Species Information

Scientific Name:Menticirrhus americanus
Environment:Inshore, Surf
Ideal Temp:72-86°F (22-30°C)
Technique:Bottom Fishing, Jigging
Lure Type:Bottom Rig, Jigs
World Record:1.27 kg (2 lb 13 oz) Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
Other Names:sea mullet, whiting, Virginia mullet, southern kingfish, southern kingcroaker
Menticirrhus americanus, the southern kingfish, southern kingcroaker, the king whiting, the Carolina whiting, or the Sea Mullet, is a species of marine fish in the family Sciaenidae. It lives in shallow coastal waters on the western fringes of the Atlantic Ocean.

The southern kingcroaker can grow to about 50 centimetres (20 in) but a more usual adult length is 30 centimetres (12 in).

The southern kingcroaker is a slender fish, deepest about two fifths of the way along. The upper jaw projects further than the lower and the snout overhangs the mouth. There is a small barbel on the fleshy lower lip. The dorsal fin is divided into two parts. The number of spines and soft rays in the fins is indicative of the species and in M. americanus, the front part of the dorsal fin is broadly triangular and has 10 spines and the other part is long and has 1 spine and 22 to 25 soft rays. The pointed pectoral fins are large and the anal fin has 1 spine and 7 or 8 soft rays. The tail fin has a characteristic slightly concave upper lobe and a rounded lower lobe. The colour of the fish is silvery grey, sometimes with a coppery sheen, and paler grey below. There are sometimes several broad slanting bands of darker colour on the back of the fish.

The southern kingcroaker is a subtropical, demersal fish found in shallow waters in the western Atlantic Ocean. It has a discontinuous range extending from New York southwards to Texas, and from Yucatán southwards to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The northern portion of its range is interrupted its not being found in southern Florida and the southern portion of its range is interrupted by absence from the West Indies. It is found in places where the seabed is sand or mud, often on sandy beaches. The juveniles can tolerate low salinity levels and are often found in estuaries.

The southern kingcroaker feeds on benthic invertebrates. The diet consists mainly of small crustaceans such as shrimps and crabs but amphipods, polychaete worms, molluscs and small fish are also eaten and it also scavenges for detritus and carrion.

Anglers catch kingfish from piers, jetties and boats in the nearshore ocean, usually with two-hook bottom rigs baited with shrimp, mole crabs, bloodworms or squid. Anglers also use jigs or spec rigs to catch kingfish. Kingfish are often caught while fishing for weakfish.

Latest Whiting Fishing Reports and Spots

05/18/2022 - 5/18/2022 11:50:30 PM

Plenty of citation Drum have been caught at the point the last several days. Sea mullet at ramp 38 and 48. Had two citation specks from the sou (View)

Bluefish Catches On OBX Surf 4/18/22 - 4/18/2022 7:48:00 AM

We have had some nice size bluefish catches along the OBX beach. Also are getting sea mullet spot and red drum. Picture of our customers with s (View)

Saturday 5/14/22 - 5/14/2022 9:32:23 PM

Lots of puppy drum and yearling drum at the Point ramp 48 and ramp 55. Sea Mullet at ramp 43. Speckled Trout and puppy drum in the Pamlico Soun (View)

TW’s Daily Fishing Report - 5/4/2022 10:06:41 AM

Fishing continues to be as good as it gets here on the outerbanks! Don and Trisha Allen stopped by the shop this morning with their Puppy Drum t (View)

TW’s Daily Fishing Report - 5/6/2022 4:39:09 PM

Looks like we have some weather coming for the first part of next week. However today and tomorrow look beautiful and the fishing should be grea (View)

05/03/2022 - 5/3/2022 9:44:09 PM

Report of a pompano caught at ramp 55. Sharks at the point today. Sea mullet at the jetties.  Have a great night…………………..RDT!!! The post 05/03/ (View)

05/05/2022 - 5/5/2022 9:56:36 PM

Great day of fishing here in Buxton. Morning started off with puppies caught behind the motels. Jetties had a really nice sheepshead and some p (View)

Hatteras Island Fishing Report - 5/5/2022 8:28:20 PM

Warm and sunny for most of the day. Our high temperature ended up at 72F. Winds are out of the North currently at 17mph. Looking like a Hattera (View)

Red Drum Action Outer Banks 5/4/22 - 5/4/2022 7:49:50 AM

We have had some pretty good red drum action along the beaches of the Outer Banks the past couple days along with plenty of sea mullet skate an (View)

Hatteras Island Fishing Report - 5/3/2022 10:11:55 PM

High temperature for today was 77F here in Frisco! Chance of rain tomorrow mostly in the evening. We have winds out of the SW tonight at 17mph. (View)