to catch Skipjack Tuna
The skipjack tuna is a cosmopolitan species that can be found in tropical and subtropical seas, usually in deep coastal and oceanic waters. It is common throughout the tropical Atlantic, south to Argentina and may range as far north as Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the summer months. Skipjack tuna are a schooling, pelagic, migratory, deep water species. In the western Atlantic, skipjack tuna frequently school with blackfin tuna and in the Pacific and Indian Oceans they often school with yellowfin tuna. The common name Arctic bonito, which is sometimes applied to the skipjack, is a misnomer. The fish does not range into Arctic waters and is not a bonito, but a tuna. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish: