July 7, 2012

Mac Tuna, also known as Little Tunny and False Albacore.

The day was overcast and a little windy but the catch was good with a box of mac tuna, bonito and mixed reef fish. Mackerel Tuna are striking looking fish, easily recognized by the patch of wavy mackerel-like markings on the back which extend from the dorsal fin to the tail and four or five rounded black spots on the belly between the pectoral and ventral fins. Some have spots level with the pectoral fin and they are considered to be an Atlantic variation of the species. Those with spots below the pectoral fin belong to the Indian Ocean and the Pacific.
They are robust, tapering fish which school in inshore coastal waters, where they feed on pilchards, blue sprats and herring. They were called mackerel tuna because they can be common on mackerel grounds, such as Middle Ground in Bate Bay, off Cronulla.
Mackerel tuna are a dark-fleshed fish. They fight hard when hooked. We like mac tuna as sashimi or prepared and cooked as striped tuna.
Trolling is the best way to catch them.

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