The unofficial kick off to spring in many locales is marked by the arrival of cruising cobia, running along the beaches. The large brown beauties are easy to identify and present artificial lures to.
We recommend long fast action extra heavy spinning set up. A popular choice is the Shimano Teramar Inshore Series 8’ extra extra heavy 20 – 40 pound class rod. The extra length of the rod will help you gain that extra distance when making long casts to cruising fish. We recommend a high quality 8000 series reel, such as the Shimano Saragosa, and spool it up with 50 pound power pro braided line.
Capt. Ross Gallagher’s Tip: I’ll attach a six foot section of 60 pound fluorocarbon leader using the albright special knot, then tie an offshore loop knot to attach to my hook. This may setup is light enough to fish all day, but has the smooth drag and back bone to land those trophy cobia.
Why Soft Baits for Cobia?Depending on how you rig, soft baits have a much slower decent than more traditional buck tail jigs. A slower decent will help you time a presentation or coax a slow moving leery fish. However, the MOST IMPORTANT reason why soft-baits are so deadly, is how serpentine and eel like they are in the water when retrieved properly. …and we all know how much cobia like eels.
Our best selling soft bait eel for cobia is The 10″ Original paired with either The Un-weighted or Weighted Swim Bait Hook. Un-weighted is the most deadly in terms of action but can be difficult to cast. For that reason, many anglers switch to the weight version of our swim-bait Hook.
Some times heavy wind dictates heavy jig heads, or others it’s quickly sounding cobia that are easily spooked. Our two best selling jig head rigs are The 10″ Hogy® Jiggin’ and The Hogy® 5″ Flounder. It’s your call on how much weight to use on The Hogy® Jig Heads. Only you know how much weight you need in any given situation. All of our jig heads are cobia strong.
Deep Water Tip: Cobia love eels, so you can’t go wrong with one of our Jiggin soft-baits. However, we’ve been hearing from our pro-staff, that cobia with “lock-jaw” are often tempted with the flounder.
Presenting the bait to fish can be challenging, but taking the time to position yourself and the bait correctly will increase your success rate. When approaching your fish, try and keep your shadow behind you and not towards the fish alerting it to your presence.
Stay as far away from the fish as possible, while staying within accurate casting distance. Aim your cast in front of the fish and try to work the bait into the path of the fish. Begin working the rod tip horizontally using eight to twelve inch twitches to begin “walking the dog”, as you get close to the fish, watch its reaction to the bait, and slow or speed up the presentation to trigger a strike. Using the soft circle hook, reel up the slack and old the rod away from the fish at the nine o’ clock position and maintain pressure as the circle hook sets firmly into the side of the mouth. When using the tandem hook set up, make sure the fish has a good hold of the bait, reel up the slack, and set the hook firmly.