Spanish mackerel

Scomberomorus maculatus

Family Scombridae - mackerels

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Body elongate, strongly compressed; snout is pointed; color bluish green above, silvery on sides and below, yellow to bronze spots on sides; 1st 1/3 portion of 1st dorsal fin is black; series of small finlets behind dorsal and anal fin; tail lunate in shape; lateral line with gradual decline to caudal peduncle; has 2 flaps 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 and bay
Maximum Size
104 cm (3 1/2 ft), common to 50 cm (19 1/2 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. XVII+1,18+VII-IX (finlets); A. II,17+IX (fInlets) (explain)
Other Common Names
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 14 in.; bag limit 15; Check for state record.