Exerpts from Vic Dunaway’s popular fish identification book “Sport Fish of Florida.”
OTHER NAMES: Ling, Crab Eater, Lemonfish, Bacalao
RANGE: All Florida coasts; widespread throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean, although seldom plentiful.
HABITAT: All the way from shallow inshore waters to the deep sea. Most Florida Cobia winter in the southern reaches of the state of offshore, migrating northward in the Spring to cover both coasts. Dramatic runs occur along Panhandle beaches in April. Cobia love to hang around navigation markers, wrecks and artificial reefs, where they swim both at the surface and down deep. They also escort wandering Mantas and other large rays, and many are caught around those hosts. Juveniles are frequently caught incidentally by trout fishermen over many Gulf Coast grass flats-and same big ones too.
DESCRIPTION : In the water, Cobia look very much like sharks. The usual color is brown or dark gray above, whitish on the underside, with a dark stripe running from gills to base of tail. The striped appearance is more vivid in juveniles. Several rather sharp finlets on the dorsal surface extend from behind the head to the dorsal fin.
SIZE : Common from 20 to 50 pounds; sometimes up to 80 pounds, and possibly to 100 or more. World record 135 pounds, 9 ounces; Florida record 114 pounds, 8 ounces.
This handy book features 231 species illustrated in full color and includes detailed information on ranges, habitats, game quality, food quality and record sizes. FS Products are available in our online store, or at selected retail outlets.