Are you ready to reel in the most exciting catch of your life?
Look no further than the mighty Cobia – the king of East Coast fish. These beauties aren’t just big, they are full of surprises with a multitude of techniques to snag them. And if you’re sight fishing, the perfect time to strike is when the sun is shining at its brightest. The largest cobia taken on rod and reel came from Shark Bay, Australia, and weighed 135 lbs!
Identifying and Sighting Cobia:
Attaining a maximum length of 78″ and a maximum weight of 172 lbs., the cobia has an elongated, spindle-shaped body and flattened head. The body of the fish is smooth, dark brown in color, grading to white on the belly. Two darker brown horizontal stripes appear more prominently during spawning.
The large pectoral fins protrude horizontally, perhaps helping the fish attain the profile of a shark. The first dorsal fin has short, sharp spines. The cobia resembles its close relatives, the remoras, but lacks the remora’s dorsal sucker and has a stouter body. It follows larger animals such as sharks, turtles, and manta rays to scavenge.
It is a very curious fish, showing little fear of boats.
Most of the time, they put up a tackle-busting battle, but will often swim right up to the boat, with or without a hook in them. Once they know the hook is there, watch out! You’re in for a battle.
Many times, you will have them swimming around the boat and they will not touch a bait, making you want to pull your hair out. One thing everyone agrees on — the flesh is delicious. Cobia is a very firm fish that lends itself well to the grill. It’s also delicious in any way that you prefer to prepare it. So, all in all, cobia offers excellent game fishing and even better eating.
Harvested Under U.S. regulations, wild-caught cobia can be responsibly and sustainably managed. Please help this great species: take only what you need and can use…and let the rest go, so we can rebuild this important fishery.
By Captain Miles Altman, Bayrunner Fishing Charters