HB Pier Sunday 8-21-22 Macks and a Bonito


Well-Known Member
Got to HB Pier around 4PM on Sunday with the intention to fish the incoming tide. High tide was around 6:10PM.

Got on an intermittent mackerel bite with decent size fish. Got them on a Majorcraft Jigpara Spin, sabiki, and a carolina rig with squid. My girlfriend was fishing a hi lo rig with squid and shrimp and got a smaller mackerel and jack smelt.

As the sun was setting, bonito rolled in. Dramatic boils of bait fish had everyone target casting at boils. We got a hit on a float rig with a sabiki. Thinking it was a mackerel I had my little cousin start reeling it in. As he got the fish above the water, I saw that it was a bonito and shouted "reel faster".

First bonito from a pier for us! Left around 7:30PM. Cooked up a couple mackerel for dinner, pan searing them coated with paprika and chipotle and finishing them in the oven with butter and lime. Added some mustard to stir-fried broccolini and crimini mushrooms with pickled beets and cucumber, radish salad.


Smoked the rest of the mackerel + some more that we caught the day after
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Well-Known Member
A question for all. How do you cook Bonito properly? I had the opportunity to catch some at Catalina but gave them away because I didn't know how to cook them.
I would treat bonito like tuna. You could sear it and keep it raw in the middle. You could grill it or smoke it. You could use it for sushi and sashimi. Main thing is to treat it right after you catch it. Like any pelagic fish, bleed it and get it on ice right away. If you do this the fish is pretty versatile.


Senior Member
This is what I have read and agree with.

Step one... Remove gut and the head as well as the blood line by the backbone.
Step two... Put it in a five-gallon water to bleed. Tail up. Change water often or put it back in the ocean in a bucket made for keeping fish. I can post picture if asked.
Step three.... Marinate in as acidic solution as possible for about two hours in the frig.
Step four.... Do not deep fry it. Bonito and mackerel being oily and bloody fish, should not be deep fried. Grill or smoke it.
Bon Appetite.