Stinker’s Fishin’: Hook a cobia and hang on!

Ben Doolan with a thumping Broughton Island cobia.

THE cobia is a unique fish which at times is confused for a shark.

Also known as a black kingfish or a crabeater it can grow to over two metres in length and weigh up to 50 kilograms.

The quickest way to Tea Gardens, from the breakwall in Nelson Bay, is to hook one of these powerful, tenacious fish and hang on!

More common in northern waters the cobia can be caught on the surface or down to 100 metres in depth.

Best baits include pilchards, squid, garfish, yellowtail and any live bait.

Lures and artificial bait all work.

Although not caught in big numbers, cobia do appear around this time of year with reports of crackers from Boondelbah Island and the northern face of Fingal Island.

Fingal kayak champ Keith Collin was drifting under the green hut on Fingal Island, using a miserable prawn for bait, enjoying the serenity and the magnificent view when ‘whammo’, a monster from the deep swallowed the prawn and took off, towing the kayak and its startled occupant.

An hour or so later after being dragged across Fingal Bay and out to sea, the giant fish was brought to the side of the craft.

A huge cobia!

“Now what?” Keith asked himself.

With no possible way the fish could be hauled on board he grabbed the leader to pull the cobia closer only for the hook to straighten and the fish to slowly swim away. Phew!

Time to paddle home.

By John ‘Stinker’ CLARKE

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