On the East Coast, bluefish is one of a half dozen fish as common as our Pacific Coast rockfish. It is easily caught from pier, shore or boat. It spoils quickly unless properly handled, and until recently little of it has shown up in California. However, in the last year or so, bluefish has become available here and much of it is of excellent quality.
Bluefish, like tuna, is a fast-swimming fish. It inhabits the temperate waters of the Mediterranean, the West Coast of Africa and the coastal waters of New Zealand and Australia, as well as the Eastern seaboard. Like the tuna, it has dark, oily meat. Its flavor is milder and the soft flesh flakes easily. It has a stripe of dark red meat, which should be cut away since it can sometimes be a little bitter.
Bluefish is sold whole or in fillet or steak form. Small bluefish, called snappers, are best pan-fried whole, and are delicious grilled or baked. When pan-frying or sauteing, be judicious in the use of oil since the fish is already rich in fat. Bluefish is also delicious in chowders and poached and served hot or cold in a salad.