Spanish Mackerel


Family Scombridae, MACKERELS and TUNAS
Scomberomorous maculatus

Illustration and Copyright by Diane Rome Peebles
Illustrations are for viewing purposes only.

Description: color of back green, shading to silver on sides, golden yellow irregular spots above and below lateral line; front of dorsal fin black; lateral line curves gently to base of tail.

Similar Fish: cero, S. regalis; king mackerel, S. cavalla.

Where found: INSHORE, NEARSHORE and OFFSHORE, especially over grass beds and reefs; absent from north Florida waters in winter.

Possession and Size Limits: 15 per person, 12” FL.

Size: average catch less than 2 pounds (20 inches).

Remarks: schooling fish that migrates northward in spring, returning to southerly waters when water temperature drops below 70 degrees F; spawns OFFSHORE, spring through summer; feeds on small fish and squid.

Stock Status: mackerel is neither overfished, nor experiencing overfishing.  The Gulf Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee will review an assessment of Spanish mackerel in late 2013.