ALSO KNOWN AS:
Cavalla, Cero, Sierra
King mackerel are large, put up a good fight, and taste delicious, making them a popular target
for both commercial and recreational fishermen. The majority of commercial fishing for king
mackerel takes place off Florida. Most commercial fishermen harvesting king mackerel using
hook-and-line gear such as handlines, rod-and-reel, and troll gear. Hook-and-line gear has
minimal impact on habitat as it does not contact the ocean floor. It is also very selective, so the
fishery has little bycatch.
There is equal interest in both recreational and commercial fishing for king mackerel.
Recreational landings in both the South Atlantic and Gulf have been comparable or larger than
the commercial harvest since the 1980s. In the past decade, annual recreational landings have
averaged about 4.2 million pounds in the Atlantic and about 3.7 million pounds in the Gulf.
Recreational management measures include limits on the how many mackerel fishermen can
catch and how small those fish can be. Mackerel must be landed with their heads and fins intact.
Charter vessel/headboat operators must have a vessel permit for coastal migratory fish and
must comply with possession limits.
More About the King Mackerel Species
King Mackerel - Fishery
King Mackerel - Seafood
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