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The Cobia is the undisputed big-game fish of the Chesapeake Bay growing to more than 6 feet, and weighing over 100 pounds. It is highly rated as a sportfish capable of long runs and occasional leaps. They usually arrive in June traveling alone, or in groups of 2 or 3. Trolling large spoons or surface lures around piers and pilings, or in the shade of buoys, and large offshore drifting objects can sometimes get a strike. Cobia, however, are often hard to find. One very effective fishing method is to first start a chum line with ground menhadden or other oily bait fish, then fish using young live eel as bait, which is considered their favorite meal.


Common Names Cobia, Crabeater, Lemonfish
Scientific Name Rachycentridae canadum
Average Size 3 - 4 feet
Average Weight 15 - 40 lbs.
Minimum Size Limit* 37 inches*
Possession Limit* 2 per person*
Season May - September
Lure Large spoons, and surface lures
Bait Live eel, peeler crab
World Record 135.6 lbs.
Virginia Record 103.5 lbs., Mobjack Bay, Edward K. Brown, 1980
Citation Size 50 lbs., Citation for release 44 inches or longer

* All regulations are subject to change throughout the year. Always check with the Virginia Marine Resource Commission for new regulations before you go fishing @ 757-247-2200 or

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