Commercial Regulations for Cobia

News: FWC discussing changes to cobia at the December Commission meeting. Potential changes, if approved, would 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.


Cobia: Rachycentron canadum

Commercial Regulations: 

RegulationsGulf State WatersAtlantic State Waters 

Minimum Size Limit

 33” fork length

Daily Bag Limit

 2 fish per person per day, maximum 6 per vessel 


License Requirements: Not a Mobile-Enabled Link Saltwater Products Licsense (SPL), Restricted Species Endorsement (RS)


Gear Requirements:

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

Habitat and Fishing Tips:

Often mistaken for a shark or shark sucker, the cobia species is dark brown with a single dorsal fin and occasionally found tagging along with sharks, rays and turtles. Young cobia are more active than adults and are colored conspicuously with alternating black and white horizontal stripes with splotches of bronze, orange and green. 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 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.    

Image Credit: Diane Rome Peebles


FWC Facts:
To receive a no-cost Resident Disabled Person's Hunting and Fishing License, applicants must provide proof of being totally and permanently disabled.

Learn More at AskFWC