Coastal Fishing Forums: AllCoast banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Return of the Bonito

We have all talked about those magical days when you could take your 2 pound trout rod to the local harbors, piers, jetties, and play with all the bonito you wanted. Then they were gone. And I mean really gone. Not local, not at the Islands. GONE!!!! They about four years ago, they came back. There have been bonito at Catalin all year long for at least 3 straight years. Then recently those HUGE bonito some pushing 15 pounds showed up off Dana point. Where did these fish go? Where did they come from? Was it Mexican seiners? Was it simply natural ocean cycles? Its nice having these guys back. Just curious about why left before and where they went. What do you guys think?

This post edited by flyliner 05/14/2008
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,940 Posts
re: Return of the Bonito

Its an interesting question. I used to think it was just that the warm water outlet from the electric plant in redondo wasn't keeping that area warm. Now I think it was a larger trend and probably a certain amount of pressure from commercials to the south. I'd love to hear from someone who has a good fix on this. I'm looking forward to catching my first Bonito in a while, hopefully the heavier models.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,678 Posts
re: Return of the Bonito

Good question. I have poked around a little on the web in the past and found no science real or otherwise. My theory is that it was a combination of water conditions, lack of feed - specifically chovies and poor recruitment. I was working commercial 25 years ago or so and there was quite a bit of pressure on the local anchovey population. Less so on the bonies stateside. As for the mexican seiners who are often the scapegoats I would bet that the pressure from them on Bonito has not changed much during that period and if anything has increased yet here in SoCal the bonies have been doing pretty well for 3-4 years. During the period of missing bonies came some big El Ninos in the 80s and 90s which suppressed anchovy recovery in the SoCal bight. Cooler water and a big reduction in commercial take of anchovy and the anchovy is considerably more plentiful. IMHO that lack of chovies suppressed those young and hungry bonies.

Oldtimer rejoice!! Bonito are back - and big!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
re: Return of the Bonito

No hard core facts but, i was told that in mexico there was a cat food/
pet food plant that shut down about 4 years ago. I was told there primary source for it was Bonita. Like i said dont know if its completely true but I'll buy any good story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
re: Return of the Bonito

Return of the Bonito or a nice visit from schools of mature survival fish? The Bonito swam inside now to feast on the massive food supply we have now have had for a few years. Enjoy and respect this gift while it lasts and maybe this will become a spring and fall event. this years 5-8 lb fish will be next years 7-10 lb fish, what will this years 18 lbrs become? I will go with a return of bonito when the old hot spots are producing steady fishing on the 1-3 lb fish. The 1-3 lb fish will be offspring from...........the roaming schools we now are chasing, be wise, they don't taste like chicken but they fight like a spartan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,579 Posts
re: Return of the Bonito

I have not seen this size boninta this close in ever. Even when I was a kid and fished off the barges and piers.

I moved back to So Cal about 10 years ago, and the biggest Bone I ever caught was about 5 pounds, and my son got a 10 pounder....

I have seen the big bones off shore like the tanner and Cortes area, but this is bite is just awesome. I wish I could get out and pull on a few before they leave.

I just hope people respect the quality size of these fish. Been seeing pics of decks with stuffed sacs and dead bones all over the deck...reminds me of the big cuda bites.

These fish are normally consider poor table fair, and i don't think so many would be being kept if they 1-2 pounder, instead of the "Bonasourus" size....

Anyway, its really cool to see them back, and i hope they stick around for a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,656 Posts
What he said

Listen to those that watched the systematic destruction of the local SoCal Bonito. The seiners take of everything that swam from 12 inch bones to 12 pound bones, plus the incredible netting of the anchovy, combined to pretty much put the kibosh on the Bonito. It's taken a long time to come back.

Not only cat and dog food....but ROSE food (hi nitrogen!). It was amazing. Rather like New England during the early colonial days when they used shad and lobster as agricultural fertilizer.

