Cobia caught at Ninety-Mile
  |  First Published: May 2007

The excellent beach fishing we have had throughout summer has continued, with some exceptional local captures including salmon, tailor, sharks, elephant fish and a cobia.

Yes that’s right…a COBIA! As shown in the photo, a stray cobia was landed from Paradise Beach in March. It was caught on salted pilchard by Deny Tortora while fishing with Lou Tortora. They were fishing in the afternoon and evening chasing gummy and bronze whaler sharks, when at 6.30pm Deny’s rod got hit. After a short fight, the fish was brought to the shore break, where the boys stood motionless with mouths agape while they identified their catch.

Once what was happening sunk in, the boys promptly finished landing the fish, which weighed 7.5kg gutted and gilled. Upon inspection of the stomach contents, a 25cm school shark was removed whole. The fish was kept on ice overnight so the boys could show the fish to family and friends without any question of mistaken identity.

The boys returned the next night hoping to catch another, but this time they returned only with a 1.5m gummy. Not a bad consolation prize! Interestingly there have previous been reports of cobia taken inside Port Albert and Port Welshpool, but until now there hasn’t been any definitive proof of these catches.

The rest of the beaches have also been fishing well, with salmon to 3kg, tailor to 1.5kg and gummy sharks up to 1.5m being taken all along the beach. Best options are Lake Tyers and Eastern Beach in the east and Loch Sport to Seaspray in the west, using baits of bluebait, whitebait, pilchards and squid. Surf poppers in red and blue are also taking their share of salmon and tailor, as are metal lures. The best time for these species has been early morning, with the gummies biting after dark.

Elephant fish have made another appearance with fish to 3kg being landed from Golden Beach to Woodside Beach. Most of these fish have been taken on bluebait and squid.

Woodside Beach has been a bit shallower than the other beaches, which creates more foamy water and cover for salmon and tailor. Trevally will also be making more of an appearance from now on in the deeper holes along the beaches. Even though the nights are cold it is still worth the effort to fish for gummies, as there is often some big fish taken during the cooler months.

When we get those nice late autumn days it is well worth at least a few hours fishing the beach, as you just never know what might turn up.

Who knows, next summer I might be reporting a marlin capture from the surf. It may be far fetched, but I never thought I’d be reporting a cobia taken from the beach either!

Thanks to Will Thompson from Allways Angling and Deny Tortora for the use of the photos – I’d never have believed it myself if I hadn’t seen them!

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