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Central Florida Cobia

Spring and Summer Fun Sightfishing Ling or Lemon Fish

Friday June 22, 2018

East Central Florida is the epicenter for cobia fishing in Florida, especially during the spring migration usually starting in March/April time period. Anywhere from Fort Pierce and upwards toward New Smyrna centering around Cape Canaveral and Sebastian Inlet, cobia are often abundant all year around, but most frequently are sought after when the waters seek 70°'s during the spring warm up period. Cobia will continue northward and many will end their trek at the Chesapeak Bay near Virginia Beach.

When cobia aren't migrating, many stop off or reside in the Central Florida area permanently as they find food and climate suitable for their requirements. Cobia will slip offshore towards the gulf stream during the winter or reside on deep wrecks and structure to wait for conditions to improve for them to move nearer to the coastline and along the beaches of Brevard County and the Central Florida coastline.

How to fish for cobia

Anglers sightfish for cobia during the peak of their run, looking for manta-rays, turtles or schooling fish moving along the surface where the bait of choice is often a jig on spinning equipment of simply a live finfish. Cobia aren't the most finicky of fish when it comes to eating, but anglers are known to favor eels, shrimp and crabs to entice them when they become less receptive. A tower is often used to see further beyond the normal eye or sea level and anglers have been known to put ladders or stand on coolers and other higher platforms to see farther. One angler explained... "I'd wear my wife's high heel shoes to see farther during cobia season." and I believe it when I see some of the contraptions that enthusiast put on their boats at this time of year.

Other ways to catch cobia are far less exciting, but often productive is to live bait over structure all year long and between cold fronts over wrecks and reefs during the winter months. Downriggers are probably an important piece of equipment for many anglers, but many cobia will come to the surface to eat a lively bait.

Cobia are hard fighting, heavy fish that never seem to give up the battle even after they're boated. Average size of this fish seems to be over 25 lbs with 35-40 lbs not uncommon. Brown to black colored with no teeth, short spikes on their backs and plenty of "BIG FISH" attitude. Cobia are often mistaken by anglers for sharks and can be seen freely swimming near the surface near flotsam or structure. For the most part cobia are dark brown but can have some color fluctuation due to genetics or habitat.

Both INSHORE and NEARSHORE inhabiting inlets, bays, and among mangroves; frequently seen around buoys, pilings, and wrecks. During the spring and fall migrations they can often be seen free swimming along the coastline.

We often find cobia swimming near the surface near floating sargassum seaweed or flotsam. Prior to the 1980's cobia would frequent navigation aids but this has become less of a habit due to angling pressure.

One of the preferred ways to catch cobia consistently is to simply bottom fish near wrecks and structure. Cobia respond well to live bait and find comfort and food source near large bottom structure.

As a note you should always look around large marinelife for swimming cobia. Large sharks, manta rays, whales and turtles can often hold cobia that relate to them as traveling companions or hitchhikers.


spawns in spring and early summer; feeds on crabs, squid, and small fish. Target this fish in early spring or late winter (feb-april). Cobia are often seasonal so make your reservations during this time of year.

Cobia Fishing Information & Photos

Port Canaveral Cobia
Family Cobia Fishing
Cobia with Manta Rays
Offshore Cobia
Schooling Cobia Offshore
Site Fishing Cobia
Inshore Cobia Fishing
Central Florida Cobia
Cobia Captain Charters
Cobia Fishing


Minimum size 33" to fork 1 per harvester or 6 per vessel per day, whichever is less.

State Record

103 lbs., 12 ozs.

Cobia Fishing in Central Florida

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: December 01 2016 13:55:24.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

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Fishing Reports

June - 2018 Fishing Report

Fishing Forecast

June - 2018 Fishing Forecast

June of 2018 is looking to be a hot summer with hot fishing off of East Central Florida near Cocoa Beach. Orlando visitors should anticipate the warm weather and great fishing that coastal and offshore fishing provides in the warm Atlantic Ocean this time of year. Last year in 2017 we saw many tarpon exceeding 100 pounds caught off the Brevard County beaches along with a good amount of sharks, king mackerel and really big Jack Crevelle that kept things interesting. Looking forward to this year's forecast on the Space Coast remember that the coastal waters along the Atlantic seaboard and Ocean will probably be the most productive fishing during the month of June and as we look in to August the ocean will look to be the most inviting destination for anglers in the heat of the Central Florida Summer.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
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