March is finally upon us and for most of us this is what we have been waiting for; March Madness! Can anyone figure it out? That’s right, Cobia! Hopefully the water will reach that 70 degrees soon and the cobia will start popping up.
We have been very fortunate this year with very warm weather and already seen many cobia earlier than expected. A few weeks ago after the week of winter we had, the water temps dropped to 65 and we haven’t seen many but they will be here soon enough though.
Cobia is one of my favorite fish to hunt for. Not only are they great to find and watch blow up on a buck tail or livey but are great eating too. Here are a few tips that may help you out.
Cobia are not exactly the smartest fish as they will attack almost anything that is thrown in their view. First thing you need to do is pick your day, the sun should be high in the sky with no clouds. Fairly calm clear water that is not muddy helps too. Yes, these are ideal conditions and unfortunately it doesn’t always happen. If the water is choppy and a little dirty, you just have to look and work harder. Get up high as possible! You will be amazed at how far you can see while you’re up there. It’s a huge difference than standing on the gunnels. If you happen to spot a manta ray, check for cobia either underneath, on top or following behind.
I use 40lb braid. I don’t use mono because there’s too much stretch when trying to set the hook. From the braid I use a 5-foot 50lb mono leader. I don’t bother with fluorocarbon but I’m sure it doesn’t hurt. My rod has enough backbone to fight the fish and enough flexible tip to work a jig.
When choosing baits, I keep it very simple. I only use 2oz Buck tails from Handler Fishing Supply or live bait. All my buck tails are tipped with a whole squid for taste and smell. I keep another rod with live bait, pogie, threadfin or pinfish, on a 7/0 circle hook ready to go in the live well. If the cobia doesn’t want the buck tail follow it up with a live fish. Most of the time they will not turn down at least one of them. Though there are a few rare times that they just wont eat a thing. When the cobia run comes in it is not uncommon to see dozens of fish in a day. Be sure to follow the local regulations though as they do vary in state and federal waters.
I hope this helps you out a little. Enjoy and have a great cobia season. Be sure to get into the Sunrise Marina cobia tournament this month.
As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call.