Bubba Life

Full Contact Cobia


Lemonfish. Ling. The Brown Clown – all various aliases that describe the saltwater beast more commonly known as Cobia. Along the Treasure Coast of Florida, Cobia runs rampant from March through June, staging off of the shores at Cape Canaveral, Sebastian Inlet, and Vero Beach. Quite possibly no other captain has them dialed in as Glyn Austin of Going Coastal Charters.

Full Bleed Image 2

“Late February through early April, the fishing is pretty wild,” states Austin. “Cobia are following the huge, black manta rays as they migrate, using them for cover and sticking right under their wingtips to snatch up any of the forage the rays kick up with the waving flaps of their massive wings.” Manta Rays are in the shallow, 15 to 20 feet of water out to 40 feet, then with water temperatures sparking a cobia bite anywhere from 68 degrees into the low 70’s. “We switch tactics to target cobia on the rays depending on what the rays are doing,” says Austin. “If cobes are gliding up on the surface, then we throw Rapala XRAP Magnum 14s at them to pull them off. If they are hanging underneath the rays, then we launch out 2-ounce leadheads with Hogy eels or 2-ounce bucktails with 6-inch curly grubs below the ray to jig ‘em up and out.”

Though chasing manta rays are a solid plan, Austin will look for any structure that attracts Cobia. “The buoys and markers off Port Canaveral are hot spots to find fish hanging, as Cobia is definitely wired to be structure-oriented. The prime directive for them is 1 – to find cover and 2- to ambush food, so any kind of structure, living or manufactured, is worth a look at.” Starting in June and throughout the summer, Cobia begins to move off the coastline and colonize the shipwrecks that lie anywhere from 60 to 120 feet of water. “Usually when Cobia is on the wrecks, we break out the live baits,” notes Austin. “With a 50-pound leader and a 7/0 Circle Hook, I clip on a 1-ounce split shot about 1 foot above the hook for weight, then hook on a live pinfish, pigfish, sardine, or blue claw crab. The rig is dropped on the wreck for what is normally instant hits.” If live baits aren’t getting strikes for whatever reason, Glyn will jig with the leadhead/rubber eel combination to trick up an aggressive strike.

Full Bleed Image 2

Anyone who has caught Cobia know that the second half of the battle starts once they are in the boat. Proper landing gear is required, including a 7-foot, 4-inch Bubba Carbon Fiber Gaff. Once subdued and on the fillet board, nothing beats the Bubba 7-inch Tapered Flex Folding Knife to effortlessly cut the meat and cajole the prime steaks off the cobia. Then its all about the finding the right frying pan.
― The BUBBA™ Team