The perfect warmup for spring tarpon season.
Cobia are a sight-fishing specialty this time of year, along Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic Beaches.
Spring-run cobia travel inshore where even small skiffs can reach them on calm days. The fish are quick to snap up flies, and a big one will tax a 10-weight as well as any tarpon of comparable size. Where best to tackle these great fish on fly? Here are four scenarios.
Cobia are famous for running beaches, but in Tampa Bay, Charlotte Harbor and other big bays, migrating cobia often travel over sandbars and edges of grassflats. And their paths may be well-worn: Pay attention to where they travel at different stages of the tide, and you can zero in on a pattern to find cruising fish. Anchoring along those paths—just as you would for tarpon—is usually the best approach. Or, troll-motor the edges of these bars and flats. In Tampa Bay, we have the most success around the 6-foot sandy bottom contour. Once a fish is spotted, you can’t go wrong with a black-and-purple bunny strip fly.