One man's trashfish.....

monster1

Typical striper owner
May 30, 2006
792
537
Long beach
Name
Monster
Boat
Yep
is another man's dinner. Or something like that. All I've ever heard about skipjack is that they are cat food. They arent even "real" tuna. Not in the literal sense, but that they are not a highly prized species.

I had never eaten or even been "unlucky" enough to even catch one. All the boats I've been on, they were just an incidental by-catch while dragging feathers for the right kind. Well, the trip I went on this week was skipjack galore. It's all that wanted to bite.

I ended up bringing five (Mexican limit) home. I figured if it tasted like shit, I'd just have more for chum buckets and bug bait. I've heard that miso soup is skipjack and that skipjack served fresh raw or as poke are delicious. So I tried both. I honestly don't think tastes any different than bluefin. I've got some ready to go for the smoker too.

Just my thoughts.
 

Ratshirt

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 25, 2007
191
151
Oregon
Name
Ratshirt
Boat
none
I actually love Skipjack. I even used to find canned skipjack in a local store. I would buy as much as I could grab and enjoy.
We also used to cook fresh caught bonito on the Daily Double to show people how yummy it was and increase it's popularity as a game species.
 

Geo-Fish

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Nov 18, 2016
182
362
San Diego
Name
Geo
Boat
Geo-Fish
Depends on who you ask.....In Hawaii, Skippies and Bonies are prized and desired Aku-Poke and Katsuo-Poke.....

In the Asian and Islander Communities you will never get turned down if you offered them a SkipJack.

Anyone who eats “Chunk Light Tuna” is 80% of the time eating SkipJack....

Properly bled and iced, as all pelagics should be, SkipJack is excellent table fare whether raw or cooked.

My wife has her secret Poke recipe...... Everyone we know just assumes it’s always “Ahi-Poke,” but I often substitute Bonito (Katsuo) and SkipJack (Aku) and watch guests and friends devour the bowl. Always praising how awesome it is.....

Sometimes I forget to tell them it wasn’t Ahi they ate....

Honestly, I’ve been fishing 50 years and I’ve seen a lot. I think many of our so called “trash fish” got a bad rap due to lack of RSW. If you toss a Bonito, SkipJack, Mackerel and Barracuda in a gunny sack you will get soft mushy smelly yuuck. So the perception that these were not good table fare perhaps began.

I am 1/2 Ninja and grew up eating this stuff. My mother and her friends would always oooh and ahhh no matter what I brought home. Looking back, I’m a bit embarrassed and grossed out at the quality of fish I gave them. And to this day, I will tell you Barracuda is gross....My friends swear it is awesome. I bleed and ice my legal Barries and promptly give them away.....

Now for the past 20 years I have taken great pride bleeding, gutting and icing my catch. Often at the expense of catching more fish. I take great pride in the quality and small bloodlines my pelagics have.

My mother could make a Scad Mackerel delicious......I have no problem eating Mackerel, Bonito, Yellowtail, Dorado or any Tuna.....

Perhaps it’s cultural. Perhaps it’s how one grew up. I personally do not eat FW fish very often with the exception of Salmon (SW fish IMO). But I will never say FW fish is trash or disgusting. To each their own.

I write this hopefully to enlighten and hopefully to get you to try these so called “trash fish.” Perhaps you should go to an Asian restaurant and/or Asian friends house and try how they prepare it.

I remember a time I was ridiculed and teased because Japanese people “ate raw fish!” And Japanese TV’s and Cars were “crap” and “cheap!”

Then somehow Sushi became in vogue in the 80’s and everyone had to have it. Suddenly, all my friends wanted to come to my house to use chop sticks and eat Sushi and Sashimi......

So I still have a perception that Barracuda is gross. Honestly, I haven’t had it since the 80’s.......I promised my buddy, who ironically is white, to come over and try his Barracuda..... He says I bleed them perfectly and drools when he talks about how good it is......

I promised him I’d come over and try it. I’ll bet you, my negative perception was from the 80’s when we didn’t treat our pelagics so kindly.....

I’ll let you know what I think.....

