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Cobia

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Central Florida Cobia

Spring and Summer Fun Sightfishing Ling or Lemon Fish

Thursday April 27, 2017

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.

Remarks

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

Regulations

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

April - 2017 Fishing Report

Fishing Forecast

April - 2017 Fishing Forecast

April of 2017 should be a great spring for fishing in both inshore and offshore coastal waters of Central Florida. Look to the Mosquito Lagoon and Banana Rivers to produce redfish and sea trout consistently and then look toward the ocean and depending on the water temps, clear skies and wind the cobia will be on their way north and migrating past Canaveral towards their northern grounds on the mid-Atlantic seaboard. Central Florida's weather during the spring is usually no less than spectacular as the college spring breakers are winding up the end of their vacation and heading back to campus to finish up before summer break. Daytona Beach host several spring events from NASCAR Races, Bike Week and Spring Break activities while Cocoa Beach and it's Space Coast offer a much less crowded alternative for vacationers to seek a more secluded and restful Holiday. The temperatures are rising and the fishing should be heating up too in East Central Florida's Cocoa Beach.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
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Cocoa Beach, FL
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Inshore Charter Fishing in the Banana River Lagoon near Cocoa Beach, Florida. Catch redfish, sea trout, tarpon, snook and many other saltwater gamefish aboard the world famous Lagooner flats fishing boat with renowned Captain Richard Bradley.

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