Tampa Bay Cobia Fishing

Tampa Bay Cobia

I headed down to the Mary Pier at 6 on Saturday morning, hoping for a little snook action. The snook were there, alright, and I lost a nice slot size fish trying to net it one-handed. It hit a Gotcha’ lure, of all things. Man, those are some great lures! Anyway, I switched to frozen sardines at sunrise, hoping for some grouper. I wasn’t disappointed, as there were plenty of 10-20″ grouper hitting, along with foot long mangos. I was ready to call it a day around 11……

Then, my friend Al pulls up in his boat and asks if I’m up for an hour or two of fishing off the beach. The kingfish are in, so I figgured… sure, why not? Off we went, first trolling, then anchoring by some structure (no, I’m not giving a specific location- but we were within sight of the Don Cesar the entire time).

Live whitebait and big greenbacks, coupled with a good chumline, proved to be a winning combination. We caught bluefish, Spanish Mackeral- and then, got a couple of schoolie kings:


Tampa Bay Kingfish

Suddenly, three curious cobia cruised by the boat. A big whitebait proved irresistable, and we had a nice 15 pound cobe in the cooler. But, there was a bigger one there, so I tossed a big frisky greenback out. Sure enough, in a couple minute my Penn 3340 was singing, as the big bruiser stripped line. After a fun game of tug-of-war, Al gaffed the 25 pound cobia, and it joined a rapidly filling cooler.

About that time, Al’s reel started singing. I kid you not- this fish screamed off 300 yards of line without ever slowing down. Had to be a big smoker kingfish, we both thought. We pulled anchor and gave chase. After about 20 minutes, we got the fish to the boat. Oops. It was a tail wrapped 15 pound bonita. Ahhh….

All in all, it was a pretty good day, with 2 nice cobia, 2 kingfish, a bunch of big Spanish Mackeral, plus bluefish, grouper, snapper, jacks, ladyfish, etc.

After partying till 4 am in Ybor City, we had some friends over for the Buc’s victory, followed by the Indy-NE game. Lots of grilled cobia and kingfish steaks for everybody! A big win for the Buccaneers, too. Yeah, Fall weekends are great. And next Satuday, looks like I’m headed to Punta Gorda for some offshore fishing with my friend Harris. Good times!

One Response to “Tampa Bay Cobia Fishing”

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