Cobia on the flats: Every spring, cobia invade the shallow flats from Tarpon Springs to New Port Richey. Cobia are often overlooked as a targeted game fish in our area, but there are plenty.
Where to look: Cobia can be in many areas, from shallow flats to offshore wrecks and reefs. They like to gather around structures such as channel markers, stilt houses and rock piles. The most popular way to catch cobia on the flats is sight fishing. When looking for cobia, always keep an eye out for stingrays; cobia like to follow them looking for an easy meal.
How to: If fishing the shallow flats, drive around slowly while looking for cobia. Try to get a bait out in front of the fish, but don't cast bait right on top of it. Try to get it 6 to 8 feet in front of the fish, giving it time to see the bait and react. If you cannot sight fish for cobia, you can anchor and put a chum bag out.
Baits: Cobia will eat just about anything from live pinfish, greenbacks and eels to all types of artificial baits.
Mike Manning runs Action Fishing Adventures out of Tarpon Springs. Call him toll-free at 1-800-644-5940.