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Spanish mackerel are a fast swimming fish that travel great distances. They are also known to school in open water but can sometimes be found in shallow areas. Spanish mackerel grow quickly, reaching lengths up to 15 inches in their first year of life. Wintering off Florida, they begin a migration North in early spring. Reaching North Carolina by April and as far as New York by June.
The stock was at low levels from the mid 80’s to the mid 90’s. Since then, the biomass has steadily increased while fishing mortality decreased. The stock is currently well above the spawning stock biomass (ssb) target. Overfishing is not occurring. In fact, the recreational release percentage in 2015 was the highest on record at 65%.