English: Frigate Tuna, Frigate Mackerel
Spanish: Bolito, Barrilete Fragata, Barrilete Melva
The Frigate Tuna or Frigate Mackerel is a small torpedo-shaped fish characterized by its “tuna-like” body that is perhaps the most aerodynamic of the tunas, a dark blue metallic back with 15 or more narrow oblique wavy lines above the lateral line that commence under the first dorsal fin, and a white belly.
This fish species has two well-separated dorsal fins and a very small second dorsal fin that is followed by 8 finlets. The anal fin is also very small and followed by 7 finlets. It has 15 or more narrow oblique wavy lines above the lateral line that commence under the first dorsal fin.
The Frigate Tuna is one of the most difficult fish species to identify, being almost identical to the Bullet Tuna or Bullet Mackerel, Auxis rochei eudorax (which has 15 or more broad vertical bars that commence aft of the first dorsal fin).
The Frigate Tuna is a coastal and oceanic pelagic schooling species that is seasonal. It is found in all Mexican fishing waters except the northern 80 percent of the Sea of Cortez. The Frigate Tuna is normally found in the first 600 feet of the water column, traveling in large schools (and when located it is indicative that the big game fish are close behind).
The Frigate Tuna is reported to reach a length of 22 inches and 10 pounds; however it is normally 12-inches and about 2 pounds. The Frigate Tuna is caught primarily on trolled feathers or hoochies.
It is viewed by locals as an excellent live bait that is pinned with a 7/0 hook and either flylined or sent down deep with a bottom rig. It is also used as an effective cut bait.