Tailman was alive then and fishing (as was I)....listen to the man.

Where they have recovered to return as mature 10-15 pound adults? I suspect off Baja offshore. Seamounts and places out of the way. Will Mexico seine them? You bet. If they deplete the bluefin and yellowfin, they will go to the bones. There is a world market that considers bones good food, unlike the biased SoCalians.

I personally wish that California would treat Bonito like calico bass. That is, NO COMMERCIAL FISHING! It's a game fish, by Gawd! And I wish they'd use a limit of 6 fish, all between 20-28 inches, except for one above 28inches. Slot limits work. Bonito populations could maintain their viability above the US-Mexico border, so if Mexico fishes them out, they could still remain here....IF we treated them carefully.

They are really little tuna. They are the best fighting game fish available for the average Socal angler.

But since so many SoCal fishermen think of them as "lobster bait", it aint gonna happen. *sigh*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
re: What he said

Oldtimer said:
Listen to those that watched the systematic destruction of the local SoCal Bonito. The seiners take of everything that swam from 12 inch bones to 12 pound bones, plus the incredible netting of the anchovy, combined to pretty much put the kibosh on the Bonito. It's taken a long time to come back.

Not only cat and dog food....but ROSE food (hi nitrogen!). It was amazing. Rather like New England during the early colonial days when they used shad and lobster as agricultural fertilizer.

Tailman was alive then and fishing (as was I)....listen to the man.

Where they have recovered to return as mature 10-15 pound adults? I suspect off Baja offshore. Seamounts and places out of the way. Will Mexico seine them? You bet. If they deplete the bluefin and yellowfin, they will go to the bones. There is a world market that considers bones good food, unlike the biased SoCalians.

I personally wish that California would treat Bonito like calico bass. That is, NO COMMERCIAL FISHING! It's a game fish, by Gawd! And I wish they'd use a limit of 6 fish, all between 20-28 inches, except for one above 28inches. Slot limits work. Bonito populations could maintain their viability above the US-Mexico border, so if Mexico fishes them out, they could still remain here....IF we treated them carefully.

They are really little tuna. They are the best fighting game fish available for the average Socal angler.

But since so many SoCal fishermen think of them as "lobster bait", it aint gonna happen. *sigh*
Well said. Hopefully this is the start of another good series of years of these wonderful fish. I myself love them as much as you. The majority has never had them as sashimi, grilled and made into tunat salad or smoked and made into a dip. But that's fine, means more will hopefully be released.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
630 Posts
re: What he said

Observation, not science, just a guess, Anchovy has been showing up at the bait reciever in increasing numbers the last few seasons and we are in a cooling water cycle, and I mean over a period of several years.

Either way, we are stoked. In the mid 80's a neighbor took a bunch of us skater/surfer kids ocean fishing out of Newport on his boat. I thought rainbow trout was king, pulled on Bones 'til my arms ached, that was all it took for a lifetime of dedication and obsession.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,678 Posts
Little parts of the truth?

This thread made me curious. I grew up in Redondo and fished a lot in the late 60s through the mid 70s. Lots of bone including BIG ones. When I was seining out of Pedro (something like mid 70s to 1980 or so) I can tell you that any bonito went to the market not the canneries. We fished year round 24/7. We caught anchovy for reduction and mackerel, both pacific and jack, which went mostly for pet food and some canned for human consumption. Our catch of chovie and mackerel compared to bonito was at least 1000 to 1 by tonnage. After reading the links below and more I still believe that the return of the anchovy locally has been a big factor in the return of the bonito. The return of the anchovy locally is a factor of cooler water conditions (10 years since the last El Nino) and the lack of reduction fishing - those TI canneries are LONG gone. Here is a DFG link to the history of the Bonito fishery: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/status/pacific_bonito.pdf Here is a link to a study of what albies, BFT and Bonito eat. It is only data from 1968 and 1969 but still in-depth and interesting as it is local: http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=kt8290062w&brand=calisphere&doc.view=entire_text And for diehard bonie fans (this is for you OT8) ) here is a study of the slow muscle function of Pacific Bonito: http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/reprint/203/13/2001.pdf BTW - bleed them immediately after you catch them, gut and gill them and get them on ice ASAP, cut of the blood line when you fill them and bonito are first class table fair.

