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Saltwater Fish - Cobia


Rachycentron canadum

AKA:  Lemonfish, ling, black bonita

Distinguishing Markings:

Long, slim fish with broad depressed head; lower jaw projects past upper jaw.  Dark lateral stripe extends through the eye to the tail. First dorsal fin has 7 to 9 free spines.  When young, has conspicuous alternating black and white horizontal stripes.



Up to 100 lbs. 20 to 25 lbs. typical, 50 lb. common



Offshore and nearshore Eastern United States.  Cobia are a migratory fish that move into warm waters during the summer.



Both inshore and nearshore, inhabiting inlets, bays, and mangroves; frequently seen around buoys, pilings, and wrecks.  They like shade and are usually found hiding under and around rigs, platforms, buoys, anchored boats and around floating debris


Food Preference:

Crabs, squid, and small fish



Spring and early summer


Fishing Tips:

Use heavy spinning/casting tackle with large plugs in blue/finishes.  White or yellow jigs are productive.  Will take live bait of crabs, flounder, shrimp, squid fished near the bottom.  Near the surface will take small fish like pogie  When hooked they become fierce fighters, taking long runs with occasional jumps.


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