• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On July 7, 2017
  • Comments
  •  4

Florida’s east and west coasts have a bad ass fishery when it comes to chasing down the brown clowns, or cobia.

Hardcore battlers and inquisitive by nature, cobia are suckers for whacking topwater and subsurface lures. Usually, you can happen upon a pack of 2 to 5 fish or so hanging around on the water surface as their shadows appear like sharks, but more commonly you will also find them milling around structure like buoys or following manta rays and sea turtles.

A more brawny set up is recommended when tangling with cobia, as medium- to heavy-action 7-foot conventional rods for live-baiting like a Okuma Azores AZ-C-661MH, spinning rods for sight-casting such as a Shimano Tallus TLS69MHBBL. Match rods with a Shimano Talica 12 or Penn 6500 SS. Spool up with 30 to 50-pound Power Pro or Sufix 832 line, with a 6-foot top shot of 40 to 50-pound Seaguar or Yo-Zuri TopKnot fluorocarbon leader tied via Albright knot.

For lure selection, choose lures that make a lot of commotion and have seductive fluttering capability. Bucktails like 2- to 3-ounce Spro or Williamson Lures Banjo Eye in pink or chartreuse can be tipped with pink or white Hogy 7-inch plastics or even a live eel. Bucktails can be cast ahead of the cobia to sink down about 5 feet or so then drifted back into its forward path, jigged in long sweeping motions to garner a strike. When spying cobia hanging off of manta rays or other structures, try tossing some topwaters to pull them off the object and get them hot to bite. Plugs like the Rapala X-Rap Walk, Yo-Zuri Hydro popper, or Williamson Popper Pro all can push water spray around to mimic a fleeing baitfish.

Once you hook up to a cobe, be prepared for a knock-down drag-out battle that lasts both outside, boatside and inside the boat. Be wary of their strength when trying to unhook, gaff or net them as they can really put a bruising on you if you are not vigilant.

Suggested Gear


AZ-C-661MH Azores Jig Rod

Okuma Azores Jigging Rods are made with extremely light-weight and responsive 24-ton carbon rod blanks, featuring OC-9 carbon outer wrap for improved hoop strength.



TLS69MHBBL Tallus Blue Water Spinning Rod

Shimano Tallus Blue Water Spinning rods are perfect for saltwater fishing. With the Shimano name and technologies you are sure to catch what you’re after with these rods. Made with Shimano TC4 construction, allowing for these rods to be more powerful yet still remain lightweight.



TAC12 Taclica Reel

Smooth drag is very important and one that Shimano prides itself upon throughout the product line. Talica is no exception to the rule. However, being able to fish 3 to 4 line classes heavier than you would normally on a reel of its size makes Talica more fun to fish since you spend less time fighting your tackle and more time fighting the fish.



Spinfisher V SSV6500 Spinning Reel

A more advanced edition of the Spinfisher series reels. The Spinfisher V Series spinning reels are made with Penn’s new Water Tight Design which protects the reel from saltwater making its way into the gearbox or drag system.



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