Cobia are found from the Carolinas to Florida and along the entire Gulf Coast. While most anglers run into cobia on accident while fishing for other fish, you can target these fish specifically and have some good results. Most of the cobia that are caught will average 5 to 20 pounds, but some do grow bigger than 100 pounds. These fish are usually caught offshore, however, in some areas cobia will migrate along the beaches and you can often find cobia following very close to manta rays.
Cobia are migratory fish that can be found inshore and offshore. Inshore, anglers find these fish in bays, rivers and along the beaches. Cobia are usually targeted inshore under rays and schools of bait fish. It is common to see cobia swimming underneath rays inshore and nearshore. Offshore, cobia can be found on reefs and wrecks, although, some cobia will be found near the surface under rays and balls of bait fish just like you see them inshore.
How to Catch Cobia
You can fish for cobia with a bottom rig or by sight fishing for them on the surface. If you find these fish feeding near the surface, there is no need for a weight. Just throw a live bait fish on a hook and let it swim freely. If the cobia is hungry, it won’t take long for them to strike the bait. The best baits to catch cobia are live baits such as crabs, shrimp, pinfish, mullet and other small bait fish. Cobia aren’t too picky when it comes to eating, so most bait fish will work for cobia.
Cobia taste excellent and there are many recipes that you can find to prepare your catch.
Cobia Fishing Basics
- Inshore Fishing for Cobia
- Offshore Fishing for Cobia
- Cobia Fishing at Night
- Migrating Cobia
- Spawning Cobia
Cobia will eat a variety of live baits from blue runner to hardhead catfish. Below are some of the best live baits that are used for catching cobia.
- Blue Runner
- Bonito (Bonito fillets also work well)
- Glass Minnows (Anchovies)
- Little Tunny
Below are some of the popular fishing rigs for catching cobia with lures or live bait.