Countless Cobia
  |  First Published: August 2008

Cobia are everywhere at the moment, and they are in plague proportions. It’s amazing to see how the population of these fish have increased in numbers in the last three years.

Cobia are big fish and we have caught them as big as 45kg off the wrecks and small reefs around Bundy. The best way to catch these monsters is with live baits but when they are on they will take anything.

You must have the right hardware for these fish and 80lb braid is a great start. You can use less, however, you do run the risk of loosing the fish on structure if you don’t have enough stopping power. These big fish love to rake their heads against the bottom to remove foreign objects from their mouths.

The other important piece of hardware is a decent gaff, there is nothing worst than a cheap ineffective gaff. Buy one that is reinforced, such as a Topshot, as it will save you the heartache of losing that fish of a lifetime. I have heard so many stories of people losing big fish at the boat with straightened or broken gaffs.

Cobia are also very tricky fish with a curious nature that has seen the undoing of many anglers. Cobia tend to go hard at the start, but as you get into the fight the fish will start to rise about half way up from the bottom. When it hits this point, it just swims straight to the surface but staying out wide from the boat. You will often see whirls in the water as their fins break the surface. Curiosity will often get the better of them and they seem unable to resist coming over to check out the boat. However, when they get to the side of the boat and you’re standing ready with gaff in hand, they seem to sense the danger and just race to the bottom, sometimes taking your rod with it.

Nevertheless, by the time you have the second rise the cobia will tire and will be easier to gaff. As these fish are a schooling fish, you can usually see a couple of mates swimming with him. This is a great time to have a second bait ready to go.

My favourite technique for cobia is to drift the wrecks. Dead boating can often limit your fighting potential, so by reversing up on your fish and drifting you can usually pull the fish along with the current, away from the initial structure.

These fish are a great table fish and superb sports fish if you need to catch a big cobia this time of year, fish Bundaberg.

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