King Mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla)

Discover the secrets of the majestic King Mackerel: Scomberomorus cavalla!

The King Mackerel, also known as the Scomberomorus cavalla, is a migratory pelagic fish of the Carangidae family, commonly found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The king mackerel is basically a large game fish that is strongly built and has distinctive greenish-blue streaks along its side. It has a torpedo-shaped body and a forked tail, which it uses for quick, sudden movements, making it both a challenge and a delight for anglers. It is considered to be an important species in the commercial fish industry and can often be found in the seafood menus of many restaurants.

King Mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla)

The King Mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) is a type of large fish commonly found in the coastal waters of the tropical and temperate regions of the western Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, as well as the Pacific Ocean around Central America and parts of Mexico. It has also been observed in the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The King Mackerel is a prominent species within the genus Scomberomorus, and is of great commercial value.

The King Mackerel is a large, slim-bodied fish, typically ranging from 16-23 inches in length, and weighing between 4-8 lbs. The fish is blue to greenish-blue dorsally, shading to silver ventrally. It has cobalt-blue streaks and a series of distinct, yellow or gold spots running along each side of its body, as well as yellowish or golden blotches or stripes on its dorsal fin. The King Mackerel has a reddish or golden stripe running from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail.

The King Mackerel typically inhabits coastal waters, and seldom ventures more than 25 miles offshore. It is most commonly found over flat, sandy bottoms, where areas of nearshore seas and submerged coral reefs provide plenty of food. The fish prefers warmer, tropical waters, and sticks close to shore, often congregating near piers, jetties, and inlets. The King Mackerel is a fast-swimming fish, and is typically seen in large schools or “schools of baitfish”.

Habitat and Distribution

The King Mackerel is found along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil, including the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. It is also found in the Pacific Ocean from the south of Baja California, to far off South America, including Ecuador and Peru. In the Mediterranean Sea, the King Mackerel is found along the coasts of Turkey, Greece, and Italy.

The King Mackerel’s habitat consists of tropical and sub-tropical waters, typically at depths of between 65-330 feet. It is found most often in the vicinity of coral reefs, jetties, and inlets, where it feeds on small fish, such as menhaden, anchovies, and sardines.

Diet and Feeding Habits

The King Mackerel is a carnivorous species, and feeds primarily on fish and small crustaceans. Its diet consists of a variety of small schooling fishes, such as anchovies, menhaden, and sardines, as well as various small crustaceans, such as small shrimp and crabs. The King Mackerel is an ambush predator, and will typically follow a school of baitfish until its prey has entered the open water, then pounce on its unsuspecting meal.

The King Mackerel is also a rod-and-reel game fish, and is prized by anglers for its speed and its size. Anglers typically use medium-sized spinning gear, with 8-12 lb. test line. The King Mackerel typically prefers live bait, such as herring, sardines, mackerel, or squid.


The King Mackerel is a highly migratory species, typically moving into deeper, warmer waters for reproductive purposes during the spring months. Spawning typically takes place at depths of 30-400 feet, and takes place in groups referred to as “schools of baitfish” or “baitballs”. Large schools of King Mackerel may form during the summer, leading to localized fishery landings including large numbers of juveniles.

The King Mackerel is an ovoviviparous species, meaning that eggs hatch inside the female’s body, and the young are born fully formed and free-swimming. It is estimated that the fish reach sexual maturity at two to three years of age, when they may be up to 17-20 inches in length. Adult females typically release between 65,000-100,000 eggs during the spawning period.

Threats and Conservation Status

The King Mackerel is widely distributed in the wild and is not currently considered an endangered species. However, some populations have been targeted by overfishing in certain parts of its range, as the fish is widely sought after as a sport-fish and for its commercial

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *