Spanish Mackerel: Scomberomorous maculatus


  • Back is bluish-green, fading to silvery sides and belly
  • Irregular golden-yellow spots on sides
  • Bluish-black blotch on front of first dorsal fin
  • Lateral line slopes gently from behind the gill cover to the tail

Similar Species: Cero, S. regalis (has yellowish stripe on sides); and king mackerel, S. cavalla (lateral line drops sharply below second dorsal fin) 

Size: Up to 36 inches 


Prevalent throughout Florida waters: inshore, offshore and nearshore. Frequently found over grass beds and reefs. Absent from north Florida waters in winter.


Schooling fish that migrates northward in spring, returning to southerly waters when water temperature drops below 70 degrees F.  Spawn offshore from spring through summer.

Feeds on small fishes and invertebrates.

Additional Information

State Record:External Website 12 lb, caught near Ft. Pierce

Recreational Regulations

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
Right whale calves stay with their mothers for approximately one year.

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