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Cobia fever is off our coast

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Mike Sweeney sports fishing

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By Mike Sweeney
Columnist

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Right now just off our coast we have some of the best cobia fishing available to anyone who knows how to fish for them.

Recently the federal and state governments have been arguing as to what the population status of cobia are and after much arguing they have changed the rules again so before you go check with all the appropriate agencies to find out what you can or cannot keep.

Never trust anyone but the people who put the rules into play before you go.

There are a couple of ways to fish for this prized fish. One way is to go to a pier and wait for one to pass by and the other is to get on a boat and go look for them.

For those who don’t know cobia have a reputation of not being the most intelligent fish in the sea.

An old skipper buddy of mine told me that when he used to shrimp he would slap an oar on the water and the noise would bring the fish to the surface to see what the racket was.

He would then shoot the fish with a rifle and cook it for dinner. This was years ago and believe it or not it was legal back then.

Cobia tend to hang around the surface looking for bait so sight fishing is the most entertaining way to fish for them.

You literally troll the boat around with a jig at the ready and look for them on the top of the water column then cast to them.

It sounds easy but the truth is they tend to hang around certain water temps and if you can find a sea turtle or a big ray they like to hang around them also.

Cast your jig at the turtle or ray and see if they come out from underneath and bite. One different way that only some locals know is that they love to hang around structure and the marker buoys and the cables that they are attached to.

Go straight out of the channel at Oregon Inlet and hit all the markers on the way out and on the way in.

Some of the biggest cobia I have ever landed where hanging on the last marker out of the inlet.

Fishing from the pier is a little different but no less exciting.

When you go to the pier bring a rod to fish the bottom with and maybe a big rod to throw long but always bring a heavy cobia rod with your favorite jig on the end of the line.

While you are fishing the day away look for the fish to just cruise by or maybe one will come with a ray as it swings by the pier.

It’s really exciting to run down the pier and try to cast to a moving target before it gets out of range.

You will not be the only one with this idea so keep a sharp eye out and try to be the first to make the cast. If anyone has any questions just hit me up and I will be happy to answer any questions.

What’s biting, where...

The fishing report for the offshore guys are looking pretty good with good catches of yellowfin, some big eye tuna and good dolphin catches.

We have also had some billfish released with blue marlin, some sails and wahoo. Not every day is a banner day but most are good with very few slow days in between so it’s a good bet to get offshore now.

Closer to shore everyone is talking about the cobia bite that has been red hot this past week or so.

Some days it’s a numbers game with lots of releases while others are just big fish. When I say big cobia I mean fish over 50 pounds coming to the scales.

That is a world class fish and to see it hit the bait that makes it that much better.

On the sand and piers we have had a good run of mullet on most days with some days better than others while other days the cobia move in and they can even be caught off the surf.

That is a trophy fish off the surf but we also are still catching some puppy drum and they don’t ever seem to be wanting to leave us so I am happy about that.

Locally we are still fishing for largemouth and they still seem to be hanging around the shallows on wood and other structure.

Top water baits like Pop-Rs and Whopper Ploppers are the go to bait to get the day started but always have a Fluke bait tied on in case of a short strike. After you get a bite or two then move to a plastic worm or jig to work all the cover in that area.

The white perch are strong again this year with lots of numbers both up in the shallow cover and just off into the first drop in about 5 to 7 feet of water.

Watch your depth finder and cast Uncle Jessie Lures and white Beetle Spins tipped with shrimp for the best results. I know we got out this past weekend so send me some bragging pictures and a report to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.

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