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Can You Eat a Cobia Fish?

Cobia fish is fun and challenging to catch. It is a large striped fish that is often mistaken to be a shark. They are gamefish that are intensive feeders and can be caught using a variety of different baits and lures.

Cobia can be eaten, if cooked properly. The fish has a fresh and buttery flavor.

What are Cobia Fish?

Cobia fish are saltwater gamefish that can be caught by anglers using a variety of different baits and lures. They are striped fish that are often mistaken for sharks. They can be eaten after being caught and you can make a delicious meal out of your cobia catch. This article will teach you how to properly prepare, clean, and cook Cobia.

Cobia is not largely well known. They are a saltwater fish that can grow up to six feet in length and can weigh over one-hundred and fifty pounds. They have a large, flat head and are dark brown or grey in color with a white stomach. They usually feature two long, dark stripes on the side of their body that becomes more visible during the spawning season. 

These fish are often mistaken for sharks due to their big pectoral fin. This often occurs during the mating season when Cobia swim near the surface and stick their fin above the surface of the water while mating. 

Cobia are scavengers primarily. They are often located near to other larger fish such as manta rays or sharks in an attempt to pick up the scraps that are left behind after feeding. They also eat crabs, crustaceans, and baitfish which are easy for Cobia to catch. They notoriously inquisitive and curious and will swim directly toward fishing boats. 

They tend to live in warmer areas such as the coast of Florida. They are usually solitary fish but can also be found in smaller groups, especially during the spawning season. They like to stay near reefs, large rocks, or seagrass as the seabed. 

If you choose to catch Cobia, a kayak or a small boat is recommended to find them.

Can You Eat Cobia?

Cobia can be eaten and they can taste great if they are cooked properly. However, it is important to bear in mind when eating Cobia that they can contain high levels of mercury, like other big pelagic fish. 

It is also important to clean and ice the Cobia as soon as you catch them to limit any potential growth of bacteria. Make sure you are aware of these things if you intend to catch and eat Cobia. 

What Does Cobia Taste Like?

Cobia can taste great if it is cooked correctly. They have a fresh and buttery flavor with a firm texture and low-fat level. It has a very mild fish flavor which means it is versatile and can be prepared in a range of different ways. Some people like to eat fresh sashimi or deep fry cobia sticks. However, it tends to taste great in any variation. Some people say that the fish tastes similar to other mild saltwater white fish such as Ling Cod. 

Cobia is also said to have a range of health benefits such as its low oil content and high protein levels. They are also rich in vitamin B, selenium, and potassium which are linked to mental health benefits as well as a reduced threat of heart disease. They also have high levels of Omega-3 fats. 

How to Clean Cobia

Once you have decided to catch, cook, and eat Cobia, it is important to know how to properly clean it. This guide roughly advises you on how to clean and prepare a normal round fish if you have never done so before. 

Start by making sure that you have a large, sharp knife. Bigger fish require a sharper knife than smaller fish. Cut down the belly of the fish beginning at the anal fins and move toward the pelvic fins and collar. Then reach into the Cobia and pull out the inside, using the knife to cut it loose. Wash away any remaining blood and guts from your counter and then remove the fish’s head. Either throw it in the bin or use it as shark bait. 

Then it is time to cut the fillets. Cut across the tail on both sides, then run the knife along the belly toward the tail. Cut from the top of the Cobia’s backbone from the collar down toward the tail by moving the blade down the spine. Then use your knife to cut the fillet away from the collar. 

The final step is to remove as many of the bones as possible with a needle-nosed pair of pliers. This step can be rather time-consuming but is necessary for bone-free steaks. 

How to Cook Cobia

After you have cleaned the Cobia, it is now time to cook it. You can choose to grill or sear the Cobia. Grilled Cobia works great for tacos.

Grilled Cobia

Start by mixing the Cobia with a teaspoon of paprika, a clove of garlic, the juice of two lemons, half a cup of olive oil, and generous amounts of salt and pepper in a bowl to ensure the fillets are coated. Allow it to marinate for up to eight hours. 

Once the Cobia has marinated, put your grill onto a high heat, and grill the fish for six to seven minutes on each side. 

Seared Cobia

If you choose to sear your Cobia in the pan, heat olive oil over a high heat until it almost reaches the smoking point. Then sear the fillets in the pan for five minutes on each side. Add a stick of butter to the pan and use it to sear the fillets. Squeeze some lemon juice on top for a fresh acidic kick. 

To Sum Up

Cobia may not be one of the most popular or well-known fish, but they can taste great if prepared and cooked properly. 

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Growing up on the south shore of Long Island, Chum Charlie has always had a passion for fishing. His favorite fish to catch is a striped bass and his favorite bait to use is bunker. Off the water, he enjoys blogging and sharing his favorite fishing tips & tricks that he has learned over the years.