News: FWC approved changes to cobia at the December Commission meeting. Changes effective Feb. 11, 2018, include:

  • Creating a Gulf/Atlantic management boundary defining all state waters north of the Monroe-Collier county line as “Gulf state waters” for purposes of managing cobia.
  • Making the recreational and commercial bag limits in Gulf state waters the same by reducing the commercial trip limit from two to one fish per person.
  • Reducing the recreational and commercial vessel limit in Gulf state waters from six to two per vessel per day.

Learn more.

Catch a tagged cobia? Learn more



Cobia: Rachycentron canadum

Florida Regulations: 


Gulf State Waters

Atlantic State Waters
Minimum Size Limit  33” fork length 
Daily Bag Limit

 1 per day or 6 per vessel, whichever is less 

(Vessel limit in Gulf state waters north of the Monroe/Collier line will be changed to 2 starting Feb. 11, 2018)


Gear Requirements:

  • Legal Gear: spears, gigs, hook and line, seine, cast net

State Waters Harvest Seasons

Habitat and Fishing Tips:

Cobia is a favorite sport fish for many shoreline and off-shore anglers because it is one of the few species that are found throughout Florida’s marine environment. Like many of the pelagic species, cobia are highly mobile but also attracted to buoys, channel markers and other floating objects where they feed on fish, crabs, shrimp and squid. Cobia prefer water temperatures above 68 degrees and migrate to the south in October to avoid cold water temperatures in the northern parts of the state. Anglers often target them visually around buoys, over grass flats and along sandy beaches. This visual targeting, and the subsequent chase, often results in “spooked” cobia that can be difficult to catch. While a hungry and “un-spooked” cobia will take almost anything, live eels, pinfish or blue runners have proven to be irresistible to even the most finicky cobia. A wide range of tackle can be used depending on the location and bait. Spinning or bait-casting tackle with 15 to 30 pound test is commonly used.         

State Record:

130 lb 1 oz, caught near Destin


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Image Credit: Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
A shrimp escapes predators by quickly pulling its abdomen in toward its carapace (body). This motion shoots it through the water backward.

Learn More at AskFWC