One calm day we were a few miles off the beach in a jonboat, fishing a platform visible from land. The huge fish partially straightened our three-foot gaff, and later at the dock on marina scales, it weighed 80 pounds even with the tips of its tail still touching the dock. This tiny baitfish, best used on flounder back in the bays, promptly drove the cobia crazy. When these baitfish get soft and mushy, they can be used for chumming purposes, calling up fish from down-current. I’ve seen cobia completely indifferent to dead and artificial baits, and then the first lively critter tossed their way is scarfed up. A quick rundown on other cobia baits: Old-timers favored using hardhead catfish for cobia bait, though I’ve never tried it. Natural Baits for Cobia. Big, quality ribbonfish are also caught during July/August in Galveston harbor, by shrimpboats. If I could catch cobia by driving around the bay at 10 knots, to hell with chumming! A circling 20-pound ling refused all offers, until I dug around in a coffee can (space is critical on such a boat) and pinned a small hook to a marsh minnow. Rigs Keeping the rigs as simple as possible is a great … What to do, you slowly drag the rig across the bottom until you feel the line bump. I titled this response "What is the best landing net?" 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. Their tails are fork like with the upper tail lobe growing longer than the lower and dorsal fins that are similar in shape and appearance to that of a shark. Copyright © 2017 Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine. Tackle Tips   Videos   Lob a frantic, tail-hooked pinfish a few feet in front of cobia, and that’s pretty close to a sure hookup. Clip off the poison spines and set the catfish out there with no weight, let him swim around, and cobia wolf them down. google_ad_height = 600; Cobia. google_ad_slot = "6656867460"; On overnight Gulf trips, squid will approach any lights and they can be caught with a dip net. It was probably the only time we were annoyed at catching a 50-pound cobia, which required time, effort and care in not getting injured. When cobia are in the mood, they’ll eat anything that will fit in their mouths.” Even hardhead catfish are good cobia bait. Or pinch, anyway. The squid’s tentacles dance behind the jig. I was sold. Login. To get even the pickiest of cobia to eat, try this trick. Trade in chum, cut bait, live bait, hours in the sun, no breeze and trash fish for cruising around, face in the wind, a bucket full of eels, a couple of bucktails, two rods and no trash fish. google_ad_width = 160; google_ad_width = 160; In the Eastern Gulf, serious cobia fishermen really favor live eels. I am going on a holiday to Ah Fatt Kelong in Malaysia and i have heard that there are many Cobia out there. After a 10 minute battle, my buddy green-gaffed the fish near the pectoral fin, apparently hitting its heart, a lucky break because it could have pulled the guy overboard. google_ad_height = 15; Cobia feed on Blue Crabs, Stingrays and bait fish such as Pinfish, Eel and Hardhead Catfish. Our staff is made up of the most experienced... READ MORE, Order your Subscription to the best Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine! //-->.  Game Fish   Wait to a count of 10 and set the hook. Snook Audio Fishing Guide. All Rights Reserved. Catching Cobia in the Fall. Cobia are quite fond of the oily “pogie,” probably because of it’s high-oil content. Below is a video posted on Youtube by “FlatLineCharters” on how to make your own custom jig for cobia. Receive both the printed Magazine mailed to you monthly as well as access to all our... READ MORE, Over the years, Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine has been the source of some of the most valuable advice, articles, tips and reviews related to fishing the Gulf Coast... READ MORE, Our user's privacy is important to us at TSF Magazine. I am not quite familiar with catching Cobia as i usually catch Groupers and some other small fishes. These early-season fish haven’t seen a hook since last year, and they’re easy enough to fool, and very aggressive at times. Cobia. google_ad_slot = "7754947861"; For most fisherman, a 7ft or 9ft medium-heavy to heavy setup is best. The best baits in order include crabs, pinfish, mullet, threadfin, and ladyfish. Red Drum: the best rig for this would be a spider weight attached to a 4-5 foot leader and 3/0 - 5/0 hook depending on the size of your bait. //-->, , Lighter tackle is easier to cast and easier to make a bait presentation, but a large Cobia hooked up to a fifteen-pound spinning or casting outfit means a very long battle. Clip off the poison spines and set the catfish out there with no weight, let him swim around, and cobia wolf them down. Rods & I’ve seen that boat unload a lot of big fish. Cobia Jigs. Cobia fishermen should keep at least a small box of colorful bucktail jigs, ranging from a 1/2-ounce to 3-ounces. This includes the tiny marsh minnow, (see also mud minnow – gulf killifish) a few of which can be kept in a small bucket of water all day. There are variety of baits that can be used to seduce a Cobia, there favorite being eels. because I really feel so strongly about the net we were using