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From black +‎ fish.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈblakfɪʃ/
  • (file)


blackfish (plural blackfishes or blackfish)

  1. (chiefly Scotland) The Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, especially a female after spawning. [from 16th c.]
  2. Any of various dark-coloured fish of the Old World, especially the rudderfish (Centrolophus niger). [from 17th c.]
  3. A pilot whale, genus Globicephalus (occasionally also used for various other whales). [from 17th c.]
  4. (Canada, US) Either of two dark-coloured fish of the west Atlantic, the tautog of New England (Tautoga onitis) and the black sea bass (Centropristis striata). [from 18th c.]
  5. (Australia, New Zealand) Any of various dark-coloured fishes of Australasia, especially the luderick, Girella tricuspidata, and a freshwater fish, Gadopsis marmoratus. [from 18th c.]
    • 1985, Peter Carey, Illywhacker, Faber and Faber 2003, p. 337:
      The creek was reputed to contain blackfish and Nathan […] arranged the extraordinary collection of American lures he had inherited from an uncle.



blackfish (third-person singular simple present blackfishes, present participle blackfishing, simple past and past participle blackfished)

  1. (fishing) To go fishing for blackfish.
    • 1975, Canada. Fisheries and Marine Service, Review of Biology and Fisheries for Smaller Cetaceans (page 1106)
      Earlier (Caldwell and Caldwell 1971a), we concentrated on the blackfishing at St. Vincent, the fishery with which we were most familiar, and listed known localities of fishing for blackfish and other species in the southern Caribbean.
    • 1984, Field and Stream (volume 89, page xxx)
      Long Island Sound, Block Island Sound, Rhode Island Sound, and Narragansett Bay have many spots where blackfishing is productive year after year.
    • 2014, Nick Honachefsky, The Jersey Surf Diaries
      Blackfishing from the beach. I've done my research. Hundreds of shipwrecks line the Jersey coast, and many of them are close enough to reach with a long cast on a dead-low tide. These wrecks hold tautog, porgies, sea bass, flounder.