Cobia used to be a are catch in NY/NJ Bight, but they seem to be building up enough to become a viable target for boaters who know what to look for. Cobia are often mistaken for sharks, and tend to hang around buoys and over wrecks. They’ll hit a wide variety of lures, with a live bait being the best option Some can be very fussy, but many are quite aggressive, During one trip to a Gulf wreck out of Key West I cast a large Sekora tube at what I thought were barracuda only to realize after casting that I was about to spook cobia. After the big splash when the lure landed, I reeled it in as fast as could in order to switch lures only to find every cobia in the school fighting for that tube. I ended up catching one after another before they wised up to the giant spinning tube!
Cobia like to follow rays and sea turtles, so always check them out during the cobia season. Those fish are among the best eating in the ocean, but big ones can make a mess of your boat if dropped on the deck. Florida anglers have learned to open the fish box and swing gaffed cobia right in there before shutting the cover.
There is a minimum size of 37 inches and a two fish limit in NY, but only one at 37 inches is allowed in NJ which also allows only one per vessel.
Eric Kerber with a colorful cobia
Capt. Ron Santee said today was his best fluke trip of the season on the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands with non-stop action, plenty of limits and 5 1/4-pound pool winner.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported an “epic” action day with all you want chub mackerel. bluefish limits for many, and some sea bass and fluke. Friday’s forecast is for west winds at 5-10 knots