Scomber Japonicus



Onshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef

2 - 4 pounds

8" - 25"

Chub Mackerel

Also Known As: Pacific Chub Mackerel, American Mackerel, Blue Mackerel, Greenback Mackerel, Green Racer, Greenies, Pacific Mackerel, Striped Mackerel, Zebra Mackerel, Macarelal, Hardhead

Guides Who Fish This Species

Chub Mackerel (Scomber Japonicus) Fish Description

The chub mackerel has an elongated and oval-shaped body that tapers at the ends. It has a pointy, small head with a big mouth that has a pronounced lower jaw. It’s generally dark blue and its dorsal color is light green with around 30 blue wavy or zigzagging lines. The underside is silver-yellow to silver-green, with dusky splotches.

It has 2 dorsal fins that are divided, and the space separating them is shorter or equal to the base of the first dorsal fin. They have small scales, which are more prominent around the pectoral fins. The caudal fin is dark gray to black and distinctly forked.  

This species is similar to the blue mackerel (Scomber australasicus) and the Atlantic chub mackerel (Scomber colias), but the latter should not be confused with the Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus). The chub mackerel can be determined by the 4-6 finlets on the back and the presence of a swim bladder attached to their esophagus. 



When it’s still in the larvae stage, the chub mackerel feeds on copepods and rotifers (wheel animals) but shifts to zooplankton when it’s a juvenile. Adults feed at night in open waters on small shrimps, amphipods, salps, larvacea, and krill. It’s been known to feed on its own young and that of other fish such as anchovies, sardines, and small herring



The chub mackerel is a small fish 8-14 inches in length on average. It’s been reported to grow up to 25 inches and weigh 6 lbs. The IGFA All-Tackle world record