Rachycentron Canadus
Cobia - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Rachycentron Canadus
Other names Black King, Black Kingfish, Cobe, Crab Eater, Crabeater, Lemon Fish, Ling, Sergeant Fish
Size Up to 2 m (6.5 ft)
Weight Up to 68 kb (150 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, open ocean, inshore & offshore reefs, estuaries, bays, rivers
Depth Range
Cobia Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Cobia is mostly a solitary fish, but does school during spawning and sometimes found in groups hear areas of structure like wrecks, buoys, oil rigs and reefs.
  • They are widespread throughout tropical and subtropical waters. In Australia they are found in most places except for southern waters.
  • Cobia are often confused with Remoras. The distinguishing features between the two include the dorsal sucker and slender body of the Remora.
  • Cobia are carnivores, feeding on smaller fish, squid & crustaceans. They are also know to be scavenge, following sharks, turtles & manta rays in search of discarded or missed pieces of food.
  • Estimated lifespan is around 15 years. With breeding happening offshore between the months of April and September.
  • The Cobia is the only species in the family Rachycentridae.
  • The main predators of Cobia include sharks and larger predatory fish.
Species Interaction

Commercial & Recreational Fishing

Cobia are a popular recreational fish known for their strong fight and large size. They can be caught from shore or boat and are abundant throughout most Australian coastlines excluding the south. They have a growing commercial relevance and in recent times are being farmed in certain parts of the world.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Carangiformes

Family: Rachycentridae

Genus: Rachycentron

Species: Rachycentron canadum

Conservation Status

Based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Cobia are currently categorised as “Least Concern”(LC).

LC is the lowest category on the scale for risk with “Extinct”(EX) being the highest.

Fish Taste Quality

Cobia are a great table fish when eaten fresh. Great cooked in grilled or poached fillets.

Taste Rating: 4/5

How to catch

Catch Difficulty: Intermediate

Tackle: Patternoster Rig, Large circle hook rigged on leader with/without sinker with a crimp sleeve

Bait: Anchovy, Crab, Fresh cut flesh baits, Pilchards, Squid

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure, Slowly sink bait towards bottom

Popularity: Highly Targeted

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