by Capt. Ross Gallagher
Vertical Jigging for cobia suspended over structure is an effective way to pin-point target finicky fish as you can use your fish finder to dial in the depths they are holding and focus the jigs right in their zone.
My setup for vertical jigging consists of a 6′ 6″ heavy action Shimano Trevalla jigging rod, Shimano Sargosa 8000, and 65 pound power pro braided line. The light weight and strength of this setup allow for near effortless fishing all day. Another advantage of braid is that it’s lack of stretch increases hook up ratios as the hook is set in a more direct manner. I like to attach a wind on leader of 80 pound fluorocarbon using a loop to loop connection tied to a spider hitch in my main line. This gives a superior connection for the heavy drag necessary to pull big fish away from structure.
The Lure: Why Soft Baits for Cobia?
Soft baits’ buoyant nature gives you an edge on jigging for cobia as you can play around with the weight the jig head relative to the soft bait, thereby impacting it’s “decent rate”. Often slower is better, as a slower falling bait is more natural. If you think about it for a minute, you rarely see a wounded fish drop like a lead weight!
We have three favorite Jig Head Rigged soft plastics at Hogy®
Choose the lightest weight jig for the conditions. I will cast the bait out, let it sink to the bottom, and begin working it back up through the water column. Using sharp rod twitches and pauses during the retrieve will make the Jigging Hogy “walk the dog”. I will vary retrieves either working the bait all they way to the surface, or stopping in the mid water column, letting the bait back to the bottom, and begin the retrieve again. When you have a strike, quickly retrieve the slack line and give a solid hook set.