Mackerel Fisheries

Three types of mackerel are produced in the Florida Keys: King, Spanish, and Cero. King and Spanish are the largest volume fish, and are caught with both hook and line, and run around gill nets.

The King Mackerel has an annual quota, and when the pelagic fish arrive in the Winter, both hook and line, and net fishermen, quickly fill their respective quotas.

Spanish Mackerel also has a quota, but Keys fishermen were effectively shut out of the fishery by a State of Florida net ban. The smaller and lower priced Spanish can not be produced in sufficient quantities with hook and line, and the fish migrate each winter into shallow state waters where nets cannot be used.

King Mackerel may occasionally approach 100 lbs, while the Spanish is rarely over 5 pounds, and the Cero usually under 10.

A few Cero may be caught year round, and some extremely large Kings may also be caught during the summer months. Spanish Mackerel however, are rarely caught except from November to April.

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