Cobia's brute strength, dogged fighting style and delicious flavor makes them a top target of coastal anglers.
A pelagic species most often found in open, warm-temperate to tropical waters of the western and eastern Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific coast of Japan, cobia make long seasonal migrations. Many winter in the Gulf of Mexico and travel up the eastern seabord, as far as Massachusetts, for the summer.
They have a life span of 15 years or more, and grow as long as 78 inches and as heavy as 172 pounds. Except for their large, offshore spawning aggregations from April to September, cobia are usually solitary, but sometimes gather at certain reefs, wrecks, or buoys, or enter estuaries and patrol sandbars and mangrove shorelines in search of prey.
Known also as ling or lemonfish, cobia are scavengers known to follow sharks, turtles, and rays. They show a predilection for eels, but feed primarily on crabs, squid, and a variety of baitfish. Very curious by nature, cobia frequently show little fear of boats. Their brute strength, dogged fighting style and delicious flavor makes them a top target of coastal anglers.