Catching And Cooking Cobia

Among the tastier fish you can catch, Cobia can be prepared in almost any fashion.

Catching Cobia

Size and weight: Typically between 16″ and 44″, they can grow up to 75″. Cobia weigh between 7 and 35 lbs., but can reach over 150 lbs.

General Info

Cobia are a hard fish to target. Popular and sought-after as a trophy fish. Not particularly dangerous, but they are heavy. Like to move around when you land them in the boat. Cobia are sometimes called black kingfish, black salmon, ling, lemonfish, crabeater, prodigal son, codfish and black bonito.


Time of year: Most active in the cooler winter months – September through February.

Location: Look for stingrays. They love to run shallow waters, and like to swim with other species of fish. They push offshore when the water warms. 

Time of Tide: Most visible mid-day and when the sun is out.


Bait: Live bait (greenbacks, pen fish and shrimp) is good. Floating cut bait behind the boat in deep water works well.

Method: Reel and rod, with light tackle.

Cooking Cobia

Drink Pairings

Drinks: Truly pairs with any drink


Deliciousness: 10 out of 10.

Flavor: Very moist, flaky fish. White with no aftertaste. Similar to Snook.


Strike (knife) behind the gill plate, go down along the backbone. You get two filets. Skin both filets.

De-gutting: De-gutting is not necessary if you are cutting fillets – simply cut around the fish guts. 

De-blooding: Spanish Mackerel, Redfish, Grouper and Sharks are typically de-blooded.

De-veining: Is recommended for larger fish, including Spanish Mackerel, Redfish, and Sharks.


Methods: Cobia can be prepared almost any way.

Dishes: Cobia is appropriate for any dish with fish in it (see below).  

Traditions: Cobia is appropriate for all the cooking traditions listed below.

Suggested Dishes

No need to complicate things. Baked in a standard fashion, with greens and potatoes, Cobia is delicious.

Cooking Fish, Generally

Traditions: Plain, Upscale, Southern, Creole, Cajun, Western, Southwestern

Cooking Methods

Sautéed (blackened): use a high-temperature oil with minimal flavor. Avocado, grapeseed, linseed, sunflower, safflower. 

Deep Frying: use similar oil to sautéed, but more of it. 

Baking: Method 1: Use tinfoil and leave open.  Seasoning is household seasonings. Lemon pepper and garlic. When fish is done, you’d use lemon juice and butter. Don’t add butter before the fish is cooked. Method 2: same but close foil. 

Grilling: if you want more flaky entrée, low heat. Maybe 10 minutes, both sides. Heavier texture, use a higher temperature.

Dish Descriptions

Entrée: Many people prefer blackened, filet skin on one side and leave skin on the other. 

Fish tacos: Require fileting both sides. Cube, deep fry in a batter. 

Fish soup or stew: Reheats well. A common cioppino or Cajun recipe will suffice. 

Fish salad. Deep fry to keep together, into a crisp. Cover meat halfway full with oil. Cook in a cast iron skillet. Use a Caesar dressing. 

Sides: Sweet potato, baked potato, potato wedges, brown rice, hush puppies

Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, salad, sliced tomatoes and avocado, string beans, seasoned collards, okra

Appetizers: Ceviche dip and fish cakes.


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