The king mackerel is a medium-sized fish, typically encountered from five to 14 kg (30 lb), but is known to exceed 40 kg (90 lb). The entire body is covered with very small, hardly visible, loosely attached scales. The first (spiny) dorsal fin is entirely colorless and is normally folded back into a body groove, as are the pelvic fins. The lateral line starts high on the shoulder, dips abruptly at mid-body and then continues as a wavy horizontal line to the tail. Coloration is olive on the back, fading to silver with a rosy iridescence on the sides, fading to white on the belly. Fish under 5 kg (10 lb) show yellowish-brown spots on the flanks, somewhat smaller than the spots of the Atlantic Spanish mackerel,Scomberomorus maculatus. Its cutting-edged teeth are large, uniform, closely spaced and flattened from side to side. These teeth look very similar to those of the bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix.
Adults are heavy bodied, with large mouth and razor teeth. Elongated body is greenish above but mostly silvery and unmarked, except in juveniles, which have spots.
FOOD VALUE: Depends on taste of the individual. Flesh is rich and oily. Fine broiled or smoked.
GAME QUALITIES: Kings are about as fast as Wahoo, although they seldom get that acknowledgment. Re-gardless, they are strong and sizzling fighters at any size.