Florida Regulations:

    Gear Requirements:

    Legal Gear: hook and line and spearing only

    Habitat and Fishing Tips:

    King mackerel are found in both nearshore and offshore waters throughout Florida, often
    near schools of baitfish. Like many of the pelagic species, kings prefer water temperatures
    above 68 degrees, so they migrate to warmer waters in the fall of the year. Kings feed
    primarily on schooling bait fish and squid and are commonly caught while trolling with
    flashy spoons or duster rigged with a whole cigar minnow. Free lining or slow trolling with
    live baits (cigar minnows, herring, sardines, blue runners) is a great way to hook the larger
    and more solitary kings. Free lining a live squid at night, especially over reefs that hold
    baitfish, can also be very effective. Tackle requirements depend on the size of fish and the
    method of fishing. Spinning or bait-casting tackle with 20 to 30 pound monofilament line is
    sufficient when free lining live baits as long as you have enough spool capacity for the initial
    run after hookup. While kingfish do not have great endurance, they are very fast and will
    commonly take 100 to 200 yards of line off the reel in the first 30 seconds of the fight. For
    trolling, 30 to 50 pound trolling tackle is commonly used. Kings have very sharp teeth
    requiring the use of wire or very heavy monofilament leader.

    State Record:

    90 lb, caught near Key West

    Image Credit: Diane Rome Peebles

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
    620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL
    32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676
More helpful Florida Keys and Key West websites:
www.flkeys-diving.com | www.thefloridakeys-keywest.com | www.flkeysgc.com
Upper Keys Fishing
Marine Fisheries News
All About Florida Keys Fishing & Key West Fishing

King Mackerel: Scomberomorus cavalla
On this site, you'll learn about Florida Keys
Fishing, Florida Keys Fish, Florida Keys Fishing
Charters, Dolphin Fishing, Swordfishing, Florida
Keys Fishing Guides, Florida Keys Offshore
Fishing, Florida Keys Deep Sea Fishing, Florida
Keys Flats Fishing, Florida Keys Back Country
Fishing,  Tarpon Fishing, Bonefishing, Florida
Keys Fly Fishing, Reef Fishing, Wreck Fishing,
Bridge Fishing, Deep Drop Fishing, Lobstering in
the Florida Keys, Stone Crabbing, Shrimping,
Spearfishing, Fishing Regulations and much more!
Gulf Waters
Atlantic State Waters
Minimum Size Limit
24” fork length
24” fork length
Daily Bag Limit
2 per harvester per day
All About Florida Keys Fishing and Key West Fishing