Kingfish, the common name of a number of different species of fishes, including, in particular, the king mackerel, the cero, the northern kingfish (also called northern king whiting), and the southern kingfish (southern king whiting).
The king mackerel and cero reach a length of about five feet (1.5 m) and a weight of about 100 pounds (45 kg). Both are good food fish and outstanding game fish, noted for their swift runs and magnificent leaps. They have slender, beautifully streamlined bodies, generally metallic blue-green above and silvery white below. The cero has golden spots on its sides. Both species are caught in coastal waters from Virginia to Brazil.
The northern and southern kingfish are bottom-dwelling fish that feed on shrimps, small fish, and crabs. Both are excellent food fish. The northern kingfish grows to a length of 18 inches (46 cm). It is found in coastal waters from Massachusetts to Yucatán. The southern kingfish, which reaches 15 inches (38 cm), ranges from New York to Argentina.
The king mackerel is Scomberomorus cavalla; cero, S. regalis. Both belong to the mackerel family, Scomberidae. The northern kingfish is Menticirrhus saxatilis; southern, M. americanus. They belong to the croaker family, Sciaenidae.