You want to catch more cobia? Of course you do! A while back we published an article on general tips for how to catch more cobia, but truth be told, if you want to be as effective as humanly possible, you’ll stick with chumming, pure and simple. Yes, sight fishing is a blast and live-baiting is also quite effective. But when it comes to sheer numbers, no other tactic can top chumming.
Naturally, we’re making it sound easier than it really is. Even when chumming, some very specific tips and tactics will make a big difference between an afternoon of boredom sitting at anchor, and the chaos of multiple hook-ups and bent rods. So when you next have cobia in your sights, remember:
- Anchor up right on the edge of a drop-off, in 20 to 25 feet of water. Many anglers anchor over deeper areas, and that’s usually not the best move – you just want to be adjacent to those depths, while putting your baits in relatively shallow water. If your fishfinder shows 20 feet and then when your boat swings on the anchor it drops to 25, you’re in an ideal location.
- Sink your chum bucket to the bottom, then pull in a foot or two of line and cleat it off. And if it’s calm out, give the line a hard yank every few minutes to be sure the bucket’s getting plenty of motion and the chum is disbursing effectively.
- Sink a couple of baits right next to the chum pot, and rig a couple lines with slightly lighter weights so that when you let them down, they sit slightly down-current from the chum pot.
- Fish all the way through the tidal cycle. It’s hard to predict just when they’ll bite, but at the change of the tide is usually a good time period. That said, sometimes for whatever reason they bite right at the end of one tide, in the middle of another, or at some other unpredictable moment. Fishing through the entire cycle ensures that whenever that magic moment comes, you won’t miss it.
- Leave one line (preferably with a live bait) floating up near the surface. Though most of the time chummers will take their fish dead on bottom, you never know when a wandering cobia will magically appear right at the surface behind your boat. Having a bait swimming there waiting for him is a good idea.