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Saltwater Fish - Spanish Mackerel

 

Spanish Mackerel

Scomberomorous maculatus

Distinguishing Markings:

Back is green, shading to silver on sides, golden yellow irregular spots above and below lateral line.  The front of dorsal fin is black; lateral line curves gently to base of tail.

 

Size: 

Commonly 2 to 12 pounds

 

Distribution:

Schooling fish that migrates northward in spring, returning to southerly waters when water temperature drops below 70 degrees F.  Western Atlantic north to the Chesapeake Bay and occasionally to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and south to Yucatan, Mexico.

 

Habitat:

Inshore, nearshore and offshore, especially over grass beds and reefs.  A swift and strong fish it roams in large schools, staying close to shore and around mouths of channels and passes.

 

Food Preference:

Feeds on shrimp, small fish and squid

 

Spawning:

Spawns offshore, spring through summer

 

Fishing Tips:

Use light tackle to cast, drift. Will take a variety of artificial lures, preferring flashing metal spoons.  It is a very active fish that is a spectacular fighter when hooked.  Minnows and live shrimp are the best natural baits.

 

See Also: