Cobia Fishing Tampa Bay

Cobia are caught year round here in Florida. The fish’s size ranges from 5-80 lbs. The best months to fish for cobia would be November through February with the best month being January. The cobia here stack up in a local power plant’s warm water discharge during the coldest months of the year. Both Redfish fishing and Cobia fishing can be very exciting because the majority of fish are caught by first sighting them and them casting to them. Cobia like to catch a ride with other creatures in the sea. You will often see them riding just above the backs of large sting rays and manatees. They swim along the tops of these waiting for small crabs and other baitfish to be flushed out by the flaps of the rays’ wings or the manatees’ tail. Cobia are usually very willing to bite just about any kind of bait or lure so long as you get it in front of him so that he may see it. One of my best days cobia fishing last year resulted in over two dozen cobia being caught with the largest fish weighing over 50 lbs.

A day of cobia fishing starts by motoring out to the warm water discharge of a local power plant. I will be perched up top in my tower with polarized sunglasses on to enable me to spot the cruising eagle rays that the cobia love to hang out with. Upon spotting a ray I then look to see if there is a cobia with it. If so, I will bait a 8 ft. spinning rod spooled with 10 lb. test line with a ½ ounce jig head and a live shrimp. I will then have you cast the jig out in front of the oncoming cobia and retrieve directly across his path. When the cobia sees the bait he will immediately strike it and the fight will be on. Cobia usually do not leap from the water but if you are lucky yours may. They will however, pull lots of drag and fight very hard to the end. Landing a cobia usually involves bringing the fish up to the boat several times and then watching it scream away several times. After this give and take battle the fish will eventually succumb and come along side the boat to be gaffed if you wish to try some of this delicious eating fish. If not, photos will be made and celebrations will start and the fish will be released to thrill someone another day.

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