Skipjack Tuna Fishing

Skipjack Tuna Fishing

Skipjack Tuna

Skipjack Tuna
  • Size 18 to 22lbs
  • Food Value Good
  • Game Qualities Average
  • Habitats Offshore

(Katsuwonus pelamis)

If you've ever eaten canned tuna, Skipjack was most likely in it. It's among the smallest fish in the Tuna family, but it makes up for it in quantity and quality as a game species.

The Skipjack is an extremely sociable creature. Asides from mostly swimming with their own in schools of up to 50,000 fish, they frequently swim with Blackfin or Yellowfin Tuna, but also with sharks, whales and, sometimes, flotsam.

This is not the most sought after Tuna sportfishing species, but it is of tremendous commercial importance, with major fisheries in the US, Europe, Africa and Asia.

How big

One of the smaller types of Tuna, the Skipjack reaches a maximum of about 43'' in length and 76lbs in weight. The average catch will be around 30'' and between 18 and 22lbs.

When & Where

This is a widespread species that can be found in tropical and temperate waters between 58 and 86°F worldwide. They prefer the open ocean, and so can't be found in the Mediterranean and Black seas, Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

They spawn year-round in the tropical zone, and seasonally in greater latitudes.

How to catch

Being primarily harvested comercially, the Skipjack is mostly a recreational fishing bycatch. If targeting this species, jigging will be good for reaching the larger fish deeper down, but trolling live or strip baits, feathers, plugs or spoons will be the most effective method for catching schooling fish.

Skipjack are easily scared, so, once you spot the school, the trick is to circle around it with the boat and allow the baits to drift through it. If no school is spotted yet, the baits should be trolled far behind the boat.

Good to eat?

Light meat, sold canned worldwide. If fresh, should be bled before cooking. Moderate levels of mercury contamination, should not be consumed in large quantities.


Season - always open;

Size limit - none;

Bag limit (per angler per day) - none;

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