South Florida Cobia Fishing

Cobia caught on a Biscayne Rod and Gaff by @gmandrish

Cobia caught on a Biscayne Rod and Gaff by @gmandrisch

South Florida’s relatively warm winter waters — with Florida Bay in particular — provide for some of the most exciting Cobia fishing opportunities in the United States.

Cobias seek out the warmer waters of South Florida and Florida Bay as their winter migration destination, resulting in concentration of schooling fish over structure and close to productive feeding grounds.  As the fish tend to move around a lot, a run-and-gun strategy can pay off, especially if the bay waters are disturbed and make it difficult to spot fish cruising along at the surface.

A good approach for locating Cobia around structure is to employ a mix of live bait, artificial, surface, and bottom presentation.  A typical set-up from a small bay or center console boat may include a live mullet, free-lined at the surface, with a live pinfish before a sinker trailing at the bottom.  While drifting the structure, two anglers can then scan the surrounding area by fishing two jigs of different weight and color; one fished bouncing off the bottom, and one covering the middle and upper water column.  If a few drifts do not produce, move on to the next spot and repeat.

A word of advice: Always have one road rigged and ready to go –whether with live bait or an artificial lure so that you can react quickly to sightings of cruising fish, often showing up unsuspected only feet away from the boat.  You may just not have enough time to reel in 50 yards of slack before the prize fish of the day disappears.

Our 20lb Legacy Light Offshore Spinning Rods paired with 20lb to 30lb mono or 50lb braid are the perfect tools of the trade, allowing precision casts yet provide the backbone needed to steer the fish away from the structure they frequent. Size up to a Legacy Light Offshore Trolling Rod of 20lb or 30lb for the bottom live bait rig, depending on the size of the expected fish and proximity to structure. Fluorocarbon leaders of 50lb to 80lb are recommended, with a length of 4′ to 6′ being just fine.

As bringing a Cobia alongside your boat is only half the battle, our lightweight 2”-3” Legacy Gaff will be a tremendous help in getting the Cobia under control at — and in — the boat.

Don’t forget to send us a photo of your cobia caught on your Biscayne Rod – we’d love to share your prize-winning catch with the Biscayne Rod family!

Cobia caught off shore in Key West by John Olivera with Second Generation Fishing Charters. Photo credit: @capt.robdelph

Cobia caught off shore in Key West by John Olivera with Second Generation Fishing Charters. Photo credit: @capt.robdelph

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