Bluefish are probably the most common fish found along the Jersey Shore coast. They can range from open ocean to the bays. They generally travel in schools (groups) so the possibility of many people catching a bluefish is great. Known to put up a good fight, many fisherman enjoy going out for "blues".
Bluefish range in size from seven inches, at which point they are called "snappers", to thirty five inches. They can weigh as much as forty pounds, although heavier than twenty pounds is concidered exceptional.
Bluefish are a cannibalistic preditory fish that will kill just for the sake of killing. They swim in schools of similar size. Extreme care must be taken when handling them as they will snap at an unwary hand. Their single row of teeth in each jaw are uniform in size, knife-edged and sharp.
When in a feeding frenzy, bluefish are easy to catch as they will attack anything that poses a threat or looks like food. They will occasionally leap out of the water before landing and attacking a top lure of live bait fished at the surface.
Bluefish most often arrive in the Jersey area around late spring and stay until late November.
Scientific Terms and Additonal Information:
Family: Pomatomidae, Bluefishes; Pomatomus saltatrix
Description: Coloration is a grayish blue-green dorsally, fading to white on the lower sides and belly. They have a broad, forked tail and a spiny first dorsal fin is normally folded back in a groove, as are its pectoral fins. Bluefish grow from 15 to 24 inches long, up to almost 4 feet long.
The bluefish feeds on smaller fish. It is fierce and often kills more fish than it can eat.
Similar Fish: blue runner, blue, chopper, anchoa, C. crysos