How to identify a Cobia
It is the only known member of the family Rachycentridae. It has a long, broad, depressed head. The overall appearance of the fish is similar to that of a small shark, given the shape of the body, the powerful tail fin, and the elevated anterior portion of the second dorsal fin. Even more striking is its resemblance to the remora. The most noticeable difference between these two species is the suction pad on the remoras head. The cobia is known to swim with sharks and other large species as the remora does.The cobia’s coloration and markings are distinctive. The back is dark chocolate brown while the sides are lighter with alternate horizontal stripes of brown and silver or bronze and white. The markings on smaller specimens are more vivid; the black and dark stripes are blacker, making the lighter areas stand out more.
Where to catch Cobia
Cobia are found worldwide in tropical and warm, temperate waters both offshore and inshore. Adult cobia seem to prefer shallow continental shelf waters. They particularly like buoys, pilings, wrecks, anchored boats, flotsam, etc., and will sometimes congregate around these objects.
|Elevated anterior portion of the second dorsal fin|
|Long, broad, depressed head|
|Dark chocolate brown while the sides are lighter with alternate horizontal stripes of brown and silver or bronze and white|
Acknowledgements: We thank TAKEMEFISHING.org (www.takemefishing.org), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Natural Resources for their contributions to these FISH FACTS.