We are approaching Memorial Day Weekend, first and foremost we should take time to pause and reflect on the sacrifices made by those who died in active military service of our country. I know many think of this as a long weekend that kicks off their summer, or a time to run to the big box hardware store to take advantage of a Memorial Day sale. For many North Carolina fishermen, Memorial Day Weekend is when the Cobia fishing is at its peak. They are mostly caught by pier fishermen and boat fishermen in North Carolina, however they can be caught from the surf.
As a surf fisherman, should you opt to target cobia, you should first fish where they are in our surf. This means traveling to Hatteras or Ocracoke Islands where your odds of encountering this fish in the surf zone is higher. I, for one, have encountered them at Hatteras Inlet and along the Hook just south of Cape Point. Cobia are brutal fighters, do not think you can catch these fish on light tackle. I would opt for a high capacity, conventional saltwater reel loaded up with fresh 25-40 lb monofiliment line. Your shock leader should be at least twice the breaking strength of your line and don’t scrimp on your terminal tackle either. 5/0 to 9/0 circle hooks are a good idea. Be prepared, should you hook a cobia, there will be a fight. These fish do not give up. Fights can last an hour or more. Cobia take a wide variety of bait. Cut bait, live bait and artificials can induce cobia to bite.
Cobia are very tasty and can be prepared in many number of ways. Baked, grilled or smoked. In particular, the cobia’s head is known for being used in stews, so do not discard the head when cleaning your catch.
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Daiwa Coastal TWS Saltwater Baitcasting Reel – click on image for more info.