Skippies are great when properly cared for (bled and iced)......Of course that’s my opinion and of my peeps....
 

tunanorth

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 4, 2005
5,841
3,699
By the lake
Name
Tunanorth
Boat
Bass Tracker 16
"Skipjack Tuna" were the victims of decades of partyboat practice that tossed them into dry gunny sacks to bake in the sun all day. Its amazing more people didn't get scombrid poisoning.
Even back then, it was well-known that if you "bled" the fish immediately and chilled it right away, that it was fine on the table.
Just too much trouble for most boats back in the day.
Many/most boats now have some kind of cold storage that chills the fish immediately, and deckhands can be instructed to "pop a gill raker" if they don't do it automatically.
Canned product on supermarket shelves may actually say "skipjack tuna", but even if it only says "chunk light tuna", there is an extreme likelihood that it is still skipjack tuna.
For western palates, there is some loss of "yield" when filleting if the dark middle section [about 1/3 of the total] is cut away and discarded.
 

plj46

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 7, 2008
7,788
8,330
Socal
Name
john
Boat
24 ft grady white
I've found the best way to prepare Skipjack is cut it into 1" chunks with skin on and the bloodline in it and stuff into a bait tube for lobsters.Delicious with melted butter and garlic.
 

Ratshirt

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 25, 2007
191
151
Oregon
Name
Ratshirt
Boat
none
Depends on who you ask.....In Hawaii, Skippies and Bonies are prized and desired Aku-Poke and Katsuo-Poke.....

In the Asian and Islander Communities you will never get turned down if you offered them a SkipJack.

Anyone who eats “Chunk Light Tuna” is 80% of the time eating SkipJack....

Properly bled and iced, as all pelagics should be, SkipJack is excellent table fare whether raw or cooked.

My wife has her secret Poke recipe...... Everyone we know just assumes it’s always “Ahi-Poke,” but I often substitute Bonito (Katsuo) and SkipJack (Aku) and watch guests and friends devour the bowl. Always praising how awesome it is.....

Sometimes I forget to tell them it wasn’t Ahi they ate....

Honestly, I’ve been fishing 50 years and I’ve seen a lot. I think many of our so called “trash fish” got a bad rap due to lack of RSW. If you toss a Bonito, SkipJack, Mackerel and Barracuda in a gunny sack you will get soft mushy smelly yuuck. So the perception that these were not good table fare perhaps began.

I am 1/2 Ninja and grew up eating this stuff. My mother and her friends would always oooh and ahhh no matter what I brought home. Looking back, I’m a bit embarrassed and grossed out at the quality of fish I gave them. And to this day, I will tell you Barracuda is gross....My friends swear it is awesome. I bleed and ice my legal Barries and promptly give them away.....

Now for the past 20 years I have taken great pride bleeding, gutting and icing my catch. Often at the expense of catching more fish. I take great pride in the quality and small bloodlines my pelagics have.

My mother could make a Scad Mackerel delicious......I have no problem eating Mackerel, Bonito, Yellowtail, Dorado or any Tuna.....

Perhaps it’s cultural. Perhaps it’s how one grew up. I personally do not eat FW fish very often with the exception of Salmon (SW fish IMO). But I will never say FW fish is trash or disgusting. To each their own.

I write this hopefully to enlighten and hopefully to get you to try these so called “trash fish.” Perhaps you should go to an Asian restaurant and/or Asian friends house and try how they prepare it.

I remember a time I was ridiculed and teased because Japanese people “ate raw fish!” And Japanese TV’s and Cars were “crap” and “cheap!”

Then somehow Sushi became in vogue in the 80’s and everyone had to have it. Suddenly, all my friends wanted to come to my house to use chop sticks and eat Sushi and Sashimi......

So I still have a perception that Barracuda is gross. Honestly, I haven’t had it since the 80’s.......I promised my buddy, who ironically is white, to come over and try his Barracuda..... He says I bleed them perfectly and drools when he talks about how good it is......

I promised him I’d come over and try it. I’ll bet you, my negative perception was from the 80’s when we didn’t treat our pelagics so kindly.....

I’ll let you know what I think.....

