Fish ID >>Offshore 

king-mackerel-(kingfish)

King Mackerel

Scomberomorus cavalla

Description: Color of back iridescent bluish green, sides silvery; streamlined body with tapered head; no black pigment on front of the first dorsal fin; lateral line starts high and drops sharply below the second dorsal fin; young fish often have yellowish spots like those of Spanish mackerel.

Similar Fish: Cero, S. regalis; Spanish mackerel, S. maculatus.

Where Found: Nearshore and offshore; occasionally taken from piers running into deep water.

Size: Common to 20 pounds.

Remarks: Schooling fish that migrates from south Florida waters in winters to more northerly waters in spring; Gulf population thought to be separate from Atlantic population, with considerable mixing in winter from Cape Canaveral past Key West; spawns in mid-summer offshore; feeds on small fish and squid.

Illustration: © Diane Rome Peebles

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