South Florida Cobia Fishing

Cobia caught on a Biscayne Rod and Gaff by @gmandrish

Cobia caught on a Biscayne Rod and Gaff by @gmandrisch

South Florida’s relatively warm winter waters — with Florida Bay in particular — provide for some of the most exciting Cobia fishing opportunities in the United States.

Cobias seek out the warmer waters of South Florida and Florida Bay as their winter migration destination, resulting in concentration of schooling fish over structure and close to productive feeding grounds.  As the fish tend to move around a lot, a run-and-gun strategy can pay off, especially if the bay waters are disturbed and make it difficult to spot fish cruising along at the surface.

A good approach for locating Cobia around structure is to employ a mix of live bait, artificial, surface, and bottom presentation.  A typical set-up from a small bay or center console boat may include a live mullet, free-lined at the surface, with a live pinfish before a sinker trailing at the bottom.  While drifting the structure, two anglers can then scan the surrounding area by fishing two jigs of different weight and color; one fished bouncing off the bottom, and one covering the middle and upper water column.  If a few drifts do not produce, move on to the next spot and repeat.

A word of advice: Always have one road rigged and ready to go –whether with live bait or an artificial lure so that you can react quickly to sightings of cruising fish, often showing up unsuspected only feet away from the boat.  You may just not have enough time to reel in 50 yards of slack before the prize fish of the day disappears.

Our 20lb Legacy Light Offshore Spinning Rods paired with 20lb to 30lb mono or 50lb braid are the perfect tools of the trade, allowing precision casts yet provide the backbone needed to steer the fish away from the structure they frequent. Size up to a Legacy Light Offshore Trolling Rod of 20lb or 30lb for the bottom live bait rig, depending on the size of the expected fish and proximity to structure. Fluorocarbon leaders of 50lb to 80lb are recommended, with a length of 4′ to 6′ being just fine.

As bringing a Cobia alongside your boat is only half the battle, our lightweight 2”-3” Legacy Gaff will be a tremendous help in getting the Cobia under control at — and in — the boat.

Don’t forget to send us a photo of your cobia caught on your Biscayne Rod – we’d love to share your prize-winning catch with the Biscayne Rod family!

Cobia caught off shore in Key West by John Olivera with Second Generation Fishing Charters. Photo credit: @capt.robdelph

Cobia caught off shore in Key West by John Olivera with Second Generation Fishing Charters. Photo credit: @capt.robdelph

Miami Wahoos!

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Winter wahoo fishing in the Bahamas gets all the attention, yet productive fishing right out the front door may easily be overlooked.  Although catches may not always be as prolific as they are in the islands, South Florida wahoo trolling can be very productive and may provide a more easily accessible alternative.

Whether fishing with life bait under a kite or high speed trolling with artificials, wahoo fishing on the Atlantic coast from the middle of the state down to the Florida Keys can be quite good! If you’re headed out of Miami, Miami Beach, Coconut Grove, or Coral Gables, head out to at least 80 to 100 feet of water and look for signs of life, such as birds, color or current breaks, as well as sonar marks.

A good strategy consists of employing high speed trolling of artificials at 12-16 knots early or late in the day, with the first or last light setting in.  Make sure to vary your speed and experiment with different colors and lures as there is no magic number or pattern that will produce in all conditions.  On the initial setup make sure to vary your colors and patterns to determine what is working that day. Our Legacy Trolling Rods will give you the backbone needed for fighting big fish and absorbing the great stress high speed trolling with large lures puts on your equipment.  For top notch Wahoo lures check out Ronnie Schatman’s lures.

Approaching mid-day, switch to fishing medium to large live bait under a kite, slow troll, or freeline.  Wire trace is a must, which will still give you the mixed bag bonus of adding a king, sail, or dolphin to the spread.  When fishing live bait, our Light Legacy Offshore Trolling Rods come into play. Our lightweight graphite rods when matched with next generation reel technology and braided lines allow fishermen to push the envelope with exiting winter life bait fishing. Don’t let their light weight fool you!

To convert that bite into a successful landing and accompanying bragging rights, pick up one of our 3”-4” Legacy Lightweight Gaff and an AFTCO Alijos Day Belt matched for for 20-50 lb tackle.

Resources for additional information and tips: Check out this article from Sport Fishing Magazine on 12 Wahoo Fishing Techniques – Nine pros share 12 wahoo fishing techniques to put more fish in your boat. Finding Offshore Currents and EddiesFlorida Sportsman.

Don’t forget to send us a photo of your wahoo caught on your Biscayne Rod – we’d love to share your prize-winning catch with the Biscayne Rod family!