Southern Kingfish: Menticirrhus americanus


  • Southern Kingfish have an inferior mouth with a single barbel on the chin
  • Grayish brown or copper colored above with silvery sides
  • Dark mottling or 7 to 8 diagonal dusky bars or blotches on each side, NOT forming clear V-shaped marks
  • Scales on chest the same size as those on side


Near shore, generally in the surf, also in shallow coastal waters with a muddy-sand bottom as well as high salinity bays and estuaries along the coast.  


Thought to prefer high wave action areas such as sand bars where the crashing waves dislodge and suspend small crabs and other small crustaceans. 

Additional Information

Fishing Tips and Facts: Longevity is 4 to 6 years. Sizes up to 15 inches and 2 pounds. Prey mostly on benthic invertebrates, such as shrimp and small crabs.

Also commonly known as whiting

Other similar species include the Gulf Kingfish and Northern Kingfish


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