King Mackerel (Scomberomorous cavalla)
Family Scombridae, Mackerels and Tunas
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 and running into deep water.
Size: common to 20 pounds.
Remarks: schooling fish that migrates from south
Florida waters in winter 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 midsummer OFFSHORE; feeds on small fish and squid.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Marine Resources, Office of
Fisheries Management and Assistance Services
Revised - 12/14/02 04:19 PM