Casting about, for huge cobia

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2006

Jack Randolph

The largest fish are being caught up the bay at the Cell, Wolftrap Light, and the Range Tower. In fact, the state record may be broken again. A 14-pound spadefish was caught at the Cell this past weekend. Spanish mackerel can be found from the Cell on out to the Chesapeake Light Tower. Any structure or tide rip is a good place to find them.

Ken Neil says the cobia bite is just ridiculous. They are here in numbers and they are running big. It used to be a 70-pound cobia was a really big fish but now they are being caught like that all the time. The 109-pound fish caught a couple of weeks ago has been approved as our new state record. There are running bets as to whether it will last out the year. All the cobia spots are producing. Bluefish Rock, York Spit, and the Inner Middle Grounds are all hot.


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Red drum are still around and many are being caught by cobia fishermen. There are some big black drum scattered around also. Neil relates a story about a big one that was caught off of the Gloucester Fishing Pier and was brought to Grafton Fishing Supply in the back seat of the guy’s car! It was not in a cooler or anything. When they told him that one he was reminded of an old newspaper photo of their first club president, Dr. Alec Boatwright, loading a whole blue marlin into his wife’s station wagon.

Flounder fishing seems to be picking up. The Back River Reef area is still very good. The CBBT has been hot and cold but some big fish are being caught on the structure with live bait. The Cell/Buoy 42 area is a good spot to fish right now. Big sheepshead are being caught at the CBBT. The fourth island to the high rise seems to be the best area.

Ken is sure there are amberjacks on many of the wrecks and at the south towers

has not tried for them yet and I haven’t heard from anybody who has.

On the Outer Banks. Leonard Nuchols reports the big cobia are still being landed at Cape Point and the big news is the big cobia landed from the surf on Tuesday.

Eugene Houston of Hickory, N.C. landed his catch of a lifetime when he caught a 94-pound citation cobia that was 58 inches long with a girth of 33 inches on a casted bait. Houston’s cobia is the largest for the year from the surf. It was estimated it took him 90 minutes to land his catch as the cobia kept making long runs over 100 yards at a time.

The Point area is also producing a few big blues, flounder, puppy drum, big drum and sea mullet. A few Spanish and taylor blues have also been landed as fishing is still on the slow side.

John and Lois Boyd of Beavercreek, Oh. had good success catching flounder on their trip. Their best day was last Thursday when they landed 25 flounder with the chartruese Berkley Gulp swimming mullet. Boyd said the fish were actually eating the bait all the way in.

Hatteras Inlet reports Spanish mackerel, pompano, blues and small flounder.

Ocracoke Inlet reports Spanish mackerel, sea mullet, blues, gray trout, flounder, cobia, big drum and puppy drum.

The southern beaches report puppy drum, blues and small flounder while the northern beaches report croaker, blues, spot, sea mullet, puppy drum and flounder.

The offshore boats out of Hatteras Inlet report dolphin, king mackerel, wahoo, yellowfin tuna and two blue marlin released and the inshore boats report good Spanish mackerel, blues, speckled trout, gray trout and cobia.

Anglers are still awaiting for the run of Spanish mackerel to come into casting range as very few have been caught from the surf so far this season.

Jack Randolph is a syndicated outdoors columnist and he can be reached at