Saltwater Fishing Charters by Lagooner Fishing Guides
Inshore Cobia Fishing
Mother & Son Team Find Big Ling on Florida's East Coast
Tuesday January 23, 2018
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.
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
Minimum size 33" to fork 1 per harvester or 6 per vessel per day, whichever is less.
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 Richard Bradley 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
Indian River Fishing Update
The Indian River Lagoon has been producing awesome mid winter fishing as we've left December of 2017 approached and are into January of 2018. Happy new years by the way and if you are planning to come down and fish for redfish and spotted sea trout you should be in for a real treat as we are looking at better year than ever for these two species of fish.
Sighfishing can be challenging with Northern winds often galing down the Indian River Lagoon preventing you from making those TV show presentations to tailing reds, but that hasn't stopped us from putting fish in the boat with more traditional methods. But the real story is that the spotted sea trout are biting great between the cold fronts and we're not talking small trout. Some are in excess of 11 pounds and one was a whopping 14 pounds recently.
Snook and tarpon are taking a break for the colder months of the year and should start to make a showing in the spring (only a couple of more months) as the temperature rises.
January - 2018 Fishing Forecast
January is a great time of year on the Banana River Lagoon as the winter has set in and the spotted sea trout a redfish are in their colder water patterns. You'll find fish in and around deeper water canals where they can sink into the stable cold water during the coldest fronts and then slip out onto the shallow flats for warmth and feeding between fronts. Typically the better fishing can be in the Thousand Island area and northward into the No Motor Zone during January. January can be one of the calmest times of the year as the winter doldrums can have crisp cold temperatures in the morning and nice balmy days by afternoon. January is why we live in Florida...
Lagooner Fishing Guides
Cocoa Beach's premier saltwater fishing guide with over 25 years of charter fishing experience in his native waters.
Cocoa Beach, FL
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Lagooner Fishing Guides Review / Facebook
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.
had a awesome day fishing, cap is very knowledgable and put us on the fish almost immediately, will definitely be back again.
Written by: Matt Fetters about Lagooner Fishing Charters on June 25, 2015
5 / 5 stars