Spanish Mackerel

Family Scombridae, MACKERELS and TUNAS
Scomberomorous maculatus




3. Spanish mackerel: Another late fall or early winter migrant usually caught from the north and south jetties. They'll hit small spoons, like the Diamond Jig, or small live baits fished under float. Daily limit is 15, minimum size limit is 12 inches.

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.

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

Florida Record: 12 lbs.

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.

Food: Spanish Mackaeral can be prepared by broiling, frying, baking or, rarely, by smoking