The mackerel scad, or opelu, is a fish out of fashion in the UK. Traditionally used more as a bait fish, to catch larger fish such as marlin and tuna, it is a common tropical fish found around the world in huge schools either inshore or in the open ocean. In Hawaii this fish was a staple food for many people and continues to be eaten in small fishing villages.
The colours of the mackerel scad are inspiring to try and capture in paint – from fish to fish and with changing light their scales ripple from black metallic to blue green, with lush silvery white bellies and they have tails of yellow-green. The mackerel scad resembles the common mackerel with a long slender, yet more elongated, body.