Barden Inlet is a popular place to bottom fish for cobia at Cape Lookout. Unlike squid, Gulp will last all day and you won’t cast them off the hook. Marty buys from 150 fishermen up and down the east coast to the tune of 800,000 pounds a year. Hook them through the chin and top of nose with a circle hook to match the bait size. I've had good success tossing Al Gag Whip-It Eel lures, big, flashy bucktail jigs or swim baits to spotted fish that swim into the chum slick. Live pinfish, catfish with the spines removed or eels are the top live baits. Hogy Lure Company PO Box 570 Falmouth, MA 02541 1 (888) 654 4649 Customer Service The reel should be spooled with at least 225 yds of 20-30 lb test. The beauty of fishing with Gulp is that they’re easy to store on the boat and cobia can’t resist the taste and smell of the bait. However, there are other artificial baits out there that won’t leave you slimy and stinky but still get a cobia to hammer your jig. Also, have a Dubro Release attached to the bucket to clip your line coming form the rod that is rigged and ready on the rod holder is nice. The fish migrate to find a preferred water temperature, and can be found overwintering in south Florida. That is a whole heap of eels and Tony our hero back in Destin is a small (but important) customer of Marty’s. The Gulp eels produce an enticing action that easily imitates live eels. reviews, fishing videos, fishing recipes, Staggering the baits through the water column is a good approach. Have a 5 gallon bucket with mostly saltwater and just a touch of ice to calm them down a bit. After all, it’s the one part of the cobia equation that we anglers have some control over. To fish with the Gulp eels for cobia, simply place them on the hook of your bucktail jig. How To Use Relief Shading To Find Rockfish Spots, 2021 CCA CAL Sportfishing Tide Calendar Sale. I prefer to hook my eels between the rear of th edorsal fin and the tail. The tail of the eel also adds great action. The food is the best to be found in the area and owner Charles Morgan is one of the top 5 cobia fishermen on the planet. And Harbor Docks, in Destin, is like the world capital of cobia fishing. Second Stage: Elver. In the past, all of my cobia outings included a stop at the local tackle shop to purchase a box of frozen squid to tip my jigs with. Depending on the bait you’re using, you can even go a bit larger than that. He is a Yankee like me. American eels are popular baits among Florida Panhandle cobia fishermen. To learn more about Gulp eels, visit It helps you score more bites. Rig a plastic eel to match your quarry’s favorite forage. I was told the fishery has been pretty stable the last ten years, and the majority of the eels are sent overseas to Europe. Throw that eel in front of them. Okay, so now we are all eel experts, but still it would be good to know a bit more, so I expanded my research by telephone and spoke to some real eel guys. FS, First Published Florida Sportsman Magazine March 2016, © 2020 Outdoor Sportsman Group. Cobia can be found year-round in some areas, but are generally migratory. Tony has paid both by the pound and by the eel. You can check out some useful Eel rigging tips here. Tony buys as many as 15,000 eels for the Destin cobia fishing season, so Tony knows a lot about eels. The rig can be casted easily and resists tangling, which is critical for these baits. As this tiny critter is bee-lining back to the States, everything swimming or flying bigger than 2.5 inches is trying to eat it. Gathered with cast nets, traps or Sabiki rigs, pinfish are a common inshore bait that cobia love. Berkley’s Gulp eels come in both 8 and 10 inches and a range of colors, but I prefer black for contrast. One of the best cobia lures is the Al Gag Whip-It Eel. The Eel Rig Capt. Cobia Fish-Finder Rig Kevin Hand No one is more concerned with the well-being of these brown bombers than Blow, who serves on the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council subcommittee for cobia. 06-20-2007, 09:02 PM. One of their favorite baits are eels and that’s the idea behind the tube, you’re imitating an eel. It will get eaten. These eels are made of a durable rubber and are hand painted to closely mimic what an eel looks like in the wild. It’s kind of the opposite of Pacific salmon, which also spawn and die, but at least they don’t expect a bunch of newborns to find their way across the Atlantic to some stream on the east coast of the U.S. bass fishing, and deer hunting, Subscribe here to get the latest updates news on all things fishing right to your inbox, Halibut Closure off Washington’s La Push and Neah Bay Areas. Equipment for Cobia Let’s start with gearing up for a cobia season. slime ball: >>Grab the creature with a dry paper towel behind the head with your left and (if right handed), now hold on to him, but don’t kill the bugger. Before becoming the Creative Director for BD Outdoors, Derek Redwine owned and operated the web development and design firm BoldWater for more than 16... BD Outdoors is a growing, passionate online fishing community providing in-depth, fishing reports, fishing gear He shouldn’t ball up for the ride into the tower; I like having my tower water with ice just to keep him mellow, he’ll come to wake up pretty quick, hitting the warm Gulf in front of a wad of cobia. It is a state secret to what his deal is, but they cost you 5 bucks, and Tony never runs out of eels. David Nobles. Eels love to tangle your rig once you hook them. Blow clips 8-ounce pyramid sinkers to two lines. Fishing with squid is messy business, usually resulting in a dark purple ink squirt on the boat or your shirt and slippery, stinky hands, which translates to a slick rod grip. Other people may prefer to … Paul Wagner Backcountry Outfitters The Full Pull 2, 22 Cape Horn, 150 Yamaha DESTIN [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] For the cobia fever to start, we have to have water temps of 62 degrees and above to even start looking for cobia. Tony has a standing order for 10,000 eels starting them coming anytime mid March until he yells stop sometime around the first of May, when the last fish go by us to the westward. When hooking the eel like this it allows the head of the eel to be pointed downwards. Tony buys his eels from the eel guy, Marty, from Holland Seafoods in Arapahoe, NC. Back then very few were seen around the pilings. Opinions vary concerning the best type of hook for fishing with live eels. Berkley offers several different eel-shaped soft plastic baits in its line of Gulp scented baits, and they’re perfect for cobia fishing along the coast of Florida. Black Friday, Cyber Monday & Holiday Specials Unite! It’s home to the Cobia World Champion season-long event and the Frank Helton Crab Cruncher weekend tournament. Cast far enough ahead of the fish so you can retrieve it in a swimming motion. Fall Cobia Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Spinning for Cobia When spinning for cobia, we like to use cobia lures like rubber plastic eels, topwater plugs, and bucktail jigs. Hoses should be run 15 to 20 feet behind torpedo weights, ranging from four to 20 ounces. Lastly Gulp baits are much cleaner to deal, but don’t let the Gulp dry up on your hook or you will literally have to cut them off with a sharp knife and some elbow grease. Only thing more wriggly is the quarry itself; a sturdy landing net is recommended. >>Use 40-pound-test fluorocarbon leader 2 or 2 ½ feet long. In the fall, the cycle starts over when the fish begin to migrate down as cool weather sets i… Tony wants his eels 16 to 24 inches, two- to four-count per pound. That is the size preferred by the white-lipped cobia. Hand-size pinners are best for casting distance and offer a larger profile. Third Stage: Ol’ Yellow. Bait Eels for Cobia: The eel harvest season is usually March till the water warms up in early summer. I also feel like having a large soft plastic on a jig slows down the decent of a heavy lead-head jig, keeping it in the strike zone longer while surface fishing. So, at the stage of being abandoned by its now-dead parents in the middle of the ocean, the eel is called a grass eel and is between 1.5 and 2.5 inches long. Most predatory fish react much stronger to a live bait that is swimming down as it looks as if he is trying to elude the predator fish. I like Tony. The most popular setup for fishing live eels is the Carolina rig. Up until a few months back, all I knew about eels is that they cost five bucks a piece and I have spent thousands of dollars feeding them to cobia. The office is Buddy Gentry’s mother’s house. It seems everything likes to eat them, not just those beach-cruising cobia in the Florida Panhandle. Short and sweet, catch them when you can, and right on time for the Panhandle cobia to migrate on through! Rigging/Lure Selection: 24" Perfect Tubes Why This Bait? Attach a leader with 80 pound mono and snell to a hook. We love Tony. Striped bass will chase them right into the fresh water, and mergansers chow down on them. They now move into fresh water, and largemouth bass are like, “All right!” The eel now has a bit of color, a greenish brown. This 12-inch plastic eel is rigged with 6/0 hooks, a length of No. These eels make perfect pitch baits for cobia, stripers and white marlin but work equally as well being trolled on dredges or fished with mojo rigs. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission calls them “sexually immature adults.” What that means I have no clue (and no, I don’t recommend you Google the term) but they are now yellow and fishermen can now catch them in eel pots, from Maine to Florida and sell them to me so I can now feed them to Panhandle cobia and hopefully beat the Moaks in a tournament. 7/0 Hooks with our 1/2 ounce hair and mylar witches in various colors with a nose spring, chin weight & 100 lb. Get the Top Stories from Florida Sportsman Delivered to Your Inbox Every Week. This is a powerful fish so a smooth drag is a must. Yo-Zuri Mag Popper Contest – Last Day To Enter!! Almost Alive lures is proud to present our Almost Alive Eel; the most realistic representation of a soft plastic eel bait in the world. There are also some historic areas where cobia are commonly found that often act as a starting point. mono 8/0 Hooks with our 1 ounce hair and mylar witches in various colors with a nose spring, chin weight & either 130 lb. Loaded with the powerful saltwater Gulp scent and flavor formulation that drives fish to strike. I find rigged plastic eels to be the best plastic lure for cobia. Back then a spot was a preferred bait but bluefish or menhaden worked. This is the preferred method for hooking up an eel, a.k.a. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. The best way to hook an eel is by hooking the eel from the bottom jaw out of an eye. Tony Martin is Harbor Docks’ fish guy. The eel has survived long enough in brackish water to grow between 3 and 9 inches. 