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

June 25 2022 - 6/25/2022 9:34:36 PM

Ramp 38 had some over slot sized Drum Pompano and Sea Mullet. Ramp 44 had sharks and the Spanish bite was on! The post June 25 2022 appeared fi (View)

Hatteras Island Fishing Report - 6/19/2022 10:53:41 PM

Today was a bit cooler the high only got up to 79. Winds have been gentle to light between 3 and 10mph. Currently it is 64 but feels like 62 wi (View)

6/11/22 - 6/11/2022 9:18:22 PM

We didn’t hear too much this afternoon…just some sea mullet and then some Spanish mackerel at ramps 43 and 44. We received mullet this afternoo (View)

06/08/2022 - 6/8/2022 9:36:25 PM

Citation pompano off ramp 44 today. Sea mullet reported on both ramps 43 and 44. Spanish in the hook reported also off ramp 44. Have a great ni (View)

06/09/2022 - 6/9/2022 9:01:09 PM

Slow day today in Buxton. Few puppy drum and sea mullet caught on ramp 43. Have a great night! The post 06/09/2022 appeared first on Red Drum T (View)

Big Sea Mullet Being Caught 6/6/22 - 6/6/2022 8:34:32 AM

We are seeing some really big sea mullet being caught along the beaches of the Outer Banks. Our fishing charters are doing good also. Our sport (View)

Saturday 6/4/2022 - 6/4/2022 9:39:30 PM

“Mullet Man” came in to report his 44 Sea Mullet caught at Ramp 44! We weighed in a 3-pound 6-ounce Pompano caught at Ramp 43. The post Saturda (View)

Sunday 6/5/22 - 6/5/2022 9:25:21 PM

Quiet day here in Buxton. Bluefish were caught this morning at ramp 43. Sea Mullet caught behind OBX Motel. Sharks have been caught on ramps 38 (View)

Hatteras Island Fishing Report - 5/27/2022 5:49:54 PM

Todays high was 77. Winds are currently out of the SSW at about 20mph. Gusts will get up to 39mph this evening. When it wasn’t sprinkling it wa (View)

Speckled Trout On Duck Surf 5/24/22 - 5/24/2022 1:19:10 PM

We are getting red drum sea mullet skate bluefish and speckled trout on Duck surf. Picture of Jonathan with a speckled trout. The post Speckled (View)