Boating Lifestyle

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Saltwater Fish - King Mackerel

King Mackerel

Scomberomorous cavalla

AKA:  Kingfish, cero

Distinguishing Markings:

The king’s back is iridescent bluish green; sides silvery.  A streamlined body with tapered head; no black pigment on front of dorsal fin; lateral line starts high and drops sharply below the second dorsal fin.  Young fish often have yellow spots like those of the Spanish mackerel.



Commonly 20 pounds up to 90 pounds



Schooling fish that migrates from south Florida waters in winter to more northerly waters in spring.  A Gulf population is thought to be separate from Atlantic population, with considerable mixing in winter from Cape Canaveral past Key West.



Nearshore and offshore, occasionally taken from piers running into deep water.  They roam in schools close to shore as well as many miles out often found around tide lines, oil rigs, and anchored boats.


Food Preference:

Feeds on small fish and squid



Spawns in midsummer offshore


Fishing Tips:

Once located these aggressive fish can be readily caught.  Bigger fish are more difficult to catch.  It is a vicious striker and loses its natural wariness when feeding.  Drift or troll using strip baits, small whole baits.  Casting lures, spoons, feathers, jigs, skirted strip baits are effective as well as trolling with multiple bait rigs.  Use fish, shrimp, squid, pogies, croaker.  Chumming the water while trolling works well to attract and hold these fish.


See Also: