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FISH’N'TIP by Barry McDade

Friday, 11 March 2016

Barry McDade is a fishing legend and so I’m pretty pumped he’s offered these handy tips on catching the hard large hard fighting and great tasting Cobia. 

With the East Australian Current Peaking this month these magnificent sports fish are turning up as far south as Eden, and catching them anywhere further north is a great chance at the moment.  The techniques also work great on Kingfish and other pelagic species currently on our coastline.

Tips on Catching Cobia or Black Kingfish on the Sunshine Coast
by Barry McDade

Targeting Cobia I have found the making tide in the morning is best. The best months to chase Cobia are December, January, February, March and also into April when the water temp is over 21 degrees.

The placers I like to look is over Reef around Pinnacles and drop offs over gravel bottoms and wire weed.  The other thing I look for is things floating on the surface of the water because Cobia like swimming under things that float.

When fishing for Cobia I like to drift over reef structure.  Locally I like the Inner and Outer Gneerings, Murphy's Reef, Currimundi Reef, the 5 mile, 9 mile and 12 mile, but any reef or wreck has a good chance of holding Cobia for a while (they stop in during migration runs).

When I start my drift I will put out 3 rods with 3 different size sinkers I use a 2 ball on one rod, a 5 ball on rod number and an 8 ball on the third rod. I use a running sinker rig with 3 gang hooks Tru Turn 6/0 with size 4 Rolling swivels linking them together and a swivel on the top of the hook to stop line twist.

I use the 3 different size sinkers to cover from the top, middle and bottom of the water column. Using this technique you will soon find the depth the Cobia are travelling or feeding at.

The baits I like to use are whole large Pillys, whole Squid, Slimy Mackerel, Yakkers, and large green King Prawns. Live Yakkas, slimeys, squid or other bait species all work well.  When you do get your first hook up put a mark into your G.P.S so when you land your fish you can go back to that mark anchor up and start a good berley trail this will keep the Cobia in the area and draw them out from structure.

The berley I like to use is prawn heads and prawn shells, Mud and Sand crab shells.  Effectively the bits and pieces you don't eat yourself! I crunch these up into small pieces and add pilchards cut into very small pieces.  Mixed together this is the best berley you can use for Cobia and it is a real secret to getting them out from structure to eat.

An alternative is berley you can buy from your local tackle is a prawn Pellet with Aniseed oil, it works well too and is typically good value too. When you are anchored up take the heavy sinkers off your rods and go back to no sinker on 1 rod, a 3 ball rod 2, and a 5 ball on rod 3 and start floating your baits into your berley trail and your baits are still covering the water column.

For those who have caught the odd Cobia you will know hard is it to gaff a Cobia - you point the gaff at it and a second later it has ran 10 or 20meters away from the boat.  This happens not once but 2 or 3 times! Hear is a tip-if you put a lanyard rope on the back end of your gaff make a loop in it big enough to go over the bollard on the back of your boat make shore at least half of your gaff sits in the water. Do this when you first hook up with your Cobia so when the Cobia comes to the boat the gaff in the water looks like part of the boat and the Cobia will swim to your boat. When the Cobia is in gaff range grab your gaff leave it in the water and when you are ready to gaff your fish do it. It should only take once to gaff it into the boat. Try it . It really does work.

Good Fishing, I hope these tips help you next time you chase a Cobia.

Barry McDade.

Tags Cobia Black Kingfish

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