Skippies are great when properly cared for (bled and iced)......Of course that’s my opinion and of my peeps....
I'm not 1/2 Ninja but I grew up as a Pacific Islander and was chowing down on this type of food as a kid. I recall many times being greeted as a returning hero for bringing home a sack full of mackerel from a day fishing the bait barge. I would hitchhike out and back from the Shelter Island boat ramp and catch all I wanted on the offside. Now, I doubt a kid could get away with this as DHS would have a fit.
 

esgeo

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 12, 2015
475
511
Tulsa, OK
Name
Eric
Boat
Feelfree Lure 11.5
E5FB0C43-8AC4-41D5-AF67-E9EEE56EF14B.jpeg
I’ve taken a few trips to southern Mexico where there’s tons of puddlers of 3-6 lb skipjack that you can cast jigs at while trolling for sierra and dorado. Super fun light line fishing. The locals prepare them in a dish called tiritas. These fish are coming out of 80+ degree water, but we bleed and ice and it’s a staple of my diet while down there. there is like a roast beef like texture to the fish when prepared this way. Here’s a recipe- just use skipjack instead of the tilapia listed in the recipe.

https://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/tiritas-de-pescado-recipe-zihuatanejo/
 

tunanorth

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 4, 2005
5,841
3,699
By the lake
Name
Tunanorth
Boat
Bass Tracker 16
View attachment 1073623 I’ve taken a few trips to southern Mexico where there’s tons of puddlers of 3-6 lb skipjack that you can cast jigs at while trolling for sierra and dorado. Super fun light line fishing. The locals prepare them in a dish called tiritas. These fish are coming out of 80+ degree water, but we bleed and ice and it’s a staple of my diet while down there. there is like a roast beef like texture to the fish when prepared this way. Here’s a recipe- just use skipjack instead of the tilapia listed in the recipe.

https://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/tiritas-de-pescado-recipe-zihuatanejo/


Bear in mind, in the area you are fishing, these are most likely not "Skipjack Tuna", but more likely are "Black Skipjack", which also go by names like "Barrillete", "Little Tunny", and other local names, plus there are also a handful of other species [mostly smaller] in that area that are loosely referred to as "Skipjack" [Bullet Tuna, Frigate Mackerel, Bulito, etc.], plus to many local anglers, anything tuna-like with stripes is a "Bonita".
 
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Yellowtail Dan

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 10, 2006
3,025
2,929
52
Roseville Ca
Name
Dan
Boat
Excel, American Angler
Depends on who you ask.....In Hawaii, Skippies and Bonies are prized and desired Aku-Poke and Katsuo-Poke.....

In the Asian and Islander Communities you will never get turned down if you offered them a SkipJack.

Anyone who eats “Chunk Light Tuna” is 80% of the time eating SkipJack....

Properly bled and iced, as all pelagics should be, SkipJack is excellent table fare whether raw or cooked.

My wife has her secret Poke recipe...... Everyone we know just assumes it’s always “Ahi-Poke,” but I often substitute Bonito (Katsuo) and SkipJack (Aku) and watch guests and friends devour the bowl. Always praising how awesome it is.....

Sometimes I forget to tell them it wasn’t Ahi they ate....

Honestly, I’ve been fishing 50 years and I’ve seen a lot. I think many of our so called “trash fish” got a bad rap due to lack of RSW. If you toss a Bonito, SkipJack, Mackerel and Barracuda in a gunny sack you will get soft mushy smelly yuuck. So the perception that these were not good table fare perhaps began.

I am 1/2 Ninja and grew up eating this stuff. My mother and her friends would always oooh and ahhh no matter what I brought home. Looking back, I’m a bit embarrassed and grossed out at the quality of fish I gave them. And to this day, I will tell you Barracuda is gross....My friends swear it is awesome. I bleed and ice my legal Barries and promptly give them away.....

Now for the past 20 years I have taken great pride bleeding, gutting and icing my catch. Often at the expense of catching more fish. I take great pride in the quality and small bloodlines my pelagics have.

My mother could make a Scad Mackerel delicious......I have no problem eating Mackerel, Bonito, Yellowtail, Dorado or any Tuna.....

Perhaps it’s cultural. Perhaps it’s how one grew up. I personally do not eat FW fish very often with the exception of Salmon (SW fish IMO). But I will never say FW fish is trash or disgusting. To each their own.

I write this hopefully to enlighten and hopefully to get you to try these so called “trash fish.” Perhaps you should go to an Asian restaurant and/or Asian friends house and try how they prepare it.

I remember a time I was ridiculed and teased because Japanese people “ate raw fish!” And Japanese TV’s and Cars were “crap” and “cheap!”

Then somehow Sushi became in vogue in the 80’s and everyone had to have it. Suddenly, all my friends wanted to come to my house to use chop sticks and eat Sushi and Sashimi......

So I still have a perception that Barracuda is gross. Honestly, I haven’t had it since the 80’s.......I promised my buddy, who ironically is white, to come over and try his Barracuda..... He says I bleed them perfectly and drools when he talks about how good it is......

