Cobia

Shape

Synonyms

Ling,Rachycentron canadum

Edibility

Excellent, but may contain elevated mercury levels.

Regulations

Notice to anglers: regulations on this page are location specific. Depending on your location, you could be in multiple regulation areas. To ensure you're looking at regulations based on your current location or latitude/longitude, Download the Fish Rules App and enable location services for the best and most accurate experience.

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  • Bag Limit 1

  • Vessel Limit 6

  • Measurements Min Size: 36 in Fork Length

  • Additional Notes
    For more information on Atlantic Group cobia, see SAFMC Cobia
    Must be landed with head and fins intact.

  • Bag Limit 1

  • Vessel Limit 6

  • Measurements Min Size: 36 in Fork Length

  • Additional Notes


    Must be landed with head and fins intact.

    Commercial regulations for Atlantic Migratory Group Cobia (GA-NY)
    OPEN effective January 1, 2018.
    Minimum Size Limit: 33 inch fork length
    Trip Limit: 2 fish per person per day or 6 fish per vessel per day, whichever is more restrictive.
    Must be landed with heads and fins intact.
    Authorized gear includes automatic reel, bandit gear, hand line, rod & reel, and pelagic long-line. Drift gillnets are prohibited.
    Commercial snapper grouper vessels must have onboard NMFS approved sea turtle release gear and follow smalltooth sawfish release protocol. See the Handling and Release Protocol from NOAA Fisheries or call 727-824-5312.
    Annual Catch Limit (ACL) – This species is managed under an ACL. See current information on Commercial ACLs (quotas) from NOAA Fisheries.

    For more information, see: Cobia Commercial Regulations

  • Bag Limit 2

  • Measurements Min Size: 33 in Fork Length

  • Additional Notes
    The 2-day bag limit allowance for charter vessels and headboats does not apply to cobia. ------------------------
    Commercial Regulations
    33 inch minimum size limit (fork length) 2 per person daily bag and possession limit Drift gill nets prohibited

  • Bag Limit 2

  • Measurements Min Size: 33 in Fork Length

  • Additional Notes
    These regulations are for Federal Waters offshore of Florida, i.e., the Florida East Coast Zone. For more information, see SAFMC-cobia.

    Must be landed with head and fins intact.

    Federal regulations for cobia for Atlantic Migratory Group (Georgia to New York) are different, and can be found here SAFMC-cobia.

    Commercial regulations for South Atlantic Federal Waters off the east coast of Florida
    OPEN
    Size Limit: 33 inch fork length
    Trip Limit: 2 per person per day
    Must be landed with heads and fins intact.
    Authorized gear includes automatic reel, bandit gear, hand line, rod & reel, and pelagic long-line. Drift gillnets are prohibited.
    Commercial snapper grouper vessels must have onboard NMFS approved sea turtle release gear and follow smalltooth sawfish release protocol. See the Handling and Release Protocol from NOAA Fisheries or call 727-824-5312.
    Annual Catch Limit (ACL) – This species is managed under an ACL. See current information on Commercial ACLs (quotas) from NOAA Fisheries.

    For more information, see: Cobia Commercial Regulations

  • Gear Hook and Line Only

  • Bag Limit 1

  • Vessel Limit 6

  • Measurements Min Size: 36 in Fork Length

  • Closed Seasons from November 1st, 2018 to February 28th, 2019

  • Bag Limit 1

  • Vessel Limit 3

  • Measurements Min Size: 40 in Total Length

  • Closed Seasons from January 1st, 2018 to May 31st, 2018
    from October 1st, 2018 to May 31st, 2019

  • Bag Limit 1

  • Vessel Limit 1

  • Measurements Min Size: 36 in Fork Length

  • Closed Seasons from September 1st, 2017 to April 30th, 2018

  • License Required
    Eligible for NC Saltwater Fishing Tournament managed by Division of Marine Fisheries.

  • Additional Notes
    Cobia open for recreational harvest on May 1, 2018.

    FOR-HIRE VESSEL (May 1 — December 31) may possess one (1) cobia per person per day or four (4) cobia per vessel per day, whichever is less.

    For more information, see NC Proclamation FF-10-2018.
    NC Division of Marine Fisheries asks anglers to report the length and weight of all cobia harvested in state waters. You can report your cobia catches here: NC DMF Cobia Reporting.

