Tuna, Skipjack

Food Quality:

Tuna, Skipjack

Avg. Length


Avg. Weight


World Record

45lbs 4oz

FL Record

33lbs 8oz

View Regulations

Scientific Name

Katsuwonus pelamis

Common Names

Aku, Victor Fish, Watermelon, Striped Tuna, Arctic Bonito, Oceanic Bonito


Skipjack Tuna have a football shaped body characterized by a black-purple coloration that fades to silver on their underbelly with dark stripe(s) or portions of color that run from tail to head under the fish. They also have a distinct lack of scales, save for a band circling the body behind the head and in a thin band down the middle of the fish (lateral line).

Habitat & Behaviour

Skipjack Tuna are found in warm water in most oceans. They reside in the pelagic or mid depth waters and may spend a portion of their life in close proximity to the shore. Staying near the surface at night, Skipjack tuna can be found from surface to middle depths during the day time and reside in large schools. Skipjack Tuna are known to be migratory, strong swimmers that may travel long distances for food and reproductive purposes.

Natural Prey

The Skipjack Tuna feed on a wide variety of crustaceans, cephalopods, mollusks and fish (occasionally dabbling in canabalism). In general Skipjack Tuna will feed on what’s available.

Handling Tips

Grab by tail when get close to boat, tail snares can be useful if the fish is larger. Can be very strong and gill plates can be very sharp. They have rows of teeth so do not put your finger in its mouth (teeth not especially sharp but still wouldn't be good to get bitten!). Gaff larger ones in back of head if harvesting. Ice right away, make cut in tail to bleed them. Warm blooded fish – melt ice quick so you need to bleed them. Flesh is desirable – so keep water and ice away from the flesh. See the How to Fillet a Tuna video for more details in the Essentials section of the app.