Atlantic Mackerel

Species Information

Scientific Name:Scomber scombrus
Environment:Inshore, Nearshore, Offshore
Ideal Temp:48-59°F (9-15°C)
Technique:Bottom Fishing, Casting, Chunking, Fly, Jigging, Trolling
Lure Type:Bottom Rig, Crankbaits, Flies, Jigs, Plugs, Soft Plastics, Spoons, Topwater, Trolling
World Record:
Other Names:Atlantic Mackerel, boston mackerel, Norwegian mackerel, scottish mackerel

The Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus), also known as Boston mackerel, Norwegian mackerel, Scottish mackerel, is a species of mackerel found in the temperate waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the northern Atlantic Ocean, where it is extremely common and occurs in huge schools in the pelagic zone down to about 200 m (660 ft). It spends the warmer months close to shore and near the ocean surface, appearing along the coast in spring and departing with the arrival of colder weather in the fall and winter months. During the fall and winter, it migrates out into deeper and more southern water, seeking warmer temperatures.

Atlantic mackerel are iridescent blue green on the back with a silvery white underbelly. They have 20 to 30 wavy black bars that run across the top half of their body, and a narrow dark streak that runs below these bars along each side. Their body is spindle-shaped, tapering at both ends. Their two large dorsal fins are gray or dusky. The pectoral fins are black or dusky at the base, and the tail fin is gray or dusky.

Atlantic mackerel are found on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean, including in the Baltic Sea. In the western Atlantic, they’re found from Labrador to North Carolina. Atlantic mackerel grow fast, up to 16 ½ inches and 2.2 pounds. They can live up to 20 years and are able to reproduce by the time they reach age 2 to 3.

Sexual maturity is reached at around 2 years of age, though some fish may reproduce a season earlier or a season later. Though some fish are sexually mature at 25 cm (9.8 in) in length, even by 34 cm (13 in) only about half of females will be ready to reproduce. At 37 cm (15 in), 90% of fish are capable of reproduction.[8] An Atlantic mackerel can live for up to 17 years and attain a length of 60 cm (24 in) and a weight of 3.4 kg (7.5 lb)

There are two major spawning groups of Atlantic mackerel in the western Atlantic. The southern group spawns primarily in the Mid-Atlantic Bight from April to May. The northern group spawns in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in June and July. Both groups typically spawn 10 to 30 miles off shore. In the eastern Atlantic Ocean there are three stocks differentiated by location and time at which spawning occurs, but studies have not found any distinct genetic differences between these populations. Genetic differences only start to appear at the transatlantic scale, a fact supported by a lack of migration between western and eastern Atlantic populations, whereas eastern Atlantic stocks are known to converge in certain locations like the Norwegian Sea and North Sea.

Depending on their size, females can have between 285,000 and almost 2 million eggs. They release their eggs in batches, between five and seven times throughout the spawning season. Eggs generally float in the surface water and hatch in 4 to 7 ½ days, depending on water temperature.

p>Atlantic mackerel feed heavily on crustaceans such as copepods, krill, and shrimp. They also eat squid, as well as some fish and ascidians (sac-like marine invertebrate filter feeders). Many different species of fish feed on Atlantic Mackerel

Latest Atlantic Mackerel Fishing Reports and Spots

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