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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

11/21/2023 - 11/21/2023 8:34:04 PM

Reports of just a couple puppy drum caught on ramp 44 today. Some black drum down at ramp 55. Scattered reports of sea mullet up and down the b (View)

TW’S DAILY FISHING REPORT - 11/21/2023 4:15:01 PM

Tuesday November 21 2023 Fishing Report It’s been a fun start to the holiday week! We’re so happy to see so many return customers here for the w (View)

Hatteras Island Fishing Report - 11/13/2023 11:29:08 PM

The high was 59 while the low was 43 with gentle winds. Gusts up to 30mph today. Currently it’s 43 feels like 39 with W winds around 4mph. Tomo (View)

Hatteras Island Fishing Report - 11/6/2023 10:22:10 PM

The high was 72 while the low was 55 with light to gentle winds. Gusts up to 18mph today. Currently it’s 55 with E winds around 3mph. Tomorrow’ (View)

TW’S DAILY FISHING REPORT - 10/29/2023 4:13:26 PM

Sunday October 29 2023 Fishing Report We had high hopes with the Full Moon this weekend and we weren’t let down! There’s been a nice run of Blue (View)

Hatteras Island Fishing Report - 10/27/2023 10:18:11 PM

The high was 75 while the low was 58 with light winds. Gusts up to 13mph today. Currently it’s 69 feels like 71 with SW winds around 7mph. Tomo (View)

TW’S DAILY FISHING REPORT - 10/24/2023 3:37:52 PM

Tuesday October 24 2023 Fishing Report Fall fishing might just be our favorite! The Speckled Trout Drum and Bluefish fishing has been We’ve gott (View)

TW’S DAILY FISHING REPORT - 10/16/2023 12:39:00 PM

Monday October 16 2023 Fishing Report Fishing has been hit or miss lately but when they’re bitin’ we’re catchin!!! The piers had some really goo (View)

09/07/2023 - 9/7/2023 9:44:17 PM

Spanish blues and drum caught at the point today. Ramp 43 had some sea mullet and drum. Ramp 38 had a report of pompano. Have a great night………… (View)

Outer Banks Fishing Report 8/25/23 - 8/25/2023 12:45:49 PM

Outer Banks Fishing Report: on the beaches we have been catching spot croakers sea mullet bluefish and a few red drum. Picture of Joey with a 1 (View)