Cobia can be harvested year round on the Florida Gulf Coast. Over the past
five years the population of Cobia has been vigorously studied and has been found
to be on the decline. To help the cobia population and regulate the overfishing
problem, as of July 1 st , 2022 the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission have changed
the legal harvest length of cobias from 33 inches to 36 inches to the fork. FWC has
also changed the recreational and commercial vessel limit from six to 2 fish per day.
This will be executed in all state waters. These changes are necessary to ensure we
put a stop to over fishing and allow cobia populations to rebuild for future
Here on the Emerald Coast, the best time to fish for cobias is during spring.
Late March and April seem to be the prominent months for seeing fish on top. You
can often spot boats gliding up and down the east and west beach searching for a
Cobia. While schools of Cobia pass through our area on their way to the breeding
grounds, a traditional tactic to target them is sight fishing and spotting them on top
water. Once the fish is spotted the crew will seem frantic as they turn the boat
sideways and cast bait towards the fish in hopes it is feeding time. Some fish eat
right away while others take some teasing to get them to react. Bait of choice is
usually a live eel or swim bait such as a pinfish. If the fish is not interested in live
bait, a colorful cobia jig can also be a good alternative.
FUN FACTS: Cobia can grow up to 6 feet and weigh over 100 pounds. Cobias
have also been found to live up to 12 years old. They reproduce when they are
young. Female Cobias mature at age 3 while males mature at age 2.