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Spanish Mackerel - Scomberomorus maculatus

Family Scombridae, MACKERELS AND TUNAS

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

Similar fish: Cero, S. regalis; king mackerel, cavalla.

Where found: INSHORE, NEARSHORE, and OFFSHORE, especially over deep grass beds and reefs; absent from north Florida waters in winter.

Size: Average catch less than 2 pounds (20 inches).

Remarks: Schooling fish that migrates northward in spring, returning to southerly waters when water temperatures drop below about 70 degrees F; spawns OFFSHORE, spring through summer; feeds on small fish and squid.

Florida record: 12 lbs.