after seeing all the replys and good feed back on my winter time tactics post I figured I would go out on a limb and do a how to for cobia fishing, its something that is very over looked along the grand strand, but it is also something that can easily be done from, boat, pier, and even the surf! our cobia migration in this part of south Carolina starts at the end of april or beginning of may (depending on water temps and bait) and carrys on to about the end of june. now yes 80 precent of my fishing these days is done from a boat, but also 80 precent of the cobia I catch are 100 yards from the breakers on the beach! cobia feed off the top and the bottom, once you start seeing the big migration of pogies aka menhaden or bunker the cobia are all over the beach, there was days his past spring we caught a cobia out of every school we came up on from Litchfield to surfside beach!
lets start with rods, reels and line! we us a verity of spinning and casting tackle for these fish in the spring, when fishing schools of bait the go to set up is a shimano Sedona 6000 spinning reel loaded with 50 lb power pro with about a 10 foot fluorocarbon 40 lb shock leader, matched up with a 7 foot MH custom ugly stick live bait spinning rod. this set up is great for free lining baits into the school or sight casting artificial baits, when im out on the wrecks and need to get a fish out o th stricter quick I use a 5'8 xxh shimano travalla jigging rod paired with a avet mxl casting reel, which is loaded with 80 lb power pro. which works great for dropping live baits down or jigging bucktails! I would go with a spinning combo from the beach or pier due to castabilty!
baits, I use a wide verity of live bait and artificial baits when running bait schools on the beach, live baits include greenbacks, pogies, mullet, bluefish, and pinfish, it all depends on whats available. pogies being my firs choice because that's what they are in schools of after all!
here is a picture of pogies or menhaden for the novice anglers
you can fish live baits by free lineing them on a circle hook by sight casting them to the fish or throwing it on the outside of the school if the fish are not on top, this will make it look like the weak one out of the bunch and 9 times out of ten its gonna get eatin.
now when your on the pie, boat, beach, where it ever it may be you fish. and you see the fish swimming he top of the bait schools but cant get him to eat a live bait, I suggest having a second rod with a plug or bucktail tide on because I promise thy will eat that if there not eating live I prefer a oversized yozuri jerkbait but some prefer bucktails, colors on these baitsdont make a difference it is all a matter of wha you have faith in!
as far as rigs I use for the live bait I either free line the baits on a circle hook with a flouro leader or I use a over sized Carolina rig with a 4 to 8 oz egg sinker you get the bait down, there is down sides to both, free lining you cut a lot of cut offs, because there is also a lot of Spanish and king mackerel in thse schools of bait, the we have landed both thanks to the circle hooks but you still have the chance o getting cut off. putting your bait on the bottom you will tend to hook a lot of sharks, but it can also be extremely effective on the cobia. it all just depends on what the fish are doing, I wouldn't recommend a wire leader, cobia can see it and they also jump a lot of the time and will kink the wire and break it!
there is so many ways to do this and you definitely do not need a boat, I have seen 60 lb fish caught on the beach, and well everyone knows the size cobia they catch on the piers in the spring, atleast I know they catch some studs on surfside.
these fish are one of the best eating in my opinion, and they fight so hard you wont ever wear one out, on that note be careful handling these fish when they are live, they are extremely strong and WILL hurt you, don't try to be super man guys the fish will win, I have had them break my foot, dislocate my knee, and slice me open, when I wasn't careful! now get out there this spring and try something new, like I said it can be done from boat, beach, pier, or jettys, and its something anyone can do!
hope this post can help someone out, an if anyone would like me to do a write up on a certain species, let me know and I will try my best to help you out!
Hey Adam, Thanks for the reports here lately, bud. You've been a catchin' machine. Whack em and stack em. This thread is well-done, my friend. I'll stick it at the top of the SC forum.
“To be is to do - Socrates / To do is to be - Sartre / Do Be Do Be Do - Sinatra” -- Kurt Vonnegut
thanks dude! I would like to think I have came a long way since joining this forum 5 years ago, when I didn't know my ass from my elbow!
wow, thanks Adam. Quite informative. I have not caught or had opportunity to catch one yet. Thanks for all the good info.
Perfect write up buddy! And I can verify that a cobia WILL HURT you. I got tail whipped in the nut$ last season after gaffing a 29lb fish after a 15 min flight. Ipromise u I wwon't make that mistake twice! As always great write up glad some one else on here enjoys seeing other people catch fish as much as actually reeling one in!
Nice did a great writeup thank you !!!!!
I would be interested in any advice you have on sheepshead at the jetties without a boat. I have never targeted them but I want to try. Thanks
Thanks again, will DEFFINATLEY have to give those tips a try, Will be coming down the end of April @ apache for the week.
thanks for all the good feedback yall. im gonna try to do one of these how to posts weekly, till the season kicks in and I get to busy so if anyone has a species or type of fishing they want me to cover please let me know so I can do a write up on it
I was actually about to post a thread asking about cobia. Care to book me and my dad a cobia trip this spring?
adding my thanks for the info cutbait
how about spade fish? I think they are typically pier but they are good to eat! also anything I can catch off the surf is by far my favorite thing to do. So any recomendations for surf fishing would be awesome
And if all that don't work just free gaff the cobia and get out of the way when you put him in the boat
Thanks for the great info!
I live in the upstate, was wondering if my 17ft sea nymph w/ 50hp would work in the bay areas like to get in on the cobia action.
I usually fish the surf or the piers, would like to try something different .
Yeah just want to to the bay stuff . Wife wants to catch some specks. After she got some red drum, shes got big fish fever. Want to try the inlets and get her on the trout.
And maybe just past the breakers...MAYBE....
You ain't lived untill your buddy gaffs a cobia and tosses it right in the bottom of the boat right after it destroyed the tackle box, the two 5 gal buckets, knocked over the bait cooler all the while he is yelling for me to hit it in the head with my 5 lb maul Now I aint as dumb as I look,,, I am standing way back waiting for this tornado hiding in a fish suit to calm way down before I get anywhere near this leg breaking monster I finally get a rag over it's head and sweet and lovingly apply pressure with said 5 lb maul to the top of his nogan (yes that means I bashed his skull) after I sweetly render the cobia into a more passive mood I look at my buddy and inform him if he ever gaffs a semi green cobia and tosses it into the boat before I bash the fish in the head I will apply the 5 lb maul to his skull
A shark will only bite you a cobia will beat you to death
Sounds as much fun as trying to get a 30is inch striper into the net while holding the rod i ur other hand.... But from the clips Ive seen the cobia wins every time..