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Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 13th, 2019, 8:29 am
by Srbenda
I realize that this is heavily dependent on the weather we have, but I am trying to plan some trips for visitors.

For the cobia, spanish and kings, is it late March? April? Any rough idea on the timing for the arrival of the migratory species that can be caught?

Re: Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 13th, 2019, 8:51 am
by ugadawg
The way this year is going it might be next week!

Re: Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 13th, 2019, 9:19 am
by rickc
I always say tax day. April 15th

We have had a warm winter but like today we can still have some cold spells and those flats cool off quickly. Fish are moving around with the weather.

Re: Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 13th, 2019, 9:49 am
by Srbenda
I'm not really worried about the flats/ trout fishing, but the nearshore fishing.
I'm reading that cobia like the water temps at 67 to 72, so trying to time when that might happen.

Re: Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 13th, 2019, 1:41 pm
by rickc
Well since Mexico Beach Ling tournament is mid April say the 14-16 i would say April 15 would be a good bet

March is always a tease. Nice warm days but lots of wind. Water just isn't consistent temperature wise.

Re: Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 14th, 2019, 1:52 pm
by Srbenda
rickc wrote:Well since Mexico Beach Ling tournament is mid April say the 14-16 i would say April 15 would be a good bet

March is always a tease. Nice warm days but lots of wind. Water just isn't consistent temperature wise.


That seems like a good indicator.

Re: Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 14th, 2019, 9:46 pm
by John21:6
Check out this link to a map of cobia migration patterns and seasonal ranges from the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory of the University of Southern Mississippi: http://gcrl.usm.edu/public/fish/cobia.php

Re: Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 15th, 2019, 10:11 am
by big bend gyrene
Wouldn't be surprised in the least if some are landed this month or early March and I've most definitely caught a few fish in April... BUT...

If asking when I'd try to line up guests to visit for the BEST chance at cobia I have zero doubt which month I'd choose based on past catch data. And I'd honestly feel more comfortable taking them throughout the entire summer rather than taking them out for the earliest spring bite. Tagging data shows cobia don't merely migrate through our specific Big Bend area going eastward and westward as we also appear to have a subset of fish that migrate far offshore for winter months and then back inshore throughout the summer months.

Take it for whatever it's worth...

Cobia Landed By Month.jpg

Re: Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 15th, 2019, 10:29 am
by Salty Gator
big bend gyrene wrote:Wouldn't be surprised in the least if some are landed this month or early March and I've most definitely caught a few fish in April... BUT...

If asking when I'd try to line up guests to visit for the BEST chance at cobia I have zero doubt which month I'd choose based on past catch data. And I'd honestly feel more comfortable taking them throughout the entire summer rather than taking them out for the earliest spring bite. Tagging data shows cobia don't merely migrate through our specific Big Bend area going eastward and westward as we also appear to have a subset of fish that migrate far offshore for winter months and then back inshore throughout the summer months.

Take it for whatever it's worth...

Cobia Landed By Month.jpg

Is that your personal catch data bbg?

Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 15th, 2019, 11:15 am
by bbb
Devils advocate here.

How many days did you fish in April and May?

30 fish with 30 days fished in May?

2 fish on 1 day fished in April?

;) ;)

Re: Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 15th, 2019, 11:35 am
by Srbenda
big bend gyrene wrote:Wouldn't be surprised in the least if some are landed this month or early March and I've most definitely caught a few fish in April... BUT...

If asking when I'd try to line up guests to visit for the BEST chance at cobia I have zero doubt which month I'd choose based on past catch data. And I'd honestly feel more comfortable taking them throughout the entire summer rather than taking them out for the earliest spring bite. Tagging data shows cobia don't merely migrate through our specific Big Bend area going eastward and westward as we also appear to have a subset of fish that migrate far offshore for winter months and then back inshore throughout the summer months.

Take it for whatever it's worth...

Cobia Landed By Month.jpg


Impressive that you're maintaining that data set!

