We spent 15 minutes on the phone with Capt. Justin Ambrosio to discuss sight casting and jigging for Cobia with the Pro Tail Eel off the coast of Sebastian, Florida. Here’s what we learned..
Targeted Species: Cobia
Location: Sebastian, Florida - Offshore
Marina: Captain Hirams Resort
If you’re not familiar with Florida, Sebastian is located on the east coast, north of Forth Lauderdale and south of Cocoa Beach by about an hour.
Tides: The tides in this area are not dependent but instead, Capt. Justin Ambrosio told us that these fish love to follow bigger fish such as manta rays, whale sharks, sting rays and the most recent, bull sharks. Cobia tend to follow these larger fish and feed off their scraps, inhaling almost anything they leave behind. As for a tidal pattern, one doesn’t seem to exist. The only pattern these fish follow is that of the fish they are following.
Approach: In this region of Florida, these fish are found offshore in depths ranging from 80 to 120’. To find these fish, most anglers go by other people’s reports and head out to the reefs and ledges to chum for bull sharks with fresh bonita or barracuda. The bull sharks tend to stay in the same area for a couple of weeks at a time which makes finding these cobia schools fairly predictable during that time period.
Rigging/Lure Selection: 9-inch, 3oz Pro Tail Eel
Why This Bait? The Pro Tail Eel mimics eels which Cobia absolutely love and the pink coloration is their favorite.
“I’ve never seen eels offshore here [Florida] but I know up in Virginia, that’s their main diet,” Capt. Justin said.
Retrieve: There are a few techniques that can be used when fishing for these fish. You can either bring the sharks up behind the boat and sight cast to the Cobia that come up with them or you can mark the sharks on the fish finder, drop down to that depth and jig them up. Most of the sharks can be found halfway up from the bottom to about 10-feet from the boat.
Rod: Bull Bay Stealth Sniper Series Medium/Heavy 7’6”
Reel: Daiwa SALTIST5000 Saltist Spinning Reel
Line: Sufix 832 Braided Line, 30lb
Leader: Sufix Fluorocarbon 50lb
*Disclaimer: Capt. Justin will go up in reel size and leader test when the sharks are actively taking Cobia.