Family Rachycentridae, COBIA
Rachycentron canadum

Illustration and Copyright by Diane Rome Peebles
Illustrations are for viewing purposes

Description: long, slim fish with broad depressed head; lower jaw projects past upper jaw; dark lateral stripe extends through eye to tail; first dorsal fin comprised of 7 to 9 free spines; when young, has conspicuous alternating black and white horizontal stripes.

Similar Fish: remora, Echeneis naucrates.

Where found: both INSHORE and NEARSHORE inhabiting inlets, bays, and among mangroves; frequently seen around bouys, pilings, and wrecks.

Possession and Size Limits: 2 per person, 33” FL.

Size: common to 30 pounds.

Remarks: spawns in spring and early summer; feeds on crabs, squid, and small fish.

Stock Status: is neither overfished, nor experiencing overfishing.  The Gulf Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee will review an assessment of Cobia mackerel in late 2013.