|Where to find them
and how to catch them ...
(Also known as: Ling,
The Cobia is a large, long, slim
bodied fish with a broad depressed head, a
protruding lower jaw. The Cobia is overall a dark
brown color with a prominent dark lateral stripe
that runs from the eye to the tail. Its
distinguishing first dorsal fin is composed of 7 to
9 spines that are not connected by a membrane.
The Cobia is a sleek and extremely
strong fish. They range in size up to about 135
pounds. The largest Cobia ever caught in Florida USA
weighed about 104 lbs. An average size fish will
weigh 20 to 40 pounds. Cobia are found around the
world in tropic and warm temperate waters. They
migrate so their numbers will very with the seasons.
They inhabit the warm tropical waters in the winter
and move to more temperate waters in the spring,
summer and fall. They prefer water temperatures
between 68 deg.F and 86 deg. F.
Along the Atlantic Coast of
Florida, Cobia spend the winter (December – March)
in the harbors and around the wrecks and reefs of
the south Florida Keys. In late March, early April
they begin their northward migration up the Atlantic
Coast reaching Fernandina Inlet in late May, early
June. Along the Gulf Coast, Cobia inhabit the
Panhandle area in late February, early March. They
travel southward along the coast beginning in April
and peaking all along the Gulf Coast in July and
The Cobia is a powerful fish and a
thrilling catch. It is one of the most sought after
gamefish to catch. Once the fish is hooked the
thrill usually begins by lots of line coming off a
screaming reel and the inability of the angler to do
anything but hang on!
Cobia can be caught by spinning,
plug casting, bottom fishing and by trolling.
spinning and plug casting should be a medium to
medium heavy rod and reel with 12# to 20# line. Cast
lures in front of moving fish so that the lure is
reeled across the Cobia’s path. Brightly colored,
jigs Bucktail (in white, lime green, yellow) and
noisy sinking or diving plugs are popular choices
trolling or bottom fishing from boat, bridge or pier
would be a medium heavy rod and reel with 20#- to
30# line (Minimum 200yrds.) 2 – 4oz egg sinker on
line above swivel, 3’ 40#-50# shock leader with a
4/0 to 7/0 O’Shaughnessy hook. Use live grunts,
eels, pinfish, bluerunners or crabs as bait.
migrating Cobia is one if the most productive
methods for using artificial baits and lures. They
are spotted as they travel in shallow water, around
pilings, navigational markers, buoys and anchored
boats. They will also accompany other large fish and
rays. Again remember to cast ahead of the fish so to
bring the lure across its path and to work the lure
with plenty of action as the Cobia comes near.
Once you get the
Cobia to the boat, the battle may not be over.
Exhibit caution and safety when gaffing and bringing
the fish into the boat. They are a tough hard
fighting fish and have caused anglers to lose
equipment, be injured and have damaged boats. Get
the fish into the box in a controlled, smooth,
Cobia rates among the
very best in taste and texture of seafood.
Check out a Grilled
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