This post edited by reddog 05/15/2008
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,964 Posts
re: Little parts of the truth?

reddog said:
This thread made me curious. I grew up in Redondo and fished a lot in the late 60s through the mid 70s. Lots of bone including BIG ones. When I was seining out of Pedro (something like mid 70s to 1980 or so) I can tell you that any bonito went to the market not the canneries. We fished year round 24/7. We caught anchovy for reduction and mackerel, both pacific and jack, which went mostly for pet food and some canned for human consumption. Our catch of chovie and mackerel compared to bonito was at least 1000 to 1 by tonnage. After reading the links below and more I still believe that the return of the anchovy locally has been a big factor in the return of the bonito. The return of the anchovy locally is a factor of cooler water conditions (10 years since the last El Nino) and the lack of reduction fishing - those TI canneries are LONG gone.

Here is a DFG link to the history of the Bonito fishery:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/status/pacific_bonito.pdf

Hey Reddog....were those also good years for albacore and bluefin??? just curious...

Here is a link to a study of what albies, BFT and Bonito eat. It is only data from 1968 and 1969 but still in-depth and interesting as it is local:

http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=kt8290062w&brand=calisphere&doc.view=entire_text

And for diehard bonie fans (this is for you OT8) ) here is a study of the slow muscle function of Pacific Bonito:

http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/reprint/203/13/2001.pdf

BTW - bleed them immediately after you cat them, gut and gill them and get them on ice ASAP, cut of the blood line when you fillet them and bonito are first class table fair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
re: What he said

fishybuzz said:
Hey OT since you are the resident bonie junkie....can you remember in the years when the bones were abundant was it also a good year for albies and bluefin????
I was always told growing up that early and big Barracuda schools somehow translated into good SD Albacore fishing ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,964 Posts
re: Little parts of the truth?

fishybuzz said:
reddog said:
This thread made me curious. I grew up in Redondo and fished a lot in the late 60s through the mid 70s. Lots of bone including BIG ones. When I was seining out of Pedro (something like mid 70s to 1980 or so) I can tell you that any bonito went to the market not the canneries. We fished year round 24/7. We caught anchovy for reduction and mackerel, both pacific and jack, which went mostly for pet food and some canned for human consumption. Our catch of chovie and mackerel compared to bonito was at least 1000 to 1 by tonnage. After reading the links below and more I still believe that the return of the anchovy locally has been a big factor in the return of the bonito. The return of the anchovy locally is a factor of cooler water conditions (10 years since the last El Nino) and the lack of reduction fishing - those TI canneries are LONG gone.

Here is a DFG link to the history of the Bonito fishery:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/status/pacific_bonito.pdf

Hey Reddog....were those also good years for albacore and bluefin??? just curious...

Here is a link to a study of what albies, BFT and Bonito eat. It is only data from 1968 and 1969 but still in-depth and interesting as it is local:

http://content.cdlib.org/xtf/view?docId=kt8290062w&brand=calisphere&doc.view=entire_text

And for diehard bonie fans (this is for you OT8) ) here is a study of the slow muscle function of Pacific Bonito:

http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/reprint/203/13/2001.pdf

BTW - bleed them immediately after you cat them, gut and gill them and get them on ice ASAP, cut of the blood line when you fillet them and bonito are first class table fair.


Wow thanks Reddog...that was really interesting especially the part about the albacore diets.....they love anchovies but they also really like young rock fish....from the report bluefin albacore and bonito it appears all like the same food and water temps....
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top