Atlantic Bonito - Sarda Sarda


Latin: Sarda Sarda

English: Atlantic Bonito

German: Der Pelamide, Atlantischer Bonito

French: Pélamide, La bonite à dos rayé

Italian: La Palamita

Spanish: El Bonito del Atlántico

Croatian: Palamida, Polanda, Polandrun, Smuca─Ź

About: The Atlantic Bonito (Sarda Sarda) is a fish of the family Scombridae. Bonitos, fishes in the genus Sarda, differ from tuna with having their bodies compressed and their lack of teeth on the roof of the mouth.

atlantic-bonito-sarda-sarda-1Atlantic Bonito has elongated, spindle-shaped body with several oblique grey-blue stripes. Back is dark blue with transition to silver blue on the stomach.  Younger specimens also have vertical stripes for additional camouflage near the surface of the sea.

Maximum length is around 70cm and weight up to 9kg. On average, it weighs around 1kg. It spawns in spring, although that may vary a little bit.

Sometimes it forms large schools. It is predatory species, feeding on sardines and other small fish. It feeds on squids, too.

Atlantic Bonito is an important commercial and game fish.

Habitat: It is commonly found in open and shallow waters of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It may enter estuaries, but not often.

atlantic-bonito-sarda-sarda-3Fishing period: It can be caught all year long, especially in autumn, during the day, much better in the evening.

Fishing rigs and tackle: Best recreational fishing technique is trolling using medium sized tackle. When school of Atlantic Bonito is found, fishing can be very successful. As bait, one should use artificial lures that mimic sardines and similar small bait fish, dried weever skin, alive or dead sardines etc.

Live mullets are also very good bait, although mullets are not common prey of Atlantic Bonito - Atlantic Bonito is not very picky when feeding.

Cuisine: It is considered to lag behind tuna in quality and taste of meat - which is not entirely correct. Atlantic Bonito is very tasty fish, especially when barbequed and grilled, with some olive oil, lemon, garlic and parsley. Smaller specimen can be fried. It is also very tasty in fish stew with various other species.