Bluefish (temnodon saltator, Cuv.), an acanthopterygian fish of the family of scombri-dee, called also the skipjack, and sometimes horse mackerel; both of the latter terms are applied to other scomberoid fishes, and the last especially, on the New England coast, to a species of tunny. All the upper part of the body is of a bluish color, the lower part of sides and abdomen whitish, a large black spot at the of pectoral fins; the jaws are armed with rninent, sharp, and lancinated teeth, the lower with one row, the upper with a second posterior row of small ones; the base of the tongue, vomer, and palatal bones are also crowded with very small teeth; the operculum terminates in two points, notspines the lateral line beginning just above its posterior angle, and, curving with the body, terminating at the of the caudal fin; the fins are covered with scales. It arrives on the coast of the middle states early in the spring, accompanying the weaklish (otolithus regalis, Cuv.) in its migrations, and feeding principally upon it; it is, not uncommon in Massachusetts bay in the summer months, where it is often seen chasing schools of menhaden and mackerel, jump-out of water, and so hotly pursuing its prey as to drive large numbers of them upon the beaches.
The size varies from 1 to 3 feet in length, the weight from 5 to 14 lbs., the former being the ordinary weight of those seen in the market. They are among the most wift, strong, and voracious of fishes; they will bite eagerly at any object drawn rapidly through the water, and advantage is taken of this to extch them by trolling in sail boats; so sharp are their teeth that it is nescessary to wire the line for a short distance above the hook or on. It is so terrible a foe to the mackerel, thai the scarcity of the latter fish on the New England coast in 1857 was attributed by the fishermen mainly to its presence. It generally swims near the surface. Toward the latter part of summer it is most excellent eating. It runs up the mouths of rivers even to quite fresh water, being taken in the Hudson as high up as. Sing Sing in the Delaware at Philadelphia, and in the Potomac as far up as Acquia creek It ranges far along the coasts of North and South America, and, in the opinion of Valenciennes, inhabits as a single species both oceans It is erratic in its habits, and on some coasts does not appear for many years and then suddenly returns in great numbers.
During the half .of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th it disappeared entirely from the coast of New England.
Bluefish (Temnodon saltator).