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Cero Mackerel

Scomberomorous regalis

Appearance

Illustration of a cero mackerel showing important characteristics
  • Back is bluish-green, fading to silvery sides and belly
  • Sides with silvery-yellow spots, some forming broken lines
  • Yellowish stripe on side extends from pectoral fin to caudal fin
  • Bluish-black blotch on front of first dorsal fin
  • Lateral line slopes gently from behind the gill cover to the tail

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

Size: Up to 36 inches 

Habitat

Coastal waters, especially over coral reefs and other structure, occurring mainly in south Florida.

Behavior

Unlike other mackerels, cero mackerels do not stray far from south Florida waters.  They spawn offhshore in midsummer and feed on small fish and squid.

Additional Information

State Record: 17 lb 2 oz, caught near Islamorada

Recreational Regulations