Friday, April 22, 2011
Cobia is a popular fish here in the South, as it is in other places around the world. Along the Atlantic, the fish is called cobia, but in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s usually referred to as ling. Cobia are very aggressive feeders and will strike most anything when they’re in the feeding mode. This includes mullet and other small fish, shrimp, crabs, and a variety of artificial baits. Cobia will even hit small hardhead catfish – and you thought those hardheads weren’t good for anything! See? You just never know what kind of fishing tips you'll get here for Florida fishing.
In clear water, like in the Gulf, cobia can often be seen, so sight casting is possible. Sometimes cobia can be viewed swimming with stingrays, and oftentimes cobia will hang out in pairs. Cobia also like staying close to buoys and any type of floating debris, so remember this when cobia fishing.
From my experience, the best way to catch cobia or ling is to freeline a live pinfish or mullet. If you see a cobia, toss the live bait in front of it. If cobia are hanging deep, toss your bait out and let it sink to the bottom, then retrieve it with a series of jerks. Some old salts say they can “call cobia up” by making noise. They do this by slapping the water, imitating the sound of a wounded, struggling fish.
Cobia is excellent on the table and performs well in a variety of fish recipes. I especially like baked cobia recipes. The flesh is white, mild tasting, and firm. Below is an easy baked cobia recipe:
Easy Baked Cobia recipe
4 serving-size cobia fillets, about ¾-inch thick
Heavy aluminum foil 4 squares
4 teaspoons melted butter
4 tablespoons white wine
4 small sprigs fresh dill
Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: Rinse cobia fillets and pat dry. Place each fillet in center of foil squares.
Drizzle melted butter over fish. Add white wine and dill.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Close foil packs tightly and place them on a cookie sheet or baking pan.
Bake cobia packets at 450 degrees for about 13 minutes. Wait 5 minutes before opening pouches.