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Late Cobia Run

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On: Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 12:39PM | By: Lee Clymer

The Cold Winter Pushes the East Coast Cobia Run Late—This year the spring Cobia run got pushed to the summer and plenty of Cobia still abound from Ft. Pierce to Daytona. The water stayed cold well into spring and the Cobia stayed away, enjoying the warm waters of the south a bit longer that most years. The water is right in the slot now and the Cobia are still biting. Even as late as May this year, the Cobia fishing was slow, but they seem to be making up for it now.

With the oil in the gulf, the Cobia run is a perfect reason to head east (old guys like me, I’m not talking about the seventies band…stay with me here). With the almost daily southerly winds the water will continue to warm, however, and the Cobia will continue to move north. They prefer water temps at least 68 degrees and you will seldom see them in water above 85 degrees. NOAA is reporting water temps at the outer buoy to be an almost perfect 78 degrees daily. Additionally captains are reporting clear water and the ability to sight fish the Cobia.

For those of you who have never caught these tasty creatures, not only are they fun to catch, they can get really big. The Florida record is 114 pounds and the world record is 135 pounds. Even the smaller Cobia, typically in the 35–40 pound range, but almost always over twenty-five pounds, will hammer a topwater lure like a semi truck hitting a Prius. They grab and run too, spinning off line quickly.

Pull out those medium to heavy rods and reels and put on fresh #12 to #20 line. These fish will test your equipment. For that matter, they are quite capable of testing you as well.

Live bait is best for Cobia, and vary from menhaden, mullet, minnows to shrimp, crabs, and clams. Eels are hard to find, but if you can get some, Cobia think they are candy and will slurp them right up. Make sure you take that cast net with you, and try to have as large a variance in baits and lures as possible.

Although they are caught bottom fishing as well as on the top, remember on the east coast there is the Snapper ban and bottom fishing is pretty much prohibited. With the uproar from fishermen, however, there is some question as to how long the ban will be in place. It doesn’t look like the feds are going to budge much though, and it may even extend to seventy other species just so Snapper don’t accidently get caught. I believe in conservation, but I personally think that’s going a bit overboard.

There are as many recipes for Cobia as there are lures to catch them, with some even serving Cobia as sushi and sashimi, but my favorite is the old standby of grilling carefully with your favorite marinade. The sweet white meat needs to be kept moist. Since it can be eaten raw, it doesn’t have to be cooked for a long time, even with a thick steak.

So load up your gear, head to your favorite east coast port, and look for the brown bomber. Get ‘em while they're hot!


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