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Atlantic Mackerel

Duane Raver, Jr.
Open Year-Round
Size Limit
No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person
No Limit
Delaware Range
Atlantic Ocean
Abundance in Delaware Waters
General Habitat and Food Preferences
Atlantic Mackerel is an ocean schooling species traveling in schools that often contain thousands of fish.

They feed on krill, shrimps, squids, and some small fishes.
General Description
Atlantic Mackerel are iridescent blue green on the back with a silvery white underbelly.

About 20 to 30 wavy black bars run across the top half of their body forming stripes like a tiger.

Atlantic Mackerel differ from the Atlantic chub mackerel in lacking dusky spots on the bottom half of their body.
Did You Know?
Fishermen have been harvesting Atlantic Mackerel in the Northeast since colonial times. In fact, colonists of the 1600s considered Atlantic Mackerel one of their most important commodities.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Atlantic Mackerel will readily take jigs, metal lures that resemble sand eels and mackerel trees, which are comprised of a small diamond jig proceeded by multiple hooks with surgical tubing resembling worms.

Atlantic Mackerel can also be pursued with bait such as sand eels, sea worms, strips of squid, or small fish.
Typical Sizes Caught
Atlantic Mackerel are commonly caught in the range of 1 to 2 pounds by anglers.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Live Release Award
Adult: 17 inches minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 15 inches minimum

Sport Fishing Tournament Award
Adult: 2 pounds minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 1.5 pounds minimum
Delaware State Record
3 pounds 5 ounces
Ricky Yakimowicz