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Try again cobia!

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New Member
Aug 19, 2002
Scott Turgent asked me to post some pictures and story if we shot anything this last weekend so here it is.

Saturday the morning forecast was for 2-4 feet so we went. The forecast was wrong! The waves were 4-5 and there was a nasty chop. We had six people and most of them got sick including me, which was the first time I have ever thrown up offshore. I have been offshore at least a 100 times and thought I was immune to seasickness, but I guess there is a first time for everything. Needless to say, it wasn’t a good trip.

I shot a couple of spades, but the diving was terrible, because getting a good breathup was next to impossible, even with a “dry snorkel”. The waves keep breathing over us. I did see some cobia on the few times I got down to 40 feet, but never had a shot on one. My float and float line got stuck in the rig and after throwing up, I just didn’t have it in me to fight the waves to get it out, so I asked my buddy (Josh) too. He had just broken a finger 4 days earlier, which was in a splint. He tried a little, but quickly gave up.

Even though we were dead tired after an all day trip (we went a total of 93 miles in those seas!) we decided to wait on most of the boat and gear cleanup and see what the next morning was going to be like. It was again forecast 2-4, but on checking the closest weather bouy, we discovered it was 3.6, which was about 1 foot less than the previous day, so we went. We don’t see cobia very often; in fact I have only taken one shot at one and it tore off.

The waves were definitely better, although not great, but a foot less meant they weren’t breaking over us and we could finally get a good final dive breath. The current was terrible though and after being tired from the day before, it was hard to fight it.

At the start I had some equipment problems that required going back to the boat to fix. Sudden I hear Josh yell, shark! and see him swimming as hard as he can back to the boat pulling his gun with a fish on. My gun is unloaded so I just stand their hoping he makes it. When he reaches the boat he hands me the gun. I don’t know if he has shot a shark or if there is a shark trying to get his catch? I’m trying to get him to tell me as I pull it up, but he is staying in the water, head down, looking. I figure either way, its not good for him to be beside it while I pull it up, so I stop and tell him to “get in the boat!” Turns out it was a 39” cobia and there was 5 black tip sharks trying to get it. It was a body shot that missed the spine so the cobia was going crazy which is what saved the fish from the sharks.

He waited for me the next time, and within 20 minutes we each had one more. Then the current brought in more dirty water, which cut the vis down to about 5’ at the surface and less underneath so we were done.

All in all we were very happy we went back out Sunday. It was kind-of-like getting back on a horse when it throws you. Not that I would really know, because I’m a transplanted Texan, but the idea seems to fit. The cobia ranged from 42” to 38” and it was a first for me.


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The reason my muscles are small is because that is my left side where I had a shoulder surgery 3 months ago. Normally I’m much more buff!;)rofl rofl
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Nice story Don,
Sounds like you had a rough day the first time out! Very nice looking fish, I've never seen any myself. Are they good to eat?

Adrian, they are supposed to be good eating. Rig, Scott, or anyone, are they good and how do you like to prepare them?

They were the easiest fish to clean I have seen. Hardly any bones with lots of meat!
Good job Don! Cobia is probably my favourite fish to eat (besides hogfish). The meat is very tasty and firm. Two recipes for you:
1. Grill them after you marinate them with soy sauce and some "Adobo".
2. Make ceviche: Get rid of the dark meat (not much in a cobia), dice the white meat, soak in lime juice overnight, mix in with cilantro, some onion, diced celery, spring onions, pimientos, a bit of olive oil and salt and enjoy with tortillas and a marguarita (I am sure you can appreciate this).
Sounds like you guys had a rough time but you were able to land the fish...

good job Don. Weve been getting lots of them also. Heres one of four I shot on a trip a couple of weeks ago.

dont mind the belly...its a sympathy pregnancy thing. I actually stoned this one which is rare for cobia.

As for cooking, they are hard to mess up. In Mississippi they are called "lemonfish" because all you need is a little lemon. Grill it, bake it, fry it, sashimi, whatever. Just be sure to trim any red off it.


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Had the pleasure of my first fish.. Cobia with capt. Troy out of Venice. It was awesome. I'm hooked for life. So much for starting small. :p


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