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Updated: 07/25/2014 08:00:00AM

Are you ready for some

footballs?

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By Robert Lugiewicz

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No, not the football with dudes running around in skin-tight pants chasing a piece of leather. I mean swimming footballs, also known as bonita (or bonito, if you want to pronounce it that way — I’m not gonna argue with you about it). Catching bonita seems like way more fun than watching people you don’t know play a game to bring glory to a city they don’t live in. Even if you’re a die-hard football fan, you have to wait until September for NFL games to start. The bonita are here now.

Bonita don’t get a lot of respect in the fishing world. That seems odd to me. They’re usually not huge fish — most are 4 to 7 pounds — but they are members of the tuna family, and just like their bigger cousins, they are powerful and dogged fighters. They can be a bit of a pest when you’re trolling for sailfish or larger tunas, but that’s not something most people do here anyway. And if you hook one on sailfish tackle, it’s not going to be a real impressive fight. However, if you scale your tackle down a bit and chase them with snook gear instead, there are few fish that are more fun on the end of your line than a spirited bonita.

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