Saltwater Fishing Charters by Lagooner Fishing Guides
Inshore Cobia Fishing
Mother & Son Team Find Big Ling on Florida's East Coast
Wednesday February 10, 2016
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: December 11 2015 19:02:13.
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
Fishing in 2016 is shaping up this February in the Indian River Lagoon as we are having many days with large eight pound plus spotted sea trout and several redfish being landed. Look for the spotted sea trout bite to improve as we move toward spring and into March and April. Redfish have been our most consistant catch in the Lagoon in the last few weeks and this bite should continue into the coming weeks. Sea Trout should turn into the predominant species as they begin their spawn when the warmer spring weather arrives.
Recent catches include large "Gator" sea trout with some exceeding eight pounds and one monster that was just below eleven pounds. The large redfish are not as plentiful, but the slot sized four to eight pounders have been prevelant in the shallow water flats and in some of the deep holes along the Indian River Lagoon canals. Look for all this fishing to get better and better as the month matures.
As usuall call Captain Gina to set a date for your next fishing trip in the Indian River Lagoon.
Captain Richard Bradley
February - 2016 Fishing Forecast
Valentine fishing in February is one sweetheart of a fishing trip on the Banana River as temperatures and coldfronts make fish predictable as the weather. Coldfronts will send the sea trout to the holes and the warmth between fronts will cause them to enter the shallow water in numbers. The redfish are ever-present and there may be mixed opportunities with them, but they should be consistant. If we have a mild winter, the fishing for reds will probably be better but a harsh winter will be more challenging. On the Banana River look for redfish and large spotted sea trout and a smattering of black drum for fun. Typically the snook are a no-show and the tarpon can be in a couple of backwater locations if they feel up to it.
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 Charter Fishing in the Banana River Lagoon near 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