Hilton Head Cobia Fishing

Cobia, also known as Ling, are one of the most appetizing fish in our area. The pursuit of Cobia can test saltwater tackle as well a fisherman's patience. These delicious fish move into our nearshore waters towards the end of April and can be continuously targeted through June, with the month of May being the peak moment. Cobia inhabit the waters around Hilton Head for one reason, to spawn. Typically, the first Cobia of the season can be found in Port Royal Sound and the Broad River. Soon after, the offshore reefs will begin to become heavily populated with large schools and multiple strikes within a few minutes become quite common.

Anglers that know the species well realize that its not the smartest or most wary of fishes. It will often swim right up to an anchored boat and take up residence in the shade. Cobia frequently follow big manta rays, and seems to especially enjoy the company of large Tiger sharks. Its a mystery, but I believe they appreciate swimming with large sharks because of the easy meals. As a large sharks tears through a carcass, the Cobia are conveniently on the scene to feed on the smaller pieces.

To fish for Cobia, two critical elements stick out the most. Bait and Location. Cobia are the most structure orientated fish in our waters. If you're not on the ledge, rip or structure that you're fishing, your odds at production can be very slim. Bait is just as important. Cobia arent the most intelligent fish, but they do strike out of instinct regularly. The preferred bait is menhaden and threadfin herring. These baits must be high-strung and gritty, lethargic swimming baitfish on a hook are worthless. Artificial baits also work well. Top water plugs, buck-tail jigs and rubber eels are all favorites.

Tackle for Cobia fishing is very basic. A 5ft monofilament leader is standard, anywhere from 50-150lb test. Circle, or live bait hooks are recommended so that smaller fish can be released without trauma. You can use a wide variety of rods/reels when targeting these fish. I like the Shimano TLD30's with 40lb test line the best. Even spinning reels work as long as you have enough line to support a run from a larger fish.

Call us today at 843.290.0371 to set up a trip for you and your group or family!