Angling: The man in
the brown suit
man in the brown suit, the brown bomber, or the fish more commonly
known as cobia, has arrived.
From Ocracoke to Oregon Inlet, the reports of cobia are coming in. A
98-pounder was hauled onto the planks at Avon Pier last Saturday, and
all the piers on the north beaches have taken baby 2- to 4-pounders on
Cobia are a highly sought after fish. These fish can grow to more than
100 pounds and can put up a fierce fight that can include reel-melting
bursts and aerial displays that match that of a 10-pound mahi. A cobia
is a head-shaking, determined fighter that can strip an incredible
amount of line off a reel in a short amount of time. These fish have
been known to crack the fiberglass inside a boat, while going
absolutely ballistic after being decked.
Anglers come from all around for their chance at one of these
aggressive, prehistoric looking beasts -- and, hopefully, for
cooler full of meat. Cobia are an excellent eating fish, and it's hard
to find to many folks who do not agree with this. At times, their meat
can fetch $10 or more per pound in area markets.
From piers and boats, these fish can be observed lethargically cruising
on or near the surface during clear water days. They will
high and slow in the water to take in the mid-day sun's warmth and to
prey on just about anything that crosses their path.
They will hit cut bait on the bottom, just as fast as a lure
live bait on the surface. This fish is the billy goat of the ocean. I
saw a gentleman cut one open years ago that had a pair of sunglasses in
its stomach. Like I said, this fish is a beast.
I spoke with one of the area's top cobia catching captains, Rick "Cato"
Caton. He told me that he had seen numerous cobia and caught a fair
amount in recent days. However, Cato did say the current bite does not
compare to last year's absolute mayhem cobia bite.
Most of the fish caught in the past few days had been around Cape Point
and North towards Avon and Oregon Inlet, reported Cato.
Cato mentioned that in numerous cases it has been hard to get the fish
to take a live bait or lure. They have been mighty finicky.
apprehension about eating can usually be attributed to the fact that
every angler from the Gulf of Mexico to the Chesapeake Bay has tried to
entice these fish to bite during their spring migration up the coast.
He also mentioned that there seemed to be a lot of these fish still
getting caught down south and had high hopes that this was only the
beginning of the season.
The surf and pier fishing along Hatteras has been fair, and the
regular, persistent angler doesn't sound disappointed.
Nice, large bluefish continue to be beached and decked regularly by
Hatteras pier and surf fisherman. As far away as Avalon Pier, these
fish have been taken over and over again.
Sea mullet and flounder continue to be caught from Hatteras Inlet up to
Pea Island, along with tailor bluefish, on cut bait and lures.
Scattered runs of Spanish mackerel have been reported all along
And, scattered black drum and sheepshead were beached from Hatteras
inlet to Frisco.
On Ocracoke Island, reports of the large bluefish continue to keep
anglers busy, along with some Spanish mackerel biting lures in the
early morning and late evening hours.
Scattered black drum, sheepshead, and pompano have also been taken.
The inshore boats out of Ocracoke Inlet have caught flounder, large
bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and the very scattered cobia, while the
offshore boats have caught wahoo, mahi-mahi, and scattered tuna.
Hatteras offshore fleet fishing has been off the chain. There have been
excellent mahi-mahi bites that included some citations. A fair marlin
bite has produced quite a few release citations. Scattered wahoo,
sailfish, and tuna were also reported.
Inshore boats around Hatteras Inlet did very well with cobia and
flounder, along with Spanish mackerel and bluefish.
Offshore fleets out of Oregon Inlet caught lots of mahi-mahi, blackfin
tuna, and yellowfin tuna. Scattered marlin and a couple sailfish were
Inshore boats have been doing well with cobia and bluefish.
The fishing is really good and the extended forecasts show 80 degree
weather and fair winds for the weekend.
I make no assurances when it comes to fishing. The bite could turn off
before this report even gets posted. But a bad day of fishing is better
then a good day at work.
Are you in your vehicles heading down yet?
Alderman is the owner of the Hatteras Island Fishing Militia website
and is a kayak fishing guide. Rob has 10 years of fishing experience on
the Outer Banks, and is host of the “Outer Banks Angler” television
show. You can follow more of his extreme adventures or contact him at www.FishMilitia.com)