The sierra, as it is known locally, is a close relative of the king mackerel, which can be mistaken for sierra when they are young.  They can grow to around 15 pounds and favor water from 70 to almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sierra are schooling fish which frequent Acapulco Bay and the rocky shores around and adjacent to Roqueta Island at the mouth of the bay.  The sierra has teeth reminiscent of the barracuda (or northern pike in the USA) and feeds on small fish and squid.

Sierra can often be seen in fast-moving schools feeding on the surface in a similar fashion to jurel and bonito.  However, they are sometimes called the “Ghost Mackerel” for their ability to disappear whenever a boat comes near.  They will take almost any flashy artificial lure, feather or spoon.

The sierra is a very popular small game fish on light tackle.  When initially hooked they provide a very strong fight.  However, they lack the stamina of bonito and jurel and eventually can be boated quite easily.  Keeping them in the boat is another question since they seem to wake up when they hit the floor!

Sierra have a light flesh with a somewhat oily texture.  They are excellent smoked or breaded and locally are very popular as the prime ingredient in ceviche.