King Mackerel (Kingfish)

King Mackerel (Kingfish) Fishing Charters in St. Pete Beach


  • Back is bluish-green, fading to silvery sides and belly (no spots)
  • Front of first dorsal fin lacks a dark blotch
  • Lateral line drops sharply below the second dorsal fin
  • Juveniles may have yellowish spots, similar to Spanish mackerel

Similar Species: Cero, S. regalis; Spanish mackerel, S. maculatus (both have gently sloping lateral lines and a dark blotch on front of first dorsal fin); and wahoo, A. solandri (first dorsal fin long and continuous)

Size: Up to 72 inches


Coastal to offshore waters. Often around piers. They may occasionally be found in deep water.


Spawn offshore in mid-summer. Schooling fish that migrate from south Florida waters in winter northward in spring. Feed mainly on fishes.

Additional Information

State Record: 130 lb 1 oz, caught near Destin

Fishing Tips and Facts: Live crabs and small fish are good baits for cobia. Keep bait near the surface or, if cobia are deeper, add just enough weight to get the bait down and still retain its movement. Medium to heavy tackle is required to land these fish which average 30 pounds. Large specimens in the 50-80 pound class are frequently caught and cherished by the lucky angler who outmatches these powerful fish. Cobia are excellent table fare.