Friday, April 20, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Wrestling with cobia

What's hot: Most avid fishermen and spearfishermen realize pelagic fish like cobia and mackerel are moving through the east-central Gulf. The cobia are a welcome sight. Many have noticed the influx in the past couple of weeks. We have spotted cobia inside Tampa Bay and as far offshore as wrecks at 130 feet. One diver recently decided to not dive in rough offshore waters and went fishing in Tampa Bay; he got a 46-pound cobia.

What to expect: If you've caught one of these great fighting fish on rod and reel, you know they never, ever quit. By spearing one you will find out what it's like to be beaten up underwater — until you give up or your gear gives up. Catching a cobia on rod and reel is crazy fun, but when you spear one and win the fight, you truly experience a thrill.

Tip: Spearing a cobia is serious. Have a good knife readily accessible so you can cut your line if you get tangled. Don't get pulled into any wrecks or structure. And don't take on more than you can handle.

Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 and [email protected]

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