Ah, spring — when a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of cobia (OK, so technically it’s not spring yet, but work with me here). My point is that the cobia have already been making a showing, which is good news. The better news is that they’ll be with us all summer long. With ling, being prepared makes all the difference, so I want to explain the basics now — that way, when you run into one, you’ll be ready.
So far, the fish seem to be running small. Most will be in the 28- to 34-inch range, though a handful have been bigger. Over the next few weeks, expect to see more and bigger fish. 40-pounders are not uncommon, and fish up to 60 pounds are a realistic possibility. Right now the best places to look for a cobia are the Alligator Creek and Cape Haze artificial reefs, Marker 1 and the outside bar on the east and west walls. Once we get into April, the mudflat from Port Charlotte Beach to the U.S. 41 bridges will start to host some fish, giving shore-based anglers a better shot at them, and they’ll hang around there through the hot months.
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