• By Ken Perrotte

Cobia - Summertime King of the Chesapeake is a Royal Dining Treat When Grilled and Dilled

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

When it comes to summertime saltwater fishing in the Lower and Middle Chesapeake Bay, the hard-fighting cobia is the undisputed king. Cobia, now managed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is a popular gamefish from Florida to Maryland. The species grows fast, aggressively hits both live bait and big bucktail jigs, and is delicious when grilled or smoked.

The limit in Virginia is one fish longer than 40 inches long per person per day. That one fish will yield several meals of succulent steaks. One thing to remember about cobia, though, is that it doesn’t freeze that well. It’ll keep for a couple months in a well-sealed - ideally vacuum-sealed package - but like any fish, it’s best eaten fresh.

Here are a couple favorite recipes. One was shared with me by Newport News resident Wes Blow, a master angler and cobia fishing expert. Blow cautions anyone filleting cobia to remove as much of the strong red meat along the lateral sides of the fish as possible – and as soon as possible. Don’t freeze it before removing that part of the fillet.

Another simple grill recipe calls for a flavorful smear of dill butter. The summertime side salads, featuring a mix of fresh, roasted and grilled vegetables pair magnificently with these fish fillets. A refreshing, crisp white wine superbly complements this meal, but look for one that isn’t oak aged or has been, at most, minimally oaked. We once had a 2009 Alto Molino Torrontes wine from Argentina that was remarkable with this fish. Torrontes is Argentina’s premier white wine grape and this vintage seemed to have wondrous blend of Riesling, Pinot Grigio and sauvignon blanc flavors and nuances.

Cobia - Wes Blow Style

2 pounds cobia fillets

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Cut fillets into serving size pieces of about an inch thick and 6-8 ounces each and place in a large bowl. Mix together olive oil, lemon juice and spices. Pour mixture over fish and marinate for just 5 minutes; any longer and the lemon juice will start cooking the fish ceviche-style. Remove from marinade and grill for about 8 minutes, depending on fillet thickness. Turn several times, basting with the marinade as desired. Don’t overcook!

Serves 4.

Grilled Cobia with Dill Butter

2 pounds cobia fillets

Olive oil

Sea salt and fresh ground coarse pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 teaspoons chopped fresh Dill

½ teaspoon Lemon Juice

¼ teaspoon salt (or less, to taste)

Cut fillets into 6 to 8-ounce, inch-thick serving size pieces. Combine butter, dill and lemon juice. Brush fish with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Place on grill and put a small dab – about ¼ teaspoon - of dill butter on the top of the fillet. Smear over the fillet when the butter starts to melt. Turn several times, each time topping with the dill butter. Don’t overcook! When fish is removed from grill, top with an additional dollop of dill butter to serve.

Serves 4.

Grilled Zucchini

Wash zucchini well and chop off the ends. If more than six inches long cut zucchini in half. You want to end up with slices that are about 2 ½ to 5 inches long. Slice zucchini lengthwise into long slices about ¼ inch thick. If the skin is tough, you can trim most of it away. Brush lightly with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Grill, turning once, until soft throughout.

Summertime Salad

This salad is a bit of a variation of a Mediterranean Caprese-style salad with the nice, ripe tomatoes and mozzarella, but we adapted it based on availability of vegetables and some deli-roasted favorites at the supermarket.


Fresh Tomato wedges

Sliced cucumbers

Roasted and/or sun-dried tomatoes

Asparagus (canned or fresh steamed)

Olives (any favorite Mediterranean variety)

Fresh Mozzarella - sliced

Arrange salad ingredients and drizzle with Lemon Vinaigrette.

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

4 tablespoons Olive oil

1 tablespoon Lemon juice

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon back pepper

½ teaspoon Herbs de Provence

Dash of salt

Put all ingredients in a jar and shake to mix.

#wildgamecooking #cobiarecipes #cookingfish

Subscribe for new stories, reviews, and more. 
(Don't worry, we won't spam you)

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Instagram Icon

© 2017-2021 Kmunicate Worldwide LLC, All Rights Reserved. Outdoors adventures, hunting, fishing, travel, innovative wild game and fish recipes, gear reviews and coverage of outdoors issues. Except as noted, all text and images are by Ken Perrotte (Outdoors Rambler (SM). Some items, written by Ken Perrotte and previously published elsewhere, are revised or excerpted under provisions of the Fair Use Doctrine


Privacy Policy:

What type of information do you collect? We receive, collect and store any information you enter on our website. In addition, we collect the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet; login; e-mail address; password; computer and connection information and purchase history. We may use software tools to measure and collect session information, including page response times, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information, and methods used to browse away from the page. We also collect personally identifiable information (including name, email, password, communications); payment details (including credit card information – although the site does not currently engage in any type of e-commerce), comments, feedback, product reviews, recommendations, and personal profile.

How do you collect information? When a visitor to the site sends you a message through a contact form or subscribes to receive updates and other communications about new stuff on the site, we collect that subscriber’s email address. That address is used only for marketing campaigns or other information we send regarding site updates or changes. Site usage data may be collected by our hosting platform Wix.com or by third-party services, such as Google Analytics or other applications offered through the Wix App Market, placing cookies or utilizing other tracking technologies through Wix´s services, may have their own policies regarding how they collect and store information. As these are external services, such practices are not covered by the Wix Privacy Policy. These services may create aggregated statistical data and other aggregated and/or inferred Non-personal Information, which we or our business partners may use to provide and improve our respective services. Data may also be collected to comply with any applicable laws and regulations.

How do you store, use, share and disclose your site visitors' personal information? Our company is hosted on the Wix.com platform. Wix.com provides us with the online platform that allows us to share information or sell products and services to you. Your data may be stored through Wix.com’s data storage, databases and the general Wix.com applications. They store your data on secure servers behind a firewall.

How do you communicate with your site visitors? The primary means of communicating with site users is via email for the purposes of marketing campaigns, promotions, and update. We may contact you to notify you regarding your subscription, to troubleshoot problems, resolve a dispute, collect fees or monies owed, to poll your opinions through surveys or questionnaires, to send updates about our company, or as otherwise necessary to contact you to enforce our User Agreement, applicable national laws, and any agreement we may have with you. For these purposes we may contact you via email, telephone, text messages, and postal mail.

How do you use cookies and other tracking tools? Our hosting platform Wix.com and our analytical services providers such as Google Analytics may place cookies that facilitate their services. To be perfectly honest, Kmunicate Worldwide LLC, the owner of outdoorsrambler.com, never looks at cookies or any other tracking/data collection tools, only the aggregated reports provided by the hosting service or analytical services providers.

How can your site visitors withdraw their consent? If you don’t want us to process your data anymore, please contact us using the “Contact Us” form on the site.

Privacy policy updates: We reserve the right to modify this privacy policy at any time, so please review it frequently. Changes and clarifications will take effect immediately upon their posting on the website. If we make material changes to this policy, we will notify you here that it has been updated, so that you are aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we use and/or disclose it.