Texas Fishing Forum

Cobia Question

Posted By: SpeciesFisherman

Cobia Question - 10/02/19 02:15 AM

The Federal Regulation for Cobia is 33 Inches but the State Regulation is now 40 Inches. So I consistently always go to Federal Waters because its amberjack season. Anyone got any insight on this topic? Thank you so much!
Posted By: Osbornfishing

Re: Cobia Question - 10/02/19 12:48 PM

This is an issue with several fish species and can create a big issue for Texas game wardens and anglers. Federal regulations for cobia in the gulf of Mexico are based on fork length, not total length, so a fish with a 33 inch fork length will be close to a 40 inch total length fish. If you catch a cobia in federal waters that is legal (33 inch fork length) but still under 40 inches total length you can not be fishing in state waters with that fish on the boat or you are in violation. And you could still have an issue at the ramp, since it would be at the game warden's discretion to determine if you caught the fish in federal waters. The warden could write you a ticket and let the judge sort it out. Unfortunately, regulations are becoming more and more complicated and in some cases are contradictory. It is always safest to go with the most restrictive requirement.
Posted By: JJ4MEL

Re: Cobia Question - 10/02/19 07:40 PM

So to be safe, just keep any cobia that exceeds 40"?
Posted By: Osbornfishing

Re: Cobia Question - 10/03/19 12:57 PM

If you only keep cobia that exceed 40 inches you will be ok in every case, but if the fish is caught in federal water and it is legal then you should be ok. You may just have some explaining to do. In some situations I have held the fish up to my GPS and taken a picture just as extra proof of the location the fish was taken.
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