Ling, lemonfish, crab eater
Often confused for sharks in the wild, cobia have a torpedo shape with a broad, slightly flattened head. They have dark brown backs and a white belly. Juveniles have broad horizontal white stripes that typically fade over time. Some adults have lighter brown stripes along their midlines. Their lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw. Cobia can grow to 6 feet and 100 pounds. Juvenille cobia are often confuesd with remora (shark suckers) when swimming near the surface.
Range and Habitat
Native to the tropical and subtropical waters of the eastern coast of North and South America and the Indian Ocean. Prefer the open waters of the continental shelf. Often found around structures like rigs, pilings, buoys, or wrecks.
Cobia feed on smaller fish, shrimp, crab, and squid. They are very curious fish and will often swim right up to boats in open water. They will swim around buoys and oil rigs in search of prey. They are frequently seen swimming at or near the surface. They spawn in large groups during the spring through early fall in the Gulf, migrating to shallower inshore waters to spawn. Juvenilles head offshore after hatching.
- Saltwater Finfish Research and Publications