Broad River Cobia are here

Report Date: April 18, 2011

The Cobia annual spring run has begun in the Broad River between Beaufort and Hilton Head. The right combination of water temperature and big tides have pushed the fish into the sound and river. Greenback herring are on the rips on the sandbars and are excellent bait. I fished this morning with Captain Josh Utsey and we started out on the incoming, sight fishing as the water was very slick. We saw our first fish and Josh got the bait in front of her, let it sink and we watched her stand on her nose and eat. We normally donít kill many of these fish ourselves, but the first one of the year is a treat on the grill. The fish was in the 40 pound range. She bit a 6 inch chartreuse Gulp curly tail hooked on the back of a one ounce Spro Jig. The secret to getting a lot of hookups with these baits is to reel until the fish begins to follow the bait, and then let them sink straight down. Ninety nine times out of a hundred the fish will follow the bait down, and if you donít get a take immediately, pop the jig aggressively, and hold on. An interesting sidelight to our Cobia is that the SCDNR biologists believe they are a subspecies to the fish that are caught offshore. Our fish return to the Broad River and Saint Helena Sound area every year to spawn, much like salmon do in other parts of the country. Trying to manage this type of population presents some unique challenges to fisheries management. I hope they are successful in keeping a healthy population as they are certainly popular targets. As the season progresses and the word gets out they are here, youíll have to take a number to get on one of the popular spots to catch them.

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