Recent Reviews

Awesome experience great time and the crew was great!!!

Armando H. with Leaf Potter of Freeport, Texas

Our trip with Gulf Bay charters with Captain Rick and his first rate deckhand Logan was fantastic. They put us on multiple fish of different types and we tried different methods, some trolling, a lot of bottom fishing and some deep water with electric reels. We caught a lot of large triggerfish, three King mackerels and enough Mingo (vermillion) snapper that we had far too much fish to eat over the next two days. The boat was fantastic, offering the six of us more than enough space to spread out and all fish at once, and Logan was knowledgeable and efficient at everything. I really enjoyed catching a small shark and we had a larger one steal some of our fish to add a little excitement. Near the end of the day we had a large amberjack up to the boat but unfortunately he got off. We played with a few barracuda as well, caught a few snapper and small groupers that we couldn't keep and in between spots, we could chat and I enjoyed learning about the local waters and the trade. I personally caught 22 fish and my son got 21 so we were busy. The weather was near perfect and Rick adeptly steered us around a small storm, where we got to see a waterspout. I would highly recommend Gulf Bay - we had a blast and really enjoyed getting to learn from a couple of true professionals. Thank you Captain Rick, thank you Logan!

mike c. with Rick Durant of Pensacola, Florida

Me and my buddy loved it. Great price and caught lots of blacktip sharks. Definitely recommend

Max R. with Shannon LaBauve of Galveston, Texas

AMAZING! Captain Aaron was great. It was a day to remember and we will absolutely be back.

Jennifer M. with Rodney Harper of Freeport, Texas

Great trip. Captain Bryan was awesome.

Brady S. with Bryars Bishop of Orange Beach, Alabama

Great Trip! We enjoyed ourselves and are going home with LOTS of snapper. Reeled in my first shark. Thanks Captain !

Lisa B. with Joel Brandenburg of Marathon, Florida

Captain Marshall was great! He will work his butt off. The Owners were real nice and knowledgeable of their business. Our next fishing trip we will use Outkast again!

THOMAS D. with Rodney Harper of Freeport, Texas

We had a great time with Nick. I love when a guide is so determined to get you on the fish that they’re almost stressed when they’re not biting. Nick refused to allow the fish to hide. He busted his butt to get everyone to their red snapper limit and we even ended up fishing a bit over the time we had allotted to make sure we had our best shot. We had a blast, and I would definitely recommend Nick. We’re going home with a cooler full of snapper, so that’s a win!

Brad L. with Nick Tate of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Absolutely, hands down the BEST experience!! Captain Lee and crew were awesome, fun, and great with the boys!! If you don’t go with this crew, you are missing out.

Jodye S. with Lee Crisler of Galveston, Texas

Captain Blake was an awesome guide. He was very relaxed and and helped us newbies every step of the way. Thanks for a wonderful fishing experience.

Alma S. with Blake Sartor of Dickinson, Texas

Everything You Need to Know About Cobia Fishing

What is a Cobia?

A cobia is a unique fish - there are no other member of its scientific family left, and it is a fairly prehistoric-looking beast. It is a fish of many names (Texans prefer to call it a ling, and elsewhere around the world you might hear black kingfish, black salmon, lemonfish, black bonito, sergeantfish, cubby yew, crab-eater, or even the prodigal son).

To identify a cobia isn’t too difficult, as they have a massive, depressed head that looks almost flat like a catfish. They are also quickly told apart by their olive upper and white lower body, sometimes with a stripe down the side. These stripes are often more prominent during the spawn. They also have a few unique spikes on their back before their dorsal fin, and interestingly do not have a swim bladder like most other fish, meaning they must propel themselves to swim up or down in the water column.

Cobia are a popular gamefish; they’re strong-willed and fish hard on the line, and are known for keeping the fight alive even after being boated multiple times (don’t underestimate this fish). They are good to eat and are fished both commercially and recreationally. 

How big do Cobia get?

The cobia can grow to pretty substantial sizes, and they can fill out to be rather hefty. They can grow to a maximum of about 80 inches and 175 pounds. The average adults are closer to 30 pounds.

Cobia live to be up to 12-15 years and males mature at 2 years while females mature at around 3, a relatively young age. Breeding generally takes place from April to September in large offshore congregations (earlier in the southeast and later in the Gulf of Mexico).  

What's the biggest Cobia ever caught?

The largest cobia taken on rod and reel was caught in Shark Bay, Australia. It weighed 135 pounds and was caught in 1985. But this is by no means the largest cobia taken - that distinction belongs to spearfishermen in Brazil who brought in a massive 172 pound fish in 2014. The fish doesn’t technically count towards any records because two men both speared the fish in order to bring it in, but this catch is impressive nonetheless. The official spearfishing record for cobia is a 142 pound fish, still greater than rod and reel. 

### Where is the best place to catch Cobia?

Cobia are a pelagic fish and prefer the open sea but are often found cruising elsewhere, including any buoys or flotsam. They will often cozy on up to your boat to check out whats going on and search for crustaceans and small fish. There are also cobia who live inshore in bays and mangroves mostly in pursuit of prey.

Cobia are usually solitary but can be seen in small schools, especially in Florida where they are particularly common. They live all over the world in warm-temperate waters and are very widespread. You can find cobia from Canada to Argentina, from Morocco to South Africa, and from Japan to Australia. The only place you really won’t find cobia are the Eastern Pacific.

When should I catch Cobia?

In Florida, cobia are particularly plentiful. Atlantic coast cobia will hang around near the Keys in the winter months before they move back North. Therefore the Mid-Atlantic states will get the most action in the summer months. In the Gulf fish are around most of the year, but are best spring to summer.

A good rule of thumb is that on the Atlantic side fish will reach North Carolina and the Chesapeake Bay by May, and on the Gulf side will reach Destin by April.

In the US the season is always open. There is a 33 inch minimum for Florida and a 37 inch minimum for Texas and Virginia. In Florida and Virginia the bag limit is 1 per person and in all other states it is 2.

How do you catch Cobia?

When migrating, these fish swim close to the surface and sight casting is the name of the game. They are often seen migrating with rays, and some anglers even use ray’s wings as an indicator that cobia might be nearby. Otherwise, you can catch them trolling, bottom fishing, or jigging.

Cobia are strong, aggressive predators who mainly feed on crustaceans, fish, and squid. They are attracted to many jigs and are curious by nature, so it is good to use colors and get them excited with sound and movement. They will also eat a wide variety of live bait, but are especially interested in crabs (remember, one of their nicknames above is crabeater).

If casting, try to land the bait close to the fish and past its nose, and then run it by their head. If done correctly, cobia should lunge at just about anything that looks appetizing enough to get their attention. The fish will then take off, and once you are able, bring the fish to the boat and work quick so it doesn’t take your line again!

Are Cobia good to eat? What are the best Cobia recipes?

Cobia’s firm, white meat is considered excellent table fare. It has a rich taste and can be buttery but with a low amount of fat an oil. They are good cooked just about any style. They can be high in mercury like other pelagic fish so they are best in moderation.