Exerpts from Vic Dunaway’s popular fish identification book “Sport Fish of Florida.”
OTHER NAMES: Giant Tuna, Horse Mackerel
RANGE: Historically, both sides of the Bahamas, plus Gulf of Mexico and, sporadically, the Caribbean. Occasional wayward schools would sweep past Southeast Florida in past years. Now scarce everywhere, a sport-fishery still exists in the Bahamas, primarily around Cat Cay and Bimini, but it is paltry compared to the years before commercial fishing ruined the stocks.
HABITAT: The deep sea.
DESCRIPTION: The best identifier is huge size, since small Bluefins have always been almost non-existent in Florida and the tropics. The massive body is dark blue above, shading to silvery on the lower sides. All fins and finlets are steely blue.
SIZE: In the past, runs in the Bahamas (and, unpredictably, in Florida waters) consisted of fish weighing from about 200 to 600 pounds. Presently, most run over 500 pounds and many push 900. The increase in average size is indicative of the declining stock. Giant Bluefins are in trouble worldwide. World record 1,496 pounds.
There is more information on this and other sport fish in “Sport Fish of Florida.” This handy book features 231 species, all illustrated in full color. Also included for each fish are detailed ranges, habitats, game quality, food quality and record sizes.