A nice haul of cobia for the dinner plate. A mullet is a great bait for cobia. I can spot fish from a distance and easily see them react to presentations. google_ad_slot = "7031434267"; While any kind of chum will work, I suggest visiting your local shrimp wholesaler and asking for a bucket of shrimp heads. Sight fishing for Cobia is one if the most productive fishing methods whether you are using artificial baits or lures. The reel should be spooled with at least 225 yds of 20-30 lb test. Feeding takes place from the surface to the bottom during daylight hours, with the heaviest feeding at dawn and dusk. It is a large bucktail jig weighing 4 to 8 oz or more and can be just about any color you can imagine. Cook your Catch   They are also indiscriminate and curious, and will swallow just about anything they can fit in their large mouths. Mary Craig from New York on August 31, 2014: I've never head of cobia so I can honestly say I've learned a lot! Newsletter. This is a powerful fish so a smooth drag is a must. Once the water hits about 65 degrees Fahrenheit the cobia will start to show up. Latest. Don't try to free-gaff a "green" cobia. When a fish is spotted, carefully approach the cobia as quietly as possible, until you get within easy casting distance. Most will show up once the temperature gets to between 68 and 72 degrees; after that the run slows down as the fish start to settle into their summer haunts. Pink, red, white, and yellow and combinations of those colors are common patterns that catch a lot of fish. Rods & Email address: Leave this field empty if you're human: Don't worry, we don't spam. In particular look for temperature breaks (a change in temperature as small as 1/2 degree can hold fish) and areas where the current is somewhat weaker than surrounding areas, like tide lines or rip lines caused by underwater reefs or other obstructions breaking the flow of the current. Freeman, a fishing guide at Brays Island Plantation, grew up on these creeks and he’s talking about sight fishing for cobia—an addictive experience that is unique to this pocket of the Lowcountry. Want more stuff like this? Pictures   If a cobia is around, he will probably eat your bait, if the groupers, snappers, jacks, and 'cudas don't beat him to it. They’re also a very popular species for the dinner table. Sight-fishing for cobia had its genesis, at least in terms of boat design, in the northern Gulf of Mexico, where many boats bear towers and elevated casting platforms. It has humbled me. You can also catch cobia while trolling for king mackerel, and keeping your bait close to the bottom with cut, or live bait near reefs, inlets and shipwrecks. Similarly, as the cobia sight-fishery off North Carolina has exploded in recent years, these days you’ll see many boats sporting towers and elevated platforms. … Second, some lures gain a bit of action when on a small loop rather than tied directly to the leader. Acting as true scavengers, cobia will also lazily mirror turtles, skates, rays, and other carnivores during their travels, snapping up any leftovers along the way. google_ad_slot = "7754947861"; What to bring. /* mid page */ Cobia can be caught on a wide variety of lures. In this episode, Josh goes sight fishing for cobia off manta rays with Capt. Cobia, typically weighing in at 15-25 pounds, are an offshore favorite, but late in April run to Brays’ shallows to spawn—and feed on most anything. A strategically placed chum line, a little farther offshore than most of the boats looking for cobia, will often attract cobia that are swimming too deep for a sight-fishing fleet to target. Cobia are mostly found nearshore in depths as shallow as 30ft (or less) to about 300ft, though they also venture out to open waters around oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Cobia. Trending . Fishability Test: Scout 330 LXF. Perhaps the best bait out there is a plastic swimming eel, which can be used in every situation where you will be catching cobia on the reefs, along the beaches, or along the inshore structures. Each year there are people injured and thousands of dollars worth of damage done to boats when deckhands are too eager to stick a fish and bring it on the boat. A rod rigged with a live spot, croaker, eel or a rod rigged with a huge bucktail or sassy shad will be kept ready. Terminal tackle will depend on how you are fishing or more precisely where you are fishing. Ask A Captain Part V. 9.8k Views. The first is the most active and is sight fishing for them. But don't overlook somewhat deeper waters even in spring, as some cobia will travel from reef to reef looking for a quick meal as they make their way along the coasts. They have two dark bands running the length of the side; the bands are much more distinct in younger, smaller fish, and tend to fade somewhat on larger fish. Last spring, I upgraded my boat Fly Girl, adding an elevated tower with steering and throttle controls, in hopes of becoming a better cobia hunter. The key element in sight-fishing for cobia is water temperature. It’s a great chance to play very big fish on light tackle, and also a wonderful opportunity for saltwater fly fishermen. Kite fishing works quite well for cobia, in certain situations. Saw some monster turtles as well as big pods of schooling fish. Boats. But here are some quick tips for catching this large shark-like fish. Another good technique for Cobia that we use is Chumming. The combination of a struggling fish and blood can usually get even the smartest of cobia to eat. 10 Cobia Tips and Tricks. Cobia are often mistaken for sharks when seen from above because of the dark coloring and shape of their heads. Attach the leader to the main line with a 60lb swivel and you are ready to go. -Fishing for Cobia in sunny bright conditions and clear waters: Sight fishing is the name of the game here, if conditions are good it’s pretty easy to see a fifty pound plus brown Cobia swimming on the surface. Call iOutdoor NOW to book your Cobia Fishing Adventure! Snell the hook to a 24- to 36-inch fluorocarbon leader. I enjoy reading your hubs, as I said before not because I'm a