DID SOMEBODY SAY COBIA?
Global warming? Cyclical warming? All I know is when someone asks if I want to fish for Cobia because they've been present and biting, I can't say "let's go" fast enough. Cobia are great fighters, and great tasters, often compared to Yellowtail. It is a premium eating fish with medium to strong, pleasing flavor. When filleted, there aren't a lot of bones , and fillet "yield" is high. It is often prepared as cutlets, steaks or loins.
The Cobia is in a class by itself as it is the only member of the genus Rachycentron and the family Rachycentridae. The name is from the Greek words rhachis ("spine") and kentron ("sting"), inspired by their dorsal spines. The Cobia resembles close relative, the remora, but it lacks the Remora's dorsal sucker. The mature Cobia has a forked tail, usually dark brown. The largest cobia taken on rod and reel came from Shark Bay, Australia, and weighed 135 lbs. The largest
have measured up to 78 inches. The Cobia has an elongated body and a broad, flattened head. Their eyes are small and the lower jaw projects slightly past the upper. Fibrous teeth line the jaws, tongue, and roof of the mouth. It is dark brown in color, grading to white on the belly with two darker brown horizontal bands on the flanks. The stripes are more prominent during spawning, when they darken. The large pectoral fins are normally horizontal, sometimes resembling a shark. The first dorsal fin has six to nine short, sharp spines.
The Cobia is pelagic but solitary, except for spawning, and it favors reefs, wrecks, harbors, buoys, and other structural oases. It is typically found in warm-temperate waters of the West and East
Atlantic, throughout the Caribbean, off the coast of India, Australia, and Japan. Cobia feed primarily on crabs, squid, and fish, often scavenging the wakes of larger sharks, turtles, and manta rays. The male matures at two years and the female at three years, both leading lives of 15 years or more. The Cobia makes seasonal migrations, wintering in the Gulf of Mexico, then moving north as far as Massachusetts for the summer.
Cobia are one of the most popular fish for East Coast anglers for their size and the excitement of the catch. There are a variety of techniques used to catch them, the most common being chumming and sight fishing. Cobia start to be present when water temperature reaches about 68 degrees. The best time to sight fish for Cobia is when the sun is at its brightest. When looking for these fish on the surface it is difficult to see them early in the morning and in the evening.
The most commonly used Cobia fishing lures are bucktails. Bucktails come in many different colors and sizes. What is most important in the bucktail is the hook and size of the bucktail. Bright colors are recommended like pink, green, or orange. As for size, a 2– 3 ounce lure works for Cobia. The hook is probably the most important part to remember when choosing the right Cobia fishing lure- a strong hook is needed for these powerful fish. The best live baits are eels and croaker. These two baits are strong so they stay alive best. When using live bait it is important to make sure that your bait doesn’t die. Cobia do not react nearly as aggressively to a dead bait as a live one.