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King Mackerel: Scomberomorus cavalla

Appearance:

  • Color ranges from black iridescent to bluish green with silvery sides
  • The body is streamlined with a tapered head
  • No black pigment present on the front of the first dorsal fin
  • The lateral line starts high and drops sharply below the second dorsal fin
  • Young fish often have yellowish spots, similar to the Spanish mackerel

Habitat:

King mackerel are found both nearshore and offshore, often around piers.  They may occasionally be found in deep water.

Behavior:

Kings are schooling fish that migrate from south Florida waters in winter northward in spring. They spawn offshore in mid-summer.

State Record:

90 lb, caught near Key West

Fishing Tips and Facts:

Kings feed on small fish and squid and take both natural and artificial baits. Live baits include pogies, herring, Spanish sardine, ballyhoo, and mullet. Lures should be flashy sub-surface lures or large fish-like plugs. Use 20-pound line and tackle, or heavier for larger kings, with a wire or mono leader.

Additional Information:


Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles



FWC Facts:
Unlike most other whales, right whales have stocky, black bodies, with no dorsal fin.

Learn More at AskFWC