That being said, what is the sample size of trips made? n=?

Re: Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 15th, 2019, 12:17 pm
by rickc
Well i agree that around st marks cobia are on our shallow artifical reefs all summer. The migration which they fish heavily in the panhandle occurs in the spring.

Re: Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 15th, 2019, 12:38 pm
by big bend gyrene
Salty Gator wrote:Is that your personal catch data bbg?

Mix of data I've collected over 10 years of tagging PLUS data on keepers that I gathered by revisiting old BBF posts, facebook posts, etc -- all saved in an excel spreadsheet with date and lengths (for fish tagged) recorded.

bbb wrote:Devils advocate here. How many days did you fish in April and May? 30 fish with 30 days fished in May? 2 fish on 1 day fished in April? ;) ;)

Srbenda wrote:Impressive that you're maintaining that data set! That being said, what is the sample size of trips made? n=?

bbb and Srbenda, as a former quality engineering manager HAVE to say the questions are completely justified, and though anal about saving tagging data I won't be able to satisfactorily answer the questions to defend statistical significance... why I said "Take it for whatever it's worth..." :wink:

Though somewhat anecdotal, I would add that it's data from over a 10 year time span and without a concentrated effort on my part to originally short-change April or November. Not having saved data from fruitless trips, can just say that early on I had enough days getting skunked in April as well as late-October heading into November that I admittedly slowed efforts to be the very first guy out targeting them. That said, HOWEVER, I also have followed daily postings on the board and you better believe as few posts from others confirmed dependable arrival the fever always has had me eager to get out soon as possible.

Again, take it for whatever it's worth. Honestly mulled not even sharing as not exactly wanting to drive increased traffic towards the cobes. Only offered as I've found one month to be far more bullet proof than others, and again have had fairly good luck throughout the entire range of the warmest months.

Re: Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 15th, 2019, 12:49 pm
by big bend gyrene
Srbenda wrote:Impressive that you're maintaining that data set! That being said, what is the sample size of trips made? n=?

And Srbenda, again with the caveat that it's not an assurance of statistical significance, I can say that the data represents catches from approximately 70 trips made over a 10 year period with just short of 100 cobes landed. What would make the story much more complete is a record of days skuned on the cobes. A few of those have most definitely happened, but admittedly I failed to focus on them and record them. In hindsight wish I had.

One other interesting data tidbit that again I'd say take for whatever it's worth... when submitting tagging data I have to report the angler name so can also share I've had the thrill of putting 25 different friends on cobia. Nothing more fun than seeing someone who's never hooked a saltwater fish take on a fair sized cobe for the first time! :thumbup: :beer:

Re: Spring Water temps / timing

PostPosted: February 15th, 2019, 1:40 pm
by Salty Gator
big bend gyrene wrote:
Srbenda wrote:Impressive that you're maintaining that data set! That being said, what is the sample size of trips made? n=?

And Srbenda, again with the caveat that it's not an assurance of statistical significance, I can say that the data represents catches from approximately 70 trips made over a 10 year period with just short of 100 cobes landed. What would make the story much more complete is a record of days skuned on the cobes. A few of those have most definitely happened, but admittedly I failed to focus on them and record them. In hindsight wish I had.

One other interesting data tidbit that again I'd say take for whatever it's worth... when submitting tagging data I have to report the angler name so can also share I've had the thrill of putting 25 different friends on cobia. Nothing more fun than seeing someone who's never hooked a saltwater fish take on a fair sized cobe for the first time! :thumbup: :beer:


A good cobia will make a life long fisherman out of a first timer. Another cool thing to keep track of would be number of keeper vs shorts caught on a day. It would be interesting to see how the ratio changed over the summer. I’ll probably fish for them more this year, so I’ll see about another tag kit. Also bbg, I think some of my pms are floating around cyberspace. Ill shoot you another pm w my number so I can make sure you getting messages.