Northern Kingfish


The Northern Kingfish (Menticirrhus saxatilis) is a member of the​ drum family, Sciaenidae. This ⁤species of fish is known for‍ its distinctive dorsal fins and vertically​ oriented, dark ⁤bars along its body.

Conservation ⁢Status

The ⁤current status of the Northern Kingfish is not‌ an ⁤issue of major concern, as the population is considered stable. There is no‍ specific conservation efforts aimed at this species ‌due to its robust ⁤population and large geographical range.


Stat Average Range
Length 14 inches 10-20 inches
Weight 1.2‌ pounds 0.5-2 pounds
Life⁤ Span 4 years

These fish are considered as medium-sized among the drum family.


Northern ​Kingfish is widely distributed along the Atlantic coast of North America, from the Gulf of Maine to Florida, and into ⁢the Gulf ⁤of Mexico. These fish are ​not known to be migratory and typically stay within their home ranges.


Northern Kingfish⁢ are ​generally found ‌in shallow ⁣coastal waters, often‍ over sandy or muddy bottoms. They prefer warm waters⁤ with a temperature range between 11 and 24 degrees Celsius.

When ⁢and Where ⁢to See

The peak season for spotting Northern Kingfish is in the summer months, particularly in July ​and August. It​ is commonly ⁣seen⁢ during the day, often​ in groups or alone.

Best Fishing Locations

  • Chesapeake Bay, Virginia and Maryland
  • Delaware Bay, ‍Delaware and ​New Jersey
  • Long⁣ Island Sound, New York
  • Pamlico Sound, North Carolina
  • Tampa Bay, Florida

These locations are known for their abundant Northern Kingfish populations.

How to Catch

The Northern Kingfish is ‍typically caught using bottom fishing techniques with cut bait or shrimp. Late afternoon and night​ time are usually the⁣ best times of day to fish for⁢ this species.

Identification Guide

The Northern Kingfish is ⁣a lean fish with a‍ grayish brown body and seven distinct vertical bars. The fish ⁢has a tall, pointed first dorsal fin​ and a long ⁢second ​dorsal fin.


Northern Kingfish is a popular choice⁣ for frying and grilling⁤ due to its firm texture and ‍mild flavor. It is a⁤ good⁤ source of protein and healthy unsaturated fats.

Additional‍ Information

The Northern ​Kingfish is a bottom-dwelling species that feeds on​ small fish and crustaceans. The⁤ primary threats to ‌this species are habitat loss due to coastal development and pollution.

References and Further⁢ Reading

  • NOAA Fisheries – ⁣Northern Kingfish
  • Wikipedia – Northern Kingfish

These⁣ resources provide more extensive information on‍ the Northern ⁢Kingfish’s biology, behavior and conservation status