King mackerel

Scomberomorus cavalla

Family Scombridae - mackerels

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body elongate, strongly compressed; snout is pointed; color bluish green above, silvery on sides and below, juveniles with yellow to bronze spots on sides; series of small finlets behind dorsal and anal fin; tail lunate in shape (forked in smaller juveniles); lateral line abruptly curves downward under 2nd dorsal fin; has 2 loose flaps of skin separating pelvic fins (interpelvic process).
Similar Species
King and Spanish mackerel are very similar in appearance, but the king mackerel's lateral line curves abruptly downward under 2nd dorsal, the Spanish mackerel's lateral line has a gentle downward curve; the king mackerel's 1st dorsal fin has no black area like the Spanish mackerel does.
Habitat
Gulf
Maximum Size
184 cm (6 ft), common to 78 (30 1/2 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. XV+I,15+VIII-IX (finlets); A. II,15+VIII (fInlets) (explain)
Other Common Names
kingfish
Previous Scientific Names
Comments
Smaller king mackerels have gold yellow spots similar to Spanish mackerel. Confusion on this characteristics usually leads to illegal landings of undersized king mackerels.
State size/bag limits
Minimum size 27 in.; bag limit 2; Check for state record.