Cobia are back on the Gulf Coast! As the water starts warming along the west coast of Florida, these pelagic fish make their way north to their traditional spawning grounds between Mobile and Tallahassee. Spring is the perfect time to target this favorite species in our area, where the water is just right for cobia and the weather is great for anglers.
Don’t Miss Spring Cobia!
Locally, we see cobia as they migrate north from their wintering grounds in the Keys to spawn in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Normally they are solitary fish, however, during the spawn you can often find them in small groups of two, three or more. When migrating, groups as large as twenty are occasionally reported.
A classic sight fishing tactic this time of year involves spotting cobia shadowing large rays right off the beach, picking off crabs and other food items startled by the rays. Look for the ray’s tell-tale shadow as they hunt the warm, shallow waters, closely followed by the sleek, dark brown cobia. As they are easily spooked, a stealthy approach and accurate casts increase your chances of a hook-up.
Big Fish, Big Fight
Found on both sides of the Atlantic, these highly desired fish are even found as far away as Australia and Japan. They are known in different locales by many names, including black kingfish, ling, black salmon, lemonfish, crabeater and prodigal son. No matter what you call them, these long, sleek fish are prized by anglers for putting up a tremendous fight and making excellent table fare.
The average size is between 20 and 40 pounds; however, it is not unusual to capture specimens well over 100 pounds. Cobia of all sizes are exceptionally strong fighters with tons of endurance. Landed just off the coast of Destin, the current Florida state record tips the scales at one ounce over 130 pounds.
While adrenaline junkies love these fish for their impressive fighting abilities, seafood lovers admire them for their firm and delicious flesh. Fresh cobia is cherished by chefs, and there are tons of flavorful recipes that are perfect for this hard-earned catch.
Book Your Trip with Intercoastal Safaris!
It can be difficult to book a charter on your own during cobia season—everyone wants to get in on the action while the fish are here. Luckily, Intercoastal Safaris has you covered! We’ll put together a one-of-a-kind adventure you’ll never forget. Keep in mind, these fish are migratory so just because you hear that they aren’t in Pensacola anymore doesn’t mean they aren’t in Orange Beach. They are forecast to be present in Alabama through the end of May in 2017. Call us today to book your Cobia fishing adventure!