fisherman, but because they are educational and so well done. Other effective lures include large, colorful bucktail jigs, and small plastic crabs, fish, and shrimp. How to Use Fishing Lights. Of course, unless they are out of season, I don't know of too many anglers who would complain about catching a nice grouper or snapper, and sharks and 'cudas can be fun to catch as well though you will likely get bit off before landing them. If you cast too close to the fish, or right on top of it, you will spook the fish, and once spooked cobia can become notoriously lock-jawed. Siren 3 Pro. Contact, , Unsubscribe anytime. Cobia usually swim in small schools or with a partner, they are often seen following rays in the shallows, the reason for this is, as the ray swims they kick up the sand and feed is exposed for an easy meal for the Cobia. Always carry an assortment of jigs in different sizes, styles, and colors. That was nice! //-->, . Topwater plugs, suspending and diving crank baits, and imitation eel lures all catch fish. 1-888-412-1117. The best time to fish for Cobia if you are sight fishing is when the sun is at its brightest / highest. Any time you are bottom fishing, you should have a flat-line out as a matter of course anyway, and this too will produce cobia. Sight fishing is one of the most popular cobia fishing techniques, especially when you are using a light tackle or when fly-fishing. These seem to attract fewer sharks than other kinds of chum. JustSportfishing.com. Balloons are also an effective way to target cobia. Here, they offer some really great sight fishing on the fly and put up quite a fight, being between 10-80 lbs on average. Here’s a video that shows very close footage of a couple rays and some cobia cruising the flats. Sight fishing Cobia is one of the most productive fishing methods; although there are many ways iOutdoor Captains will try. When casting your cobia lures out when sight fishing, aim to land your lure directly in front of where they are swimming. google_ad_height = 60; If fishing during the spring migration, most boats focus on waters just off the beach in waters from 30-70 ft deep, relying on spotting the fish swimming at or near the surface in shallow water. It is such a different game than fly fishing them in the chum slick. Anglers with a tower on their boat will slowly cruise along in shallow water or the edges of shallow water watching for cruising fish. google_ad_slot = "7754947861"; Cobia can be caught while trolling in the Gulf of Mexico but the best way to catch cobia is to sight fish from a spotting tower or "cobia tower" like the one on Captain Brandy's boat. A 2lb dead blow hammer is my favorite thing to stop the commotion but a bat or rubber mallet will work as well. In the western Atlantic, the cobia (also called ling) ranges from Nova Scotia in the north to northern Argentina in the south, including the Gulf of Mexico. Save those eels and crabs for larger fish, or fish that simply won't eat other baits. Good info as I am getting more familiar with Chesapeake Bay species. Many shoals are available in and near the lower bay for this technique. Don't overlook the value of chumming for cobia. Scott Lum and Capt. I prefer this Penn rod-and-reel combo for cobia and king mackerel fishing from a pier or boat. Retrieve your lure like a wounded baitfish; give the lure quick jerks while reeling it in. If you cast too far away, either the cobia won't see your offering, or won't feel like chasing it. If you don't have chum or don't want to bother with it you can always use a slip-lead rig with a big baitfish. See more. Where to Fish in November and December. But you can’t add a tower to any old boat. Captain Brandy is a tournament winning cobia 'hunter' and had his cobia tower … Cobia will come up off the structure and swim right up to the boat, and often around the boat. This accomplishes two things. Glen Kowalski (author) on August 31, 2014: Thank you! Many of them swim with the manta rays that run along the beaches inland. Otherwise you may find yourself on the way to the emergency room instead of a nice cobia steak dinner! Kite fishing works quite well for cobia, in certain situations. But… kite fishing? With the runs we have here in Florida, people are looking to find them inshore. You also got to love the fact that they offer many frame styles, all of which are constructed of Military Ballistics Rated Material, and are a 100% American owned Florida Company. Cobia on the move can become boat-shy after being repeatedly bombarded by jigs and baits from dozens of boats, and the farther you can make an accurate cast the better chance you have of getting the fish to bite. Ben Chancey from Chew On This in Cape Canaveral. That’s not exactly a technique most folks would consider when targeting this species. You will also want good casting abilities with your rig. Locating cobia really depends on the time of the year you are fishing. There are variety of baits that can be used to seduce a Cobia, there favorite being eels. To get even the pickiest of cobia to eat, try this trick. Of course maybe that fish was just thirsty, but somehow I doubt there are a bunch of alcoholic cobia out there in the world. A good all-around rig for cobia fishing is a medium-heavy 6- to 7-foot spinning rod paired with a high-quality reel. These fish are almost always hungry and eager to take a bait as well. In this episode of BlacktipH, we use the drone to go fishing for cobia in Virginia Beach. Common prey include everything from shrimp and squid to large baitfish. Glen Kowalski (author) on August 07, 2020: Yeah a fresh or 'green' cobia is not something you want loose in the cockpit of your boat. How To. google_ad_client = "ca-pub-8270553620784211"; It’s like having a tree stand in my boat. Cobia fishermen should keep at least a small box of colorful bucktail jigs, ranging from a 1/2-ounce to 3-ounces. You don't need really heavy tackle to get a cobia to the boat, but you better have a good gaff and put the fish immediately into a fish box or have some sort of attitude adjuster ready when he comes over the rail. Nicely done.  Game Fish   Boats.