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Cobia caught on an inshore fishing trip

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Inshore Cobia Fishing

Mother & Son Team Find Big Ling on Florida's East Coast

Monday November 20, 2017

Cobia are exciting coastal game fish that live and wander both inshore and near shore on Florida's coastlines in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. These large brown fish can be found on many of the wrecks and structure near shore and are often seen free swimming or laying on the surface around bait pods or large coastal animals like sharks, manta rays or whales. It doesn't take much to attract the attention of a cobia for a loitering location, a buoy, floating trash or Sargasso seaweed can make any cobia feel like they're at home.

Cobia are aggressive feeders and excellent table fare for the seafood connoisseur, their flesh is white and tasty and is often eaten raw in the form of sashimi or sushi as fresh cobia has no fishy taste and has texture that is pleasant to the palette.

Fishing the Cobia Migration

Each year cobia migrate up and down our beaches during spring and fall as the water temperatures change during each season. During the spring cobia migrate northward as the water temperatures rise and south as the water temperatures fall accordingly. What's the right water temperature, you might ask? The experts all agree that water temps need to be at least 68 °F with 72°F being the temperature that will get them to move onward. So the "rule of thumb" being that cobia will move northward in the spring as the water approaches 68°F and continue northward as it starts to exceed 72°F. During the migration in the spring a temperature gauge is a critical fishermen's tool for spring running cobia.

Homesteading Cobia in Florida

Favorable year-around conditions can cause cobia to stay put and not migrate. It seems that inshore & near shore wrecks can hold cobia from migrating if the conditions are favorable with food and temperatures. "Cobia aren't very particular about their needs, they just want a place to hang out where the water is warm and there's plenty of food, they're into ocean loitering", explains Captain Richard of Lagooner Fishing Charters. "I've seen them swimming around the buoys inside Port Canaveral and on manta rays in the surf with less than three feet of water. Wrecks and structure attract bait and the cobia are soon to follow if the temperatures are favorable."

"Cobia aren't very particular about their needs, they just want a place to hang out where the water is warm and there's plenty of food, they're into ocean loitering"explains Captain Richard Bradley

When is the best time to catch cobia on Florida's east coast? Best bets are mid to late March, but that's entirely up to the winter water temperatures. Milder winters can cause cobia to travel north as early as January and harsh winters can push them into April or even May, but March is the target month for anglers to catch the annual spring migration, the fall migration southward is not near as dramatic.

Summer cobia fishing involves constant attention to conditions and observing structure, bait pods and other factors. Warmer water can always be inviting for the homesteading cobia during the hottest time of the year, so keep your eyes open and look for the loitering cobia off the bow or maybe swimming in the boat wake off your stern.

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 on Inshore Waters along Florida's Coastline.

Reviewed by Captain Richard Bradley on Last modified: October 27 2016 12:38:53.

Published by: Captain of Lagooner Fishing Guides©

"I've fished with Captain Richard of Lagooner Fishing Guides for years and we've never been disappointed. The very first trip with our Captain, he pulled up on a sandbar and waded my young eleven year old son toward tailing redfish in the shallow inshore waters allowing him to catch his very first redfish. Immediately afterward, Richard took us on an hour long boat ride to catch our limit in cobia in a speedy flats boat. That was one exciting day of inshore fishing I will never forget and I'm sure my son and niece will have fond memories of too. I can't wait to get back to the inshore waters on Florida's East Coast." Cindy

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Fishing Reports

November 2017
Indian River Fishing Update

It's turkey month and November of 2017 is winding up to be one of the best and productive fishing Novembers in recent years when the weather cooperates between fronts. Cold fronts and windy weather wreak havoc on the fishing but they are also what cause tremendous fishing in the milder weather between the fronts. Hey! It's Florida, how bad can a cold front be anyhow? Cold fronts set fish into their fall/winter patterns and cause them to feed strongly between the fronts as winter sets in. If it turns out to be a harsh winter look for awesome fishing between the fronts and if it's a mild winter the fishing should be consistant all winter long. So there it is your winter fishing forecast in November of 2017! Now for a more detailed look at what's been going on lately in the Indian River Lagoon.

Big redfish are roaming the flats in the Indian River Lagoon with many being caught over the twenty pound mark and a few scaling past the thirty pound mark. Between the fronts we are finding black drum on many of of the fishing holes and sandbars around the IRL. Prior to or each front when the wind starts to pick up we've been getting strong bites from keep sized redfish and brilliant colored spotted seatrout with their bright yellow mouths and speckled backs. During the fronts, fishing becomes more challenging but many of our anglers are still landing fish if they are patient and work deligently at presenting articials or particularly live baits during the waining of the fall mullet run.

November is and excellent month for fishing in the Indiand River Lagoon, but I'm also fishing many days southward toward Sebastian Inlet and Honest John's fish camp near Grant and Fellsmere. We have been doing superb snook fishing for the adventurous night anglers, landing many snook near or over the 34 inch slot limit.

Fishing Forecast

November - 2017 Fishing Forecast

Thanksgiving in Central Florida and on the Banana River Lagoon can be a great time of the year for almost all types of inshore species native to our area. Redfish, black drum and sea trout will really kick in as the month matures and will only get better as the winter deepens. Look for this fall month to produce good numbers of redfish and some spotted sea trout. If it's a very cool month, it should be better and warmer will still produce well. The nice thing about November too is that there is less fishing pressure and boaters on the lagoon. This will help with the gathering of fish in the busier parts of the lagoon and it's also a good time to have some seclusion.

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Lagooner Fishing Guides
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Inshore and Offshore Charter Fishing near Orlando and 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.

A very knowledgeable guide and knows the area waters well. We were on big reds and trout within minutes of the leaving the dock and ventured about the lagoon to catch different species. The scenery in the Lagoon is remarkable! Richard’s boat was well equipped with good equipment, he was well prepared to adapt to the different types of fishing through out the day. My primary focus was sight fishing for big reds on fly - the flies that Capt. Richard provided were right on! Booking the charter was a breeze, his wife Capt. Gina was very accommodating to work me in (thank you Capt. Gina). Capt. Richard seemed to know who was hungry at the right times – and we had some impressive catches! Well done Capt. Richard, and thanks for a great day on the water!
about Lagooner Fishing Charters on January 21, 2015

5 / 5 stars 5 star rating

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