If you catch this fish in Florida, researchers will give you $50

Researchers in Florida want to pay you $50 if you catch a cobia. No, really. 

The FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute just put a bounty on the fish to help researchers "collect valuable information by sampling harvested cobia’s reproductive organs to determine if and where they spawn along Florida’s coasts," the organization wrote on social media. 

If you harvest a cobia in September, keep the whole fish or filleted carcass with organs intact on ice within 24 hours of catching. Then, arrange for a biologist to meet you for a $50 reward:

  • Southeast Florida (Fort Lauderdale-Sebastian):  561-510-5620
  • Southwest Florida (Naples-St. Petersburg): 727-220-7108
  • Northwest Florida (St. Petersburg-Steinhatchee): 727-685-7354

If you catch a tagged cobia, do not harvest it. Help researchers by taking a picture of the tag and reporting the following information to the phone number in your region: tag number, fork length, date and general location of the catch. If you accidentally harvest a tagged cobia, report all the information and return both the internal acoustic transmitter and plastic dart tag to the following:

Attn: Jim Whittington
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Tequesta Field Laboratory
19100 SE Federal Hwy.
Tequesta, FL 33469

All of this data is being used to better understand the reproductive habits of fish off Florida's coast. 

The bounty is valid from March to September of 2023 and 2024. 


Click here for more information about the FWC's research project. 

Email Joy.Young@MyFWC.com or Jim.Whittington@MyFWC.com if you have questions.