Three Top Lures for Ling

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If catching cobia is on your mind don't leave home without these three top ling lures.

Call them ling, cobia, crab-eaters, or whatever you’d like, there’s no doubt that these hard-fighting, top-tasting fish are a prime target for anglers. Chumming is one way to get them, but many anglers prefer sight-casting or trolling when they’re going after this species. And if that’s in your gameplan, you’ll want to make sure you have these three top lures for ling aboard.

angler with a ling fish

If catching cobia is on your mind don’t leave home without these three top ling lures.

  1. A Bucktail – Anglers who go sight-casting will want to have one or more of these classic lures on the end of the lines. Not just any old plain bucktail, however, but one dressed with a twister or paddletail. Savvy anglers will have contrasting colors between the bucktail’s hair and the trailer. A bright pink bucktail, for example, matches up well with a black or dark purple tail. Make sure it’s heavy enough to heave-ho for long casts when fish are spotted, but not so heavy that it sinks like a rock when it hits the water.
  2. A Red Surgical Hose Eel – These are a top pick for trollers. Rig the eel 25 feet behind a number-two or number-three planer, with a ball-bearing swivel mid-leader to mitigate the twist this lure invariably causes. It’s well worth the hassle, though, because most trollers find that this is their number-one producing lure.
  3. Gulp! Plastic Eels – Gulp! eels can come in handy when you know cobia are in the area but you can’t necessarily sight them. They don’t need much action to appear alive, so they can be rigged on a hook on a dropper rig and drifter or gently jigged at a specific depth. They can also be threaded onto a jighead with a long-shank hook and cast and retrieved. Or they can even be twitched in a chum line to fool the fish into thinking it’s the real thing.

Now, which of these top cobia lures do we think you should be carrying in the tacklebox? That’s easy – all of them!


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