Spanish Mackerel is a migratory species of Mackerel found in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. They tend to travel in large schools, spending the winters in the warm waters of the gulf and south Florida then traveling as far north as Narraganset Bay, Rhode Island.
They are a shallow water species, preferring sand bottom in 20 to 40 foot (6 to 12 m) depths, occasionally found as deep as 80 feet (24 m). Spanish mackerel are voracious, opportunistic, carnivores. As with other members of the genus, food consists mainly of small fishes with lesser quantities of shrimp and squid.
They are a very popular catch among recreational fisherman and make tasty table fare as well. The average catch is around 2 pounds with 4 and 5 pound fish not uncommon. The world record is a 13 pound fish caught off the coast of NC.
Spanish mackerel are greenish dorsally with silver sides and belly. Yellow or olive oval spots traverse the body, which is covered with very tiny scales.