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 Cobia or Ling
(Rachycentron canadum)


 Distribution & Size

Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) are an all year round residents of south Florida and part time residents in other states.  They migrate north in spring and return south in the fall. They are full time residents of Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor. 

They favor natural and man made submerged structures such as reefs and wrecks.  They are common in size from 20 to 50lbs and sometimes up to 80lbs and more. 

The Florida record is 114lbs 8ozs and the World record is 135lbs 9ozs.

 General Information

They are a strong but unpredictable fighter.  Usually they take of on long fast runs and fight deep with great stamina.  Some fish save there best until they are boated when they proceed to thrash the boat as best they can. So watch your legs as a nasty tail smack can hurt. 

To the UK visitor they are curiously known here as LING. The UK version bears no resemblance either in appearance, fighting or speed qualities. 

 Tackle & Bait

Surf tackle is best for pier fishing and for boats when long casting with heavy lures.   30lb line or heavier is best used.  They can also be successfully  caught by using spinning tackle, bait casting and fly tackle.  Live baitfish, shrimp, crab, squid and dead fish have been successfully employed. Cobia are found in nearshore and inshore waters with inlets and bays. Cobia are frequently found around buoys, pilings and wrecks in these areas. They spawn in spring and early summer.

 Eating Qualities

Excellent smoked or fresh.

 State Limits and Regulations

Florida State Record is 130lb 1oz caught near Destin.

Size Limit  Closed Season  Daily Rec. Bag Limit  Remarks
33" fork None 1 per harvester per day or 6 per boat per day. Must be landed whole

 
FLORIDA FISH
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