Beginner’s Guide to Bluefish, the Underrated Saltwater Brawler


From hook up to cooking, here’s everything you need to know about the underrated bluefish

By Joe Crermele / Outdoor Life

Bluefish are odd oddities. Misfits, if you will, in the pantheon of saltwater fish. They exist in every temperate and tropical ocean, bay, and estuary on the planet, yet they create little fanfare outside of the United States. They are the only member of the Pomatomidae family, so they have no relatives. In Australia and New Zealand, they’re called “tailors.” In Africa they’re known as “shad” or “elves.” In every corner of the globe where bluefish roam, you’ll find them in fish markets. In fact, they’re more coveted on the table in regions like the the Mediterranean and South Africa where consumers gravitate toward “fishy” fish. But commercial value aside, nobody puts more emphasis on targeting bluefish recreationally than American anglers, particularly those living on the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Florida. However, even here they’re overshadowed by more glamorous targets like striped bass, redfish, and snook. 

That’s a shame, because the real benefit of chasing blues is that they don’t require nearly the skill and arsenal of lures you often need to fool the A-listers. Bluefish are unique in that they’re available to everyone regardless of budget. You can catch them as successfully from a back-bay dock as you can 40 miles offshore.  KEEP READING

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