  • Bag Limit 2

  • Measurements Min Size: 33 in Fork Length

  • Bag Limit 1

  • Vessel Limit 6

  • Measurements Min Size: 36 in Fork Length

  • Additional Notes
    Bag limit is 1 cobia per person per day and no more than 6 cobia per boat per day. Vessel limit decreased to 3 cobia per boat in SC state waters south of 032° 31.0 N latitude (Jeremy Inlet, Edisto Island).
    For more info, see SC DNR Saltwater Regs.
    In South Carolina state waters may only be taken by rod & reel and gig.

  • Bag Limit 1

  • Vessel Limit 3

  • Measurements Min Size: 40 in Total Length

  • Closed Seasons from October 1st, 2018 to May 31st, 2019

  • Snagging Permitted

  • License Required
    Recreational Cobia Permit

  • Additional Notes
    Gaffing is now allowed to land a cobia while fishing recreationally.

    Only one fish per vessel per day may be greater than 50 inches in total length.

    All anglers, captains, and guides fishing for cobia must obtain a Recreational Cobia Permit from the Commission and report all harvest and cobia fishing activity. Permits can be obtained at an MRC Licensing Agent or online at VMRC Recreational Permit Application. Reporting can be done online through the Saltwater Journal or using forms provided by the VMRC.

    Any cobia caught after the possession limit has been reached shall be returned to the water immediately.

    Citation 55 lbs or 50 inches

  • Bag Limit 2

  • Measurements Min Size: 37 in Total Length

  • Additional Notes
    Open season all year.

  • Bag Limit 1

  • Vessel Limit 3

  • Measurements Min Size: 40 in Total Length

  • Closed Seasons from October 1st, 2018 to May 31st, 2019

  • License Required
    All saltwater anglers must register with the NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. To register, visit http://www.saltwaterregistry.nj.gov

  • Bag Limit 2

  • Measurements Min Size: 33 in Fork Length

  • License Required
    Recreational Offshore Landing Permit

  • Additional Notes

    Recreational anglers and charter captains are required to obtain a free Recreational Offshore Landing Permit to possess snapper, grouper, hind, tunas, billfish, swordfish, amberjacks, cobia, wahoo and dolphin. Anglers may register for or renew their permit at Recreational Offshore Landing Permit. Minors (under 16) are not required to obtain a recreational offshore landing permit. Angling customers on a paid-for-hire charter trip ALSO do not need a permit.

  • Bag Limit 2

  • Measurements Min Size: 37 in Total Length

  • Snagging Prohibited

  • Additional Notes
    Hook and line only.

  • Bag Limit 1

  • Vessel Limit 6

  • Measurements Min Size: 33 in Fork Length

  • Bag Limit 2

  • Measurements Min Size: 33 in Fork Length

  • Bag Limit 1

  • Vessel Limit 2

  • Measurements Min Size: 33 in Fork Length

  • Additional Notes
    Effective Feb. 1, 2018, cobia regulations are changing in FL Gulf State Waters north of Monroe County. The recreational and commercial vessel limit is reduced from six to two cobia per vessel per day.
    For more info, see MYFWC Cobia.

  • Bag Limit 1

  • Vessel Limit 6

  • Measurements Min Size: 33 in Fork Length

  • Additional Notes
    Effective Feb. 11, 2018, cobia regulations changed in FL Gulf State Waters north of Monroe County. The recreational and commercial vessel limit is reduced from six to two cobia per vessel per day. The Atlantic vessel limit of 6 cobia applies in Monroe County Gulf State Waters.
    For more info, see MYFWC Cobia.

  • Gigging Prohibited

  • Additional Notes
    Hunting, trapping, netting, capture, or removal of any fish, turtle, crawfish, conch, whelk, or any marine and/or fisheries resource is prohibited. You are within a National Park managed by the Bahamas National Trust. Please contact 242-393-11317 for more information.

  • Bag Limit 1

  • Vessel Limit 3

  • Measurements Min Size: 36 in Fork Length

  • Closed Seasons from May 1st, 2018 to May 31st, 2018
    from May 1st, 2019 to May 31st, 2019

  • Additional Notes

    Cobia are closed to harvest May 1 to May 31 in state waters south of 032° 31.0 N latitude (Jeremy Inlet, Edisto Island).
    In South Carolina State Waters north of 032° 31.0 N latitude (Jeremy Inlet, Edisto Island) bag limit is 1 cobia per person per day and no more than 6 per boat per day.
    In SC state waters Cobia may only be taken by rod & reel and gig.
    For more information, see SC Saltwater Regs.

For a list of official country and state regulations, visit here