Pacific Mackerel 7695556998 O
45Identifcation number on The Map®

Pacific Mackerel

Scomber japonicus

Pacific MackerelKevin Lee ~


  • Elongated, silver body; back dark in shades of silvery green to blue, often with iridescent highlights; silvery sheen on sides reflects a ribbed pattern
  • About five paired dorsal and anal finlets
  • Series of numerous, dark, slightly slanting, wavy bars on back


  • Common southern and central California; occasional north to Alaska


  • Pelagic, meaning a column of water not close to the bottom or near to the shore, which represents a strata of the ocean
  • Swim in large polarized schools; occasionally mix with similar species, frequently near surface when close to shore
  • Most abundant in summer and fall


  • Larval, juvenile or small fishes appear to be the most important natural food of Pacific mackerel, but there are times when they rely heavily on small crustaceans
  • They feed upon squid to a lesser extent, and eat whatever other bite-sized organisms they may encounter

Interesting Facts

  • Wide temp tolerance, 50-72F
  • Inshore from July-November
  • Length 25 inches 11 years. Spawning April-August
  • Eggs float near the surface, hatching in 4-5 days. Mature about 3 years
  • Recreational fish