I promised him I’d come over and try it. I’ll bet you, my negative perception was from the 80’s when we didn’t treat our pelagics so kindly.....

I’ll let you know what I think.....

Skippies are great when properly cared for (bled and iced)......Of course that’s my opinion and of my peeps....
Lot's of great advice and wisdom in this post. Well said
 
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monster1

Typical striper owner
May 30, 2006
792
537
Long beach
Name
Monster
Boat
Yep
Great responses guys. Thanks for the insight and recipe ideas. I'm sold on eating skipjack. Never had a problem eating canned tuna (which I've known for years is most likely skipjack), or even canned mackerel, for that matter.
 

MYNomad

Heading South
Dec 12, 2007
3,504
3,307
Pacific Northwest / West Coast Mexico
Name
Rick
Boat
Yes
We take really good care of the fish we catch. Properly bled, gutted, put in rsw, then potentially saltwater ice. I find that bonito can be quite good bbq'd with that preparation, so long as the skin and blood line are removed before cooking. I have never found a way to make skipjack (or mackerel) taste good, though I haven't tried it raw (if it doesn't taste good cooked, I am have a mental block to eating it raw).
 
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esgeo

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 12, 2015
475
511
Tulsa, OK
Name
Eric
Boat
Feelfree Lure 11.5
Bear in mind, in the area you are fishing, these are most likely not "Skipjack Tuna", but more likely are "Black Skipjack", which also go by names like "Barrillete", "Little Tunny", and other local names, plus there are also a handful of other species [mostly smaller] in that area that are loosely referred to as "Skipjack" [Bullet Tuna, Frigate Mackerel, Bulito, etc.], plus to many local anglers, anything tuna-like with stripes is a "Bonita".
This is true, it is Black Skipjack (barrilete) down there, which is considered even worse table fare, as it is a little bloodier, but that doesn’t negate the fact that properly cared for it still can be whipped up into something delicious...
 

eric harner

Caliente Tuna
Oct 7, 2009
1,909
1,041
62
Phoenix Hellazona
Name
Azlandlocked
Boat
RRII, PV, the Big X
I’ve never tried one cooked raw or canned ( I read the labels) . When I hook one up I either hand it off or snap it off . Been fishing the waters in so cal for over 50 years. I have brought some home in the past to fertilize .
 

tunanorth

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 4, 2005
5,841
3,699
By the lake
Name
Tunanorth
Boat
Bass Tracker 16
I’ve never tried one cooked raw or canned ( I read the labels) . When I hook one up I either hand it off or snap it off . Been fishing the waters in so cal for over 50 years. I have brought some home in the past to fertilize .

If you have eaten canned tuna, unless it specifically said "white meat" or "albacore", you have eaten skipjack tuna.
 

eric harner

Caliente Tuna
Oct 7, 2009
1,909
1,041
62
Phoenix Hellazona
Name
Azlandlocked
Boat
RRII, PV, the Big X
Many brands label there cans as skip jack . Heck I haven’t eaten canned tuna in over 10 years anyways. When I started making my smoked tuna salad I stopped buying canned. I’ve never intentionally eaten SJ ....
 

Shimano Penn

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 3, 2014
1,204
783
62
Chula Vista
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David
Boat
Fond Memory
Well I'm one of those guys that always considered skipjack and bonita to be garbage but I changed my tune after buying a smoker and learning how to use it :D Now I still can't bring myself to simply toss a filet on the grill, sear it and eat up but smoked... I think it's awesome !
 
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Shimano Penn

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 3, 2014
1,204
783
62
Chula Vista
Name
David
Boat
Fond Memory
There ain't a damn fish that won't be eaten in my household.

Not a one.
When I was a kid my dad used to take me trout fishing on the Kern river out of Lake Isabella. I'd look down and see these huge carp, asked him Can you eat those? His answer was... If you're hungry enough, yes. LOL
 

Shewillbemine

"should of" is NOT a thing
Oct 19, 2012
2,085
2,156
California
Name
Shewillbemine
Boat
Chips N Guac
When I was a kid my dad used to take me trout fishing on the Kern river out of Lake Isabella. I'd look down and see these huge carp, asked him Can you eat those? His answer was... If you're hungry enough, yes. LOL
I have caught and eaten carp. Yessir.
 
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