The plight of Cobia
The lack luster 2017 Cobia season has finally raised some eye brows among avid Cobia fishermen. Another poor season after the last 2 has even gotten the Cobia deniers attention. For the past ten years there has been a steady and noticeable decline in numbers of Cobia along the panhandle of Florida. At first folks wanted to blame every thing else other than themselves for the decrease in fish starting with the weather and actually there were a couple of years when the traditional South East winds were lacking with cold front, westerlies and wet rainy days ( we all remember the ICE CRUNCHER). It did seem like it could be some of the reason why guys were not seeing lots of fish. The last decent years we had large volumes of fish was 2004-2005 since then its been all down hill. Then in 2010 we had the oil spill from the deep water horizon disaster that took place during the spawning migration of Cobia and it shouldered some of the blame. But Cobia grow about 8-10 pounds a year and seeing how the oil spill only effected one recruiting class the effects of that are long gone 7 years later. Then about five years ago fishermen began to put out FADS or fish attracting devices 2-5 miles offshore and some Cobia late in the run would congregate around them. So a new theory began that these fads were keeping the fish offshore and not on the beach which may have had a impact on a few fish but not on the entire run of Cobia. Still in denile guys began to blame the Fads. So the month long and weekend tournament made rules that prohibits entering fish caught on a FAD but that didn’t help the last two years either. So what is the problem with such a remarkable decline in the fishery especially the past three seasons?
Well catch my next blog on the Demise of a fishery from my perspective. Until then “Let’s Go Fishin”
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