Beware of the small but sharp dorsal spines of cobia when handling them. The eating qualities of these fish is greatly improved if they are killed immediately by iki jime, or a firm knock to the head before placing them in an ice slurry after bleeding. Large cobia can be very energetic and therefore hard to handle. A firm knock on the head may be easier to implement to stun the fish first before attempting iki jime.
- Dark brown above and on side with 1 or 2 narrow white lengthwise stripes from head to base of tail.
- Broad flattened head.
- Cobia look superficially like suckerfish (remoras, family Echeneidae to which they are related), but lack the dorsal sucker.
- Cobia are fast growing fish with females reaching maturity in their second year at around 80-90 cm long.
- Cobia can be found in tropical and subtropical coastal waters throughout the world.
- They are mostly found offshore but do enter bays and occasionally estuaries.
- They are commonly encountered near coral and rocky reefs and other structures.
- Cobia often can be found accompanying large rays and sharks.
Fish Size Common Length:
60-100 cm (24-36 inches), maximum size 200+cm (6 feet 7 inches) and 68+ kg (150 lb). World record 61.5 kg (135 lb) taken from Shark Bay, Western Australia.