WHAT IS A BLUEFISH?
Also known as elf, tailor or shad fish, these hungry predators are migratory in nature. Blue green in color, they have a jutting, muscular mouth filled with sharp teeth. Growing to over 20 lbs (14 kg.) in size, they’re highly aggressive and can be dangerous even to human swimmers who stumble upon a school of them feeding. A warm water fish, they travel in schools that can number in the thousands. When juveniles bluefish are called “snappers”and when adults “psychopaths.” They are like the locusts of the sea, and will continue slaughtering schools of prey even after they’ve stopped eating during a frenzy. Their feisty nature also makes them a popular sport target. As with other oily fish, they need to be fresh when cooked. This is where their reputation for having a gamy taste comes from since even frozen they don’t hold up well.
WHERE DO BLUEFISH COME FROM?
They are native to both sides of the Atlantic Ocean ranging from as far north as Nova Scotia to as far south as South Africa. During warmer weather they follow ocean currents to colder waters, and then head back when Fall and Winter weather approach.
WHEN ARE BLUEFISH IN SEASON?
Being a warm water fish, the warmest time of year is when they’re in season (June – August north of the equator and Jan – March) southward.
WAS I BITTEN BY A SHARK OR A BLUEFISH?
Bluefish bites are slicing lacerations that appear as small, distinct wounds. They’re often mistaken for shark bites which have more crescent shaped punctures and “holy shit where’s my leg” type reactions. Even fisherman removing hooks after having caught them take great care not to lose any fingers.
ARE BLUEFISH HEALTHY TO EAT?
They are rich in minerals (selenium, niacin, magnesium, potassium) and vitamins (B12) as well as omega-3s. However being near the top of the food chain, they also contain larger then normal amounts of mercury. Much like with tuna, pregnant women and children should avoid bluefish and the rest of us should limit consumption to a few times per year.