Fired Up Offshore Forecast – March 2019

March Madness is here – bring on the cobia! This is the historic time frame along the east central Florida coast that the migration of cobia swims by us. Although we catch them all year long, this is usually the best time. The water is warming back up to the 70-degree mark. Free-swimming cobia are the most fun to target in my opinion. A few things must come together though. One being sunny skies, you must be able to see into the water a little bit and two, try to get as high as possible.

A hungry cobia is not a picky fish nor are they the smartest. My bait of choice is a bucktail with a whole squid hooked on it. This gives a natural look and smell. There are many different types of baits and lures people use. Even the steel leader rigs work well at times when they are debating what to eat when they surface at the boat.

I also like live bait. Bunker and pinfish work great too. It’s fun to watch a cobia go nuts trying to eat a livey. Sometimes there are days that you will see 30 fish and maybe only 2 actually eat or get Fired Up on a jig. I haven’t had many cobes turn down a live fish. Some say they will never turn down a live choice shrimp or their magic swim bait. Fishing is just that – fishing. Some days they’re on fire other days they swim away from whatever you throw. My gear of choice is 7-foot medium action rod. Line is 40lb braid and a 50lb mono leader. If I’m using live bait, I use an 8/0 circle hook and I hook the live fish through the back of the head and cast forward and past the fish.

Don’t forget to register in the sunrise tournament for the month-long Cobia Madness. Good luck!