Frigate Mackerel, Tinker Mackerel.
uncertain, but one or the other occurs throughout Florida, the Bahamas
and the Caribbean.
HABITAT: The open seas,
but often near deeper reefs.
DESCRIPTION: The Frigate
Mackerel, shown here, and the Bullet Mackerel, are two similar species
confused by scientists and unrecognized by many anglers, who generally
pass them off as juvenile Little Tunny. They do have the wavy lines of
Little Tunny on the posterior dorsal area, and one of the species also
has dots under the pectoral fin as the Little Tunny does. The anterior
and posterior dorsal fins are widely separated, however, on the Frigate
Mackerel, and nearly touching on the Little Tunny. Another smaller
member of the clan is the Chub Mackerel, also known as Tinker Mackerel,
distinguished by black spots along the side.
SIZE: Seldom eaten because
of a general prejudice against eating "Bonitos" of any sort. Indeed, the
flesh is dark but not bad when boiled and made into Tuna salad.
FOOD VALUE: Like other
species of Tuna, they rank among the best battlers in their size group,
mixing fast, zippy runs with as much pulling power as their small size
GAME QUALITIES: When
targeted (usually as bait for larger fish), the best outfit is a
spinning rig with a small jig.
TACKLE AND BAITS: See