Species Finder Species Posted Mar 14, 2000 Cobia Appearance Cobia look like sharks or remoras (shark suckers). Cobia are dark brown with a single dorsal fin Young cobia are colored conspicuously with alternating black and white horizontal stripes with splotches of bronze, orange, and green. Maximum Size 6 feet and 100 pounds. Growth Rate Rapid for the first two years then slows gradually. Geographic Range Cobia is found worldwide in tropical, subtropical, and temperate waters, except the Eastern Pacific. In the United States, they are found in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to the Florida Keys and in the Gulf of Mexico. Habitat Cobia are a pelagic fish, living in the open ocean in tropical, subtropical, and temperate waters. They prefer to live near objects such as piers, buoys, boats, and platforms. Life Span Up to 12 years. Food Cobia eat some fishes, although the bulk of their diet is crustaceans and other invertebrates. Reaches Reproductive Maturity Cobia mature early. Females mature at 36 inches long and 3 years of age; males reach sexual maturity at 24 inches long and 2 years of age. Reproduction Cobia are batch spawners, meaning they spawn more than once during a spawning season. Females have from 377,000 to 1,980,500 eggs. Spawning From late June to mid-August along the southeastern United States and from late summer to early fall in the Gulf of Mexico, primarily in coastal bays and estuaries. Migrations Cobia migrate seasonally in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. In the spring in the Atlantic, cobia migrate north from wintering grounds in the Florida Keys to coastal Virginia and the Carolinas. In the Gulf of Mexico, cobia annually migrate north in early spring to spawning grounds in the northern Gulf of Mexico, returning to the Florida Keys by winter. Predators Potential predators of young cobia include larger pelagic fishes. Information courtesy of NOAA.