Mike Sweeney: Cobia fever hits the beaches

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The beach is famous for its fishing but this year has been above average for a number of reasons.

First of all, the red drum have been hot through last fall, winter and spring and still it is better than an average year.

Now we have an above average number of cobia showing up at the Outer Banks.

There is a run of cobia just off the beach and if you know what and how to do it you can make it happen.

One of the local expert anglers that you all know is Jake Worthington from Camden. He has grown up fishing on the Avalon pier and in the surrounding waters thanks to his dad, Jon.

What you don’t know is he and some locals have developed a way to draw the cobia to the pier and catch them in huge numbers. What they do is chum for the rays and the cobia will follow.

What that means is that cobia tend to follow the rays while they are on the hunt, so if you get the rays, you get the cobia.

They chum with cut blues and mullet then the rays smell the chum, which in turn bring the cobia.

When the rays show up the cobia are under the rays so take a buck tail jig and throw at the rays.

It sounds easy but it takes patience and practice so work with someone else if you can. The old timers are saying that the cobia bite is one of legend this year and it’s the best they have seen in more than 20 years.

What’s biting, where...

The fishing report is looking good with huge numbers of mahi coming to the docks from most of the fleet. We also have had the big billfish tournament out of Pirates Cove this week, and they have caught and released white marlin and sailfish as of the middle of the week.

With over a million dollars in prize money, I am sure someone will come up with a winning blue.

Near shore we have had good catches of blues and cobia along with a decent number of mackerel. The blues and mackerel are hitting slow trolled spoons while the cobia are hitting buck tails cast to them while site fishing.

The piers are good again also with bottom fish on blood worms and shrimp and of course the cobia like Jake and his buddies.

We also have reports of some king fish action on live bait out at the end of the piers.

In the sound it’s still the red fish that are taking center stage, but I heard that the good skippers like Captain Marc of Rock on Charters has caught some good speckled trout.

Locally we have had some good largemouth action on top water baits like Pop-Rs and Flukes early in the morning and late in the day.

When the sun is up it looks like soft plastics like lizards and worms pitched into the wood. The white perch are hitting good back in the back of the creeks especially on Uncle Jessie lures and Beetle Spins. It looks like a banner year for the perch again.

If you get out and go like Jake then send me a report and some pictures and I will do my best to get you into next week’s article but till then tight lines my friends.