OTHER NAMES: Sierra
RANGE: All Florida coasts,
Cuba and Hispaniola; not present in most Caribbean Islands or the
HABITAT: Largely coastal,
but roams offshore at times.
DESCRIPTION: Dark above
with silvery sides. Many spots, which are both yellow and brown. The
body is proportionately deeper than with juvenile King Mackerel, and the
yellow spots appear rounder and brighter, but if in doubt, the only true
identifier is the lateral line, which tapers rather gently from front to
back with no severe dip.
SIZE: Common at 1-3
pounds; not too unusual at 5-7 pounds; maximum potential over 10 pounds.
World record 13 pounds.
RECORD: 12 pounds.
FOOD VALUE: If you like
rich, rather dark fillets, they are great broiled or skinned and fried.
Good smoked, too.
Outstanding on light tackle; very fast runs.
TACKLE AND BAITS:
Spinning, bait casting and fly outfits. Spinning is often best because
the faster retrieve of a spinning reel is sometimes needed to move a
lure at a pace that will interest the Mackerel. Best lures are small
white nylon jigs and silver spoons, but many others work, including
topwater at times. Flies should be small with lots of flash. Best baits
are small silvery baitfish, live shrimp and drifted strips.
Drifting; Still Fishing; Trolling.