Cobia Fishing in Florida: An Angler's Guide

Studying Time: 6 minutes

So that you wish to go Cobia fishing in Florida. Good selection! These fish are an awesome goal for various causes. Initially, they’re pretty straightforward to catch, which means they’re an acceptable goal for each novices and knowledgeable anglers. And secondly, they style nice and there are many them. This makes Cobia a scrumptious, wholesome, and sustainable meals alternative. 

Cobia are additionally straightforward to establish, though you may mistake them for small Sharks at first look. Nonetheless, other than sharing horizontal pectoral fins and related colorations, the 2 aren’t associated. In truth, Cobia are one of some fish that don’t have any shut family in any respect! They’re solitary swimmers, however you’ll discover them in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide – together with most of Florida.

On this weblog, we’ll spotlight a number of the greatest locations to hook Cobia within the “Sunshine State,” how one can land your subsequent prized catch, and few guidelines and laws to remember. Let’s dive in!

The place do Cobia hang around and what do they eat?

Cobia feed on a weight loss program consisting of Blue Crabs, Stingrays, and bait fish together with pinfish and eel. This protein-rich weight loss program performs an enormous half in why Cobia develop so quick. In some instances, fish will measure over 40 inches in simply two years.

Their weight loss program additionally tells us lots about the place we will discover them. Cobia are very aggressive eaters so that you’ll typically discover them round constructions that maintain a variety of bait fish. These could possibly be buoys, navigational markers, or each nearshore and offshore reefs and wrecks. To sum it up, any massive construction the place bait fish collect is normally an excellent place to forged a line.

The place in Florida can I fish for Cobia?

The brief reply is, just about all over the place! Cobia are heat water fish, so that you’ll discover them year-round within the south of Florida. Should you’re fishing the Atlantic coast, nevertheless, there are some migration patterns it is best to take into account. Under, we’ll get into the specifics.

  • The Keys: That is the place these Atlantic Coast Cobia hang around throughout the winter. You’ll discover them in nice numbers round Key West Harbor and the encompassing wrecks from December–April.
  • Atlantic Coast: Come late March, Cobia begin to make their means away from the Keys and up the coast. They’ll hit Daytona Seaside first, earlier than shifting north in the direction of Jacksonville. By June, Cobia fishing in Florida’s northernmost coastal cities hits its peak.
  • Gulf of Mexico: You’ll discover Cobia within the Gulf year-round, however there are two peak seasons to concentrate on. The offshore waters across the Panhandle are brimming with fish in early spring, whereas the nearshore waters alongside the Gulf’s complete coast are greatest in summer time.
  • Sandbars: Should you’re searching for inshore Cobia fishing motion, hit the sandbars round Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor in spring. Migrating Cobia make a implausible run alongside the seashores, creating wonderful alternatives for fly anglers and sight fishers.

How can I hook Cobia?

Now that you understand the place to search for your prized fish, it’s time to safe a hook up. We’ll cowl the totally different methods you should utilize, what gear you want, and the right way to seal the deal after you’ve gotten a chew.

Spinning and Casting

One of many causes Cobia fishing is so accessible lies within the truth you don’t want an advanced arrange. Conventional spinning deal with is arguably essentially the most environment friendly solution to land fish. Should you’re simply getting began, gear up with a 7’ medium weight spinning rod. After you’ve been out a couple of occasions, you possibly can stage as much as a heavier rod and discover deeper waters. 

Casting for Cobia can be an effective way to check out your mild deal with expertise – particularly throughout migration intervals. The fish swim very near the floor presently, and sight casting turns into the secret. 

The subsequent belongings you’ll have to take into consideration are bait and lures. Like we talked about earlier, Cobia prefer to feed on Blue Crabs and bait fish like eel. As such, you’ll have most luck utilizing these as reside bait. Should you’d want to make use of synthetic lures, go for bucktail jigs in contrasting colours, diving plugs in pure bait fish colours, or Texas-rigged plastic eels and worms.

When you don’t essentially want a ship to go spin fishing for Cobia, it’ll make issues simpler. You’ll have simpler entry to the constructions they like to hang around round, in addition to deeper waters. These fish are voracious feeders and whereas they latch on to absolutely anything, take care with the way you current your bait. Goal proper in entrance of your goal’s nostril for essentially the most success.

Fly Fishing

Should you’re searching for extra of a problem, you possibly can strive fly fishing for Cobia. This technique will solely work when the Cobia are inshore and near the floor. This normally occurs in spring, proper across the time when the fish are spawning. Consider it as nice apply for the upcoming summer time Tarpon season!

Should you’re aboard a ship, minimize the motor and drift over to any constructions like bridge pilings or channel markers. Gear up with a ten–12 wt rod and Deceiver flies and forged in the direction of your sighted Cobia. One other technique you possibly can strive is casting at an already-hooked Cobia. This commotion will arouse different fish close by, upping your possibilities of a double chew.

Touchdown a Cobia after You’ve Hooked It

Cobia are surprisingly sturdy and really cussed. Chances are high, your fish will attempt to make a run for it as quickly because it’s been hooked. Enable the fish to get drained by loosening the drag and persevering with your battle. As soon as the fish has drained out, you’ll get it onto the boat far more simply. Nevertheless it doesn’t finish there.

When you’ve boated your Cobia, it’ll proceed to maneuver and kick ferociously till it’s used up the final of its energy. Go away room and take care to keep away from any of your gear getting destroyed. Should you plan on holding the fish, it’s greatest to gaff it and get it into the catch field as rapidly as potential.

Anything I have to know?

The ultimate factor to take into consideration earlier than you head out to fish for Cobia in Florida is a couple of guidelines and laws. The season for these fish is open year-round and there are not any restrictions for when you may get in on the motion. This is applicable to each Gulf and Atlantic waters. There are, nevertheless, a couple of variations regarding bag and dimension limits between the 2.

Should you’re fishing in Gulf waters, the minimal dimension restrict is 33 inches. You may hold one fish per day or two fish per vessel. In Atlantic waters, the minimal dimension is identical, nevertheless, your bag limits are bigger. You may maintain onto one fish per day or six fish per vessel. These guidelines are topic to vary so keep watch over the FWC’s Cobia web page.

Cobia Fishing in Florida: Good Enjoyable for Everybody

The scrumptious taste, accessibility, and hard-fighting spirit of Cobias make them a agency favourite for anglers throughout the board. And there’s no higher place than Florida to fish for them. Obtainable year-round, throughout each the Gulf and Atlantic coast, Cobia are the fish you possibly can all the time rely on.

Have you ever ever gone Cobia fishing in Florida? What’s your most well-liked method? Tell us within the feedback under – we love to listen to from you!

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