HomeBlogKing Mackerel (surmai): The King Fish Of The Pakistan Ocean

King Mackerel (surmai): The King Fish Of The Pakistan Ocean

The kingfish, also known as Scomberomorus cavalla surmayi, is a migratory mackerel species in the Gulf of Mexico and the western Atlantic Ocean. This species is significant to the commercial and recreational fishing sectors.

A fish of medium size, king mackerel can weigh anywhere from 5 kg (11 lb) to 14 kg (30 lb), though it has been known to weigh as much as 40 kg (90 lb). Very tiny, barely perceptible, loosely attached scales cover the entire body. The pelvic fins and the first (spiny) dorsal fin are typically folded back into a body groove. Both fins are entirely colorless. Starting high on the shoulder and dipping sharply at mid-body, the lateral line carries on as a wavy horizontal line to the tail. The back has an olive coloration that fades to silver, the sides have a rosy iridescence, and the belly is white.



















S. cavalla

Habitat and Prevalence of King Mackerel

The king mackerel is a subtropical species found along the Atlantic Coast of the Americas. Typically located along the coast from North Carolina to Brazil, it can also be found on the Eastern coast of India, in the Bay of Bengal, in the Indian Ocean, and on the Western coast of India in the Arabian Sea. It also occurs occasionally as far north as the Gulf of Maine. However, a preference for water temperatures between 20 and 29 °C (68 and 84 °F) might restrict dispersion.

Patterns of Migration of king Mackerel

King mackerel migrate in response to food availability and seasonal variations in water temperature. Swimming in big schools, they migrate in summer to the northern part of their range and winter to the southern part. Between November and March, a region of Monroe County, Florida, south of the Florida Keys, serves as a winter mixing zone for the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico stocks.


According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, king mackerel is one of four fishes, along with swordfish, shark, and tilefish that children and pregnant women should avoid due to high levels of methyl mercury found in these fish and the consequent risk of mercury poisoning.

Past life Circumstances of King Mackerel

The union of sperm and eggs is accidental; they are released into the sea. Depending on size, a female may shed anywhere from 50,000 to several million eggs throughout the spawning season. In roughly a day, fertilized eggs hatch. A sizable yolk sack surrounds the approximately 2.5 mm (0.098 in) long newly hatched larva. Not much is known about king mackerel during their first year of life. Yearling fish’s average weight and fork length are 60 cm (24 in) and 1.4–1.8 kg (3.1–4.0 lb). At seven years old, males weigh 5 kg (11 lb), and females weigh 10 kg (22 lb). A king mackerel up to 40 kg (88 lb) is possible, but anything over 7 kg (15 lb) is most likely female.

Feeding Behaviours of Surmai Fish

Appropriate and carnivorous, king mackerel are voracious eaters. Their size determines what they prey on. They prefer the following species, depending on the region and time of year: grunts (Haemulidae), striped anchovies (Engraulidae), cigar minnows, threadfin, northern mackerel, jacks (Carangidae), cutlassfish (Trichiuridae), squid, menhaden, and other sardine-like fish (Clupeidae). They do not attack people; instead, they will bite to protect themselves from perceived threats, such as people flailing or thrashing in man-overboard and similar situations


King mackerel ranks among the most sought-after gamefish throughout their range, which stretches from North Carolina to Texas.
  • In the sport fishing world, king mackerel are renowned for their lightning-fast runs, matching the speed of their distant relative, the wahoo.
  • The primary method of catching them is trolling, which involves spoons, jigs, live and dead baitfish, and other artificial lures.
  • Run-around gill nets make up commercial gear. Commercial anglers also use large planers, heavy tackle, and lures akin to those sport anglers use to catch them while trolling.
  • Usually, a strong metal leader is tied to two hooks when using live bait. The first is hooked through the mouth or nose of the live bait and can be a single or treble.
  • The second hook, also known as the treble hook, is either left free to swing or inserted through the top of the fish’s back. King mackerel frequently bite the tail portion of a bait fish, so this has to be done.
  • Ensuring the baitfish swims correctly is critical when using this technique to troll for kings. Typical tackle consists of a 2 m (6 ft 7 in), 13 kg (29 lb) class rod and a conventional or spinning reel that can hold 340 m (370 yd) of 13 kg (29 lb) test monofilament.
  • Due to this species’ popularity as a sport fish, numerous organizations have successfully promoted tournament events. The most well-known are the Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) and the FLW Outdoors tour. Multiple print and online outdoor publications have coverage of these events.

Surmai Fish as Food

King mackerel has mainly been sold fresh as of 2005. They can be sold whole, as fillets, or as steaks. Due to the high-fat content, their raw flesh has a greyish color. The best ways to prepare them are by grilling, frying, baking, or smoking—especially for big “smoker” kings.

Types of Surmai fish

1. Jack mackerel

The Pacific Jack Mackerel is a popular dish in Japan, but the US has not yet seen the same popularity. It is a good substitute for salmon because it is said to contain the same amount of omega-3 fats. The Pacific Jack Mackerel tastes especially good when it’s fresh.

2. Spanish Mackerel

Particularly delicious to eat, Spanish mackerel yields a visually appealing cutlet the size of a plate or a nearly boneless fillet. You can grill, bake, poach, marinate, smoke, and barbecue mackerel. Some think mackerel makes the best barbecue fish in Asia and the South Pacific.

3. King Mackerel

King mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) are kings, kingfish, cavalla, carite, or sierra. They are in the family Scombridae, which also includes tunas and bonitos. The king mackerel has a streamlined body, with a tapered head and tiny scales that cover the entire body except the pectoral fins.

4. Atlantic Mackerel

Small and common forage fish found throughout the Northern Atlantic are called Atlantic mackerel. For hundreds of years, they have been fished for sport, for profit, and by indigenous fisheries. Because this species migrates inshore each year, it is relatively easy to catch.

5. Atlantic Horse Mackerel

The Old Dutch word Horsmakreel is where the common name “horse mackerel” originates. This refers to a mackerel spawning on a “horse,” a bank, or a shallow section of the sea. The fish was given the name “horse mackerel” by the English.


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