Fishy Files: King Mackerel

By February 29, 2016 March 18th, 2016 Galveston-Fishing

Before you go Galveston fishing, it’s good to know a thing or two about your expected catch.

Appearance:
Their colors vary from a dark iridescent to a bluish-green with silver on their sides. The body is streamlined with a tapered head.
Young mackerel often have yellow colored spots, similar to one’s found on the Spanish mackerel. Two dorsal fins can wrap back into a channel to enhance speed, small pectoral fins on each side following the head; pelvic fins under the pectorals and a row of small finlets reach from the dorsal and anal fins to the tailpiece.

Habitat:
King Mackerel can be located both nearshore and offshore. They can be found near piers and deep out at sea.

Behavior:
King Mackerel are schooling fish that migrates from waters in South Florida during winter and north in spring. They spawn offshore in mid-summer. The Gulf’s mackerel population is considered to be separate from the Atlantic population. The different populations are believed to mix in the winter months from east central Florida southward past Key West.

Fishing Tips and Facts:
Mackerels originally belong to the tuna family and are a Western Atlantic species. Although the Kings don’t have the bearing of tuna, they are unmatched in their speed and dexterity.

King Mackerel forage for small fish and squid and will go for both artificial and natural baits. Live baits include ballyhoo, herring, pogies, Spanish sardine, and mullet. Lures should be ornate sub-surface lures or large fish-like plugs.

Here at FishSeaPlay, we will give you a run-down of what’s out in the water that day and the best ways to get a big catch. To book a fishing trip aboard one of our sportsfishing boats contact us here.