Cobia aka Ling

by Capt. James Marko

Generally, around October and November you can find an amazing Pelagic sport fish called a cobia in shallow water. It’s one of the few Pelagics that actually come inshore. During the fall a lot of fish start migrating north and south to new fishing locations to hold up during the winter. Cobia seem to be one of those fish and generally when they’re moving, they’re in a small schools from 2 to 6. I’ll be completely honest and it’s probably one of the biggest tips I can give you about finding them inshore, but look for giant stingrays. Yes, I said stingrays, I don’t know why but cobia love to trail big stingrays in the flats. Yes, I’ve caught cobia offshore, there’s been plenty-of times they’ve come into my chum slick. Which, by the way, is awesome to see a pack of fish that look like 3-4-foot sharks come haul through your chum slick looking for some fresh bait. Generally, when you find a school they’re very aggressive, you can easy trick them on lures, but my personal favorite choice of bait is a live pinfish. I’ve also caught them vertical jigging squid on the bottom, but I’ve been most successful using pinfish. Cobia have to be 33 inches to the fork and you can only keep 2 a day per vessel. Filleting the cobia isn’t difficult, but you gotta know that the spine that runs down their body is actually rigid, so when you make a cut into them actually do it at an angle instead of an actual straight cut. Another useful tip is having a gaff ready to land this fish. All hell breaks loose when they get next to the boat! Also, be ready with another bait if you hook into one because there’s generally always another one trailing. The state record is 130lb out of Destin. I couldn’t even imagine how big that thing was.

Good luck targeting these guys, if you’re in water under 70°, generally you won’t find them. That’s it, my last tip. We all gotta learn first-hand, sometimes sooner than later. Be sure to check out my Instagram @captjamesmarko for all my daily catches and contact me through to book a trip. Till next month tight-lines ladies and gentlemen.

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