The King Mackerel

The King Mackerel
Difficulty

Period

April to December

Minimum size

no restriction

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The King Mackerel belongs to the Scombridae family. The king mackerel is a medium-sized fish, generally weighing between 5 and 14 kg, but weighing more than 40 kg. Females can live up to 14 years, and males up to 11 years. It spawns from May to September. It can be fished from April to December.
Unlike other members of Scombridae, mackerel do not have a black area on the front of the first dorsal fin. The mackerel king has 12 to 18 spines in his first dorsal fin; 15-18 rays in the second dorsal fin, followed by 7-10 pinnacles; and 21-23 rays in the pectoral fin. Its body is about five times larger than its head and about six times longer than its depth. The whole body is covered with rudimentary scales, except for its pectoral fin. The lateral line drops abruptly after the second dorsal fin, then continues to the tail, distinguishing it from red mackerel (Scomberomorus regalis). The king mackerel also lacks scales on the pectoral fins, as does the Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus), unlike the red mackerel which has scales extending over the pectoral fin. The king mackerel is a silver fish with indistinct bars or spots on the side. The dorsal surface is black with iridescent tones of blue and green. Young fish have small bronze spots on 5 or 6 irregular rows.

The King Mackerel lifestyle

Like other members of this genus, king mackerel consumes mainly fish. They prefer to eat school fish, but also crustaceans and sometimes mollusks. Some of the fish they eat include horse mackerel, snapper, grunt and half beak. They also eat shrimp and penetrant squid.
Spawning usually occurs from May to September. Eggs are thought to be released and fertilized continuously during these months, with a maximum between late May and early July and another between late July and early August. The ovaries of king mackerel have five stages of development. Maturity can occur for the first time when females measure as little as 450-499 mm and generally occurs around 800 mm. Stage five ovaries, which are the most mature, are found in women around 4 years of age. Males are generally sexually mature at 3 years of age and are 718 mm long.

The King Mackerel habitat

The king mackerel prefer outdoor reefs and coastal waters. Resident populations are found in the waters of northeastern Brazil, Louisiana and southern Florida. The king mackerel is present between 23 and 34 m deep.
King mackerel are common in the west coast of the Atlantic Ocean, from Massachusetts to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico. Stocks in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico are mixing in the waters of southern Florida.

The King Mackerel angling

Fishing gear includes hooks and lines using live bait or trolling lures and gillnets.

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