in Florida Bay on that awesome school of reds. google_ad_client = "ca-pub-8270553620784211"; Having a rod that is more medium is better when throwing live baits and a stiffer rod is required when throwing lures. Lighter tackle is easier to cast and easier to make a bait presentation, but a large Cobia hooked up to a fifteen-pound spinning or casting outfit means a very long battle. Light tackle means a long battle and some lost fish, but if you prefer to get most of your fish to … 10 Cobia Tips and Tricks. Pictures   A quick rundown on other cobia baits: Old-timers favored using hardhead catfish for cobia bait, though I’ve never tried it. While you may have some luck with lures on occasion, live bait is the preferred option, so keep that in mind when you are heading out. Teaches - Catching Live Bait, Rigs & Tackle, Setting a Spread, Habitat & more! (I was using jetty tackle with 20-pound line). google_ad_height = 60; /* New site tower1 */ They are quite picky eaters sometimes but would bite pinfish, which is why they make good bait for the cobia. Which should On the long run back to port we spotted a lone, anchored shrimp boat in the afternoon, no signs of life aboard. Subscribe to continue reading. So were many, many anglers. Also purchased as pure oil, which can be slow-dripped overboard, creating an oil slick that calls up all sorts of offshore critters. When choosing natural bait, get a hint from the Cobia’s feeding behavior. Menhaden. If you are retaining your Cobia make sure it is well played as Cobia that have been brought into the boat to soon have at times caused much damage. A lot of times, Capt. Tipped with a strip of natural bait such as squid, a tiny crab, eel or menhaden. The natural diet of cobia includes primarily crabs (often constitutes the majority of their stomach contents), eels, other fish, and shrimp. Catching Cobia in the Summer. Articles   Best Baits for Catching Cobia. Due to their protein-rich diet, these fish grow very quickly, in some cases reaching over 40 inches in length in less than 2 years. They can be chunked on a cutting board, which I’ve done for hours, or ground up into mush. A wounded bait can’t swim away as easy and stays in the Cobia's vision and strike zone longer. Sorry this content is for subscribers only. These are bought in packages, preferably arranged flat and with their sides still a shiny silver. google_ad_slot = "7754947861"; Even then, these fish fight long and hard. Consider fishing with live baits; whether live or dead. (Typical late-summer cobia). These two baitfish, when thawed, are commonly used during summer, and probably score on cobia best when fishing around anchored shrimpboats when the season begins in July. I’m talking about the squid. Cobia are so fond of eels, even a plastic imitation works quite well. What information do we collect? Bucktails come in many different colors and sizes. On the last day, however, we had no cobia. The Cobia sense this and realize this wounded, bleeding bait … My favourite baits are: herring, whiptails, scad, slimy mackerel, tailor, and grinners. Stop the boat at the shrimpboat’s stern, and idle or cut off your boat’s engines, drifting away with multiple baited hooks in the water. That is, if it hasn’t gorged already that morning. Cobia have a large mouth with very coarse sand paper like teeth designed for crushing crabs, bait fish and squid. When offshore, almost any small, fresh and lively fish will suffice for cobia, if you’re quick enough to toss it out there in front of passing fish without backlashing. The choice seemed obvious. If a cobia is idling in the boat’s shade, it should come out to investigate or better yet chow down on a free meal. JustSportfishing.com. The Cobia can be spotted as they travel in shallow water flats, around pilings, navigational markers, buoys and anchored boats. During one August kingfish tournament, we were ready to return to Galveston after three days in a 21-foot boat. These simple jigs consists of a lead head with a tail made of bucktail, Mylar, nylon, chicken feather or tinsel, and sometimes a combination thereof. Sight fishing for Cobia is one if the most productive fishing methods whether you are using artificial baits or lures. The Cobia’s diet mainly consists of crabs though they also feed on eels, shrimps, clams, squids, and smaller fishes. “Hardheads work!” Captain Ricky says. Just remember, those puppies bite. Newsletter. Lures. Florida Sportsman's 50 Favorite Sportfish of Florida: Cobia. You should aim to fish for cobia during the spring and fall seasons! The sardine is softer, even mushy, but if that’s all the marina has, several five-pound frozen boxes may be the only choice. Pinfish are spiky, but that long row of sharp dorsal fins can easily be trimmed with scissors, a process called giving them a “haircut.”. The common technique is to approach an anchored boat, preferably with its deck lights left on, which indicates the boat anchored before the sun came up. Thanks for reading TheOnlineFisherman.com. Sight fishing for Cobia is one if the most productive fishing methods whether you are using artificial baits or lures. Which proves cobia will eat just about anything. 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