Capt. Rush Maltz of the Local Knowledge fishing show has grown up and been a guide in the Florida Keys his entire life. Reef and bottom fishing are very popular fisheries with his clients and the reefs and structures in the Keys offer a wide variety of bottom fish.
Cobia are one species that can get an adrenaline dump from any angler when they pop up in a flash and taunt you boat-side.
Cobia can be caught throughout the water column from the very bottom around structures and ledges to the surface around buoys or free-swimming. Because of their versatility and often aggressive appetite, cobia are caught using a wide variety of jigs, lures and live or dead baits.
“A bucktail jig, either plain or tipped with a live bait is my favorite lure for cobia because it can be bounced off the bottom or retrieved along the top,” said Capt. Rush.
“I also like to have a rod rigged up with a Madscad 115 from Nomad Design. It can be cast a mile and has great action and quality hardware.”
Some days cobia are the dumbest fish you’ve ever seen, but on other days the smartest. You need to be ready for everything in between.
“As far as my outfit goes for cobia, I like to use a PENN Slammer spinning reel around a 6500 size. I will be fishing 50# braid to a 40# to 60# Seaguar fluorocarbon leader tied to the lure or hook,” says Capt. Rush. “I do prefer a Mustad long shank bait hook to present any type of live bait to a cobia that is being finicky. The long shank offers chafe protection in the cobia’s mouth.”
Give these cobia tips a try next time you are able and enjoy the bulldog fight of these “brown bombers” of the reef.
Get more tips and tricks from the Local Knowledge crew on their Youtube channel.