6 Memes For Fishermen – You Know They Are True. Both rods should measure at least 7 feet; reels should hold enough 50-pound braid and generate enough drag to tire a 100-pound cobia. All Rights Reserved, Entering your valid email address signifies you wish to receive our newsletter and have read the, Florida Sportsman Launches Action Spotter Podcast. They’re feeding on … Most were cruising on their migration pattern to the Chesapeake Bay. The harvest season is usually March till the water warms up in early summer. The added scent and movement of the Gulp eel will help you get a few more bites when targeting cobia. One of the best lures for cobia is a plastic swimming eel, which can be used in a wide range of fishing situations and conditions including along beaches, inshore structures, and on reefs. Two outfits cover all your cobia needs: a heavy-action spinning rod with a stiff tip for casting a bucktail, and a lighter stick with a slower bend to toss an eel. Use a fish finder rig with a slider for your weight so you can easily swap weights if needed. In the past, all of my cobia outings included a stop at the local tackle shop to purchase a box of frozen squid to tip my jigs with. Bottom fishing there is pretty simple. Do not use so much ice in the bucket that it freezes the eels. You will also want good casting abilities with your rig. What is the most effective way to rig a live eel and fish for cobia? Cobia have large mouths, so as far as hooks go, you can easily go with a 7/0. A good spread places a pair of heavy rigs forward and a lighter pair aft, with a mix of colors. Reading up on the American eel, I found that they are pretty interesting. When Alaskan salmon do their thing (finding their way to a stream) they are fully grown and have a bit of time under their fins. fished for cobia for 23 years on Kitty Hawk Pier and we caught the vast majority of cobia on pin rigs. In the spring, the fish move north to their summer grounds the Panhandle on the west coast, and from northeast Florida up to North Carolina or higher on the east coast. Harbor Docks is Destin history. He's fought for years for sensible regulations to protect both the species and anglers' rights. We like the extra-large saltwater rubber eels like the Savage Gear Sand Eel as well as smaller sizes that you would use for largemouth bass or a Texas Rig. Rigging for cobia from Alabama’s wonderful fishing pier is a very important point. That’s why trolling for cobia is best done with artificial eels – surgical hoses. >>Take a 5/0-7/0 circle hook and get enough meat and about an inch of hide, and stick the now very mad eel in a bucket of ice water and hold onto him till he forgets about you sticking a hook in him. View Full Version : Rigging live eels for Cobia. That is the size preferred by the white-lipped cobia. And, you don’t have to worry about getting ink on the boat. As we mentioned, Eels are among the best baits for Cobia. In the past I used a PowerBait eel or some other kind of wiggly soft plastic worm to enhance the action. Mattaponi. A good all-around rig for cobia fishing is a medium-heavy 6- to 7-foot spinning rod paired with a high-quality reel. 9 wire and a 1-ounce sliding sinker. Sometimes you only get one shot at a cobia and if that’s the case I want my presentation to appeal to all of the fish’s senses. Short and sweet, catch them when you can, and right on time for the Panhandle cobia … JavaScript is disabled. Berkleyoffers several different eel-shaped soft plastic baits in its line of Gulp scented baits, and they’re perfect for cobia fishing along the coast of Florida. The eel will spend almost its whole life in fresh or brackish water, traveling pretty much to the middle of the Atlantic (Sargasso Sea) to spawn and die. The larger eels are more expensive, and they are graded into three classes: large, 1 pound and up; medium, 200 grams to 1 pound; and small, under 200 grams. Tony buys all the fish for Harbor Docks. Spool up with good quality 30-pound-test monofilament on a bail-less spin rig (Panhandle classic). Tony has paid both by the pound and by the eel. Tony has a standing order for 10,000 eels starting them coming anytime mid March until he yells stop sometime around the first of May, when the last fish go by us to the westward. You may also use large, colorful lures such as jigs, plastic crabs, shrimp, and fish. I want my baits to have the most action and smell possible so I always use an added piece of flair on a cobia jig. Custom Rigging upon request< Find a pod of brown, shark-shaped fish idling along at the surface of the Gulf, somewhere between 100 yards and 1 mile off the beach. Tony wants his eels 16 to 24 inches, two- to four-count per pound. ... Where: Anchored ships, buoy and channel markers, and gas rigs in Mobile Bay, Alabama, ... 1- to 3-ounce eel lures, swimbaits, cobia bucktail jigs. Captain Chip Day advises anglers to get a seven-foot-long, medium-heavy spinning rod with a good reel that has a very good drag system. Eels are usually fished with a loose drag, which allows fish to take line for several seconds before the hook is set. mono or #9 wire. We offer a variety of Ballyhoo Rigs in various sizes and leader types. Quality Tackle for the Quality Fisherman. Product description Saltwater Gulp eels are the perfect plastics for chasing stripers and cobia. Thawed squid that has been left out too long is probably the worse smelling bait in the world to fish with, but squid works well when fishing for cobia. Coming Soon To A Fluke Rig Near You The researchers found that, during the cold winter months, cobia are likely to largely maintain their current distribution from North Carolina south. 06-20-2007, 07:51 PM. Experience a great fishing adventure and catch every game fish out there with Al Gag's Whip-It Eel and Whip-It Fish fishing lures.
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