Sight fishing for Cobia , flies and gear

 Sight fishing for cobia is hard no way around it. It has humbled me. It is such a different game than fly fishing them in the chum slick.  The early cobia season as a rule they will not respond to chum—the first big push of cob have one thing on their mind and that is getting to the Chesapeake Bay for their spawn.  In June and later the fish seem to respond to chum.  

First you have find a cobia swimming on the top and position the boat for your angler to get a cast.  Good casters win more often as 60 to 90 foot casts are better than a shorter one.  Often when the fish get close to the boat they will spook.  So a long cast will give the cobia time to chase and hopefully eat your fly.  Boat with towers are much more successful at finding fish much farther away from the boat.  This gives their anglers a lot more time to see the fish and plan the cast.  Vertically challenged boats like Flat Out it is much more of a speed game as we see the fish closer and have to react quicker.  

We have had some inquires about what flies we fish for cobia.  My first answer is good question!  Over the years our go to fly is a Popovics’s modified Hollow Fly tied in yellow and red. This year we had success with more orange and burnt orange flies.  Any fly has to be light enough to cast easily but again push some water and pulse when it is twitched.  Being able to adjust your strip to the reaction of the fish helps.  In other words knowing how to wiggle the worm.   JUST BECAUSE THEY ATE THE FLY ONE DAY DOES’T MEAN THEY WILL THE NEXT DAY!  So it is wise to stock plenty of flies with many color variations.  

Tackle is basically your albie tackle.  RIO’s Tropical or InTouch Out Bound Short Intermediate fly lines are perfect.  They load the rod quick and will launch the fly.   This year we have been fishing Sage’s Salt HDs 9 or 10 wts.  These are easy casting power house rods.  Any high quality reel with work but we have been using Sage’s Spectrum Max with to us is the best reel on the market for the price.  The other reel we are using is the Seigler MFC and BFC, these reels are fish cripplers.  The leaders we fish are 7 to 10 feet 20 pound with 25 to 30 pound fluorocarbon shock tippet.   

The more I sight fish for these animals the more I realize I don’t know squat. 

2 thoughts on “Sight fishing for Cobia , flies and gear”

  1. Greetings,

    Talk to me about fly fishing for Cobia! Where are you fishing for these?
    Best months to fish for them?
    What other species do you target other than Cobia?

    Cost for full day guided trip?

    Thank You! Will Kaye

    1. Will,
      I do not fish for cobia anymore. You must have a tower on your boat to be successful and I do not have a tower or want one. Sarah has one on her boat and she cobia fishes. Our season is very short unlike years past. The last 5 years the peak has been from May 19th until the 27th of May. It is done by June 1st. The better cobia fishing now days is in the Chesapeake Bay.

      We fish 9 and 10 wts with intermediate lines. You must be able to cast 60 to 80 feet quickly as it all sight fishing. One cobia on fly is a successful day but we have caught more. I believe our full days this year are 900.00.
      As for other species –hopefully we will have some shark fishing on fly this summer. We both plan of doing more of it this summer. I mainly spin fish in the summer for specks and slot reds. Sarah carries more of the fly trips in the summer any more questions you can email me at

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