MD Angler Travels to VA Coast to Sight Cast for Cobia with Capt Ben - Report w/Pics
Capt. Ben (from the VA TF board) and I have been talking about doing some sight casting for cobia for a while now. Last year Capt Ben helped me out with the TV show we shot at the CBBT being the camera boat. In the evenings he would tell stories of sight casting for cobia and of course I said, "I want one of those on the fly", he replied, "You're on, when I call be ready." I got the call last Monday afternoon, I packed my stuff and was on the road by 7pm Monday night headed on RT 13 south. Easy drive across the CBBT. I called on the way down and managed to get a really nice room at the Westin for about $125, really nice room for the money. Checked in, rigged my fly rods up and was ready to go. I met Capt. Ben and his lovely mate Lauren, at the Lynnhaven Inlet ramp at about 8am and off we went. The goal was to land a cobia on the fly, something Ben wanted to have done on his boat. His normal clients are light tackle anglers where they cast bucktails or live eels. The live eels are deadly, the bucktails a close second.
We searched a few buoys heading out only to find dirty water. We finally found some clean water and sure enough some cobia on a buoy. Ben said, here we go. I made a few casts and nothing, we did not even seen one circling. Then out of nowhere comes a monster, Ben yells down, "He's on your fly, holy s&%$!" I kept stripping and sure enough he was a big one, I kept stripping and he was getting close to the boat so I stopped the fly and gave it a twitch, he turned on it and almost ate it, saw the boat and turned back . Once they spook like that its pretty much over, I gave it a few last ditch effort casts, but nada. We kept searching and saw a few more fish, none would take the fly. After about five fish that would not eat, Ben said we needed to get the skunk out so we cast an eel to one and sure enough, BOOM, hit, set, game on! It was not a huge one, but put up one heck of a fight.
The tide slowed and it was getting hot so we decided to head in, get some lunch and come back out in the evening. The evening proved to be really good, we saw a lot more fish then the morning, bad new is none would eat the fly.
Had we thrown light tackle jigs or eels we could have easily caught and released six or seven. One we saw Ben said was all of 90lbs, after he would not take the fly we put an eel on his head, but he missed, tasted the hook and that was that (pic below).
The highlight of the evening was finding four nice sized cobia circling a turtle. Ben yelled down and said this was going to be it. We snuck up on the fish, I made a nice cast and two cobia were on the fly like mad men when all the sudden a freaking buoy jack comes up out of nowhere and snatches the fly in his mouth and I land a jack.....
As the sun set we decided to head back to the ramp and call it a day. Both of us had a great time and I learned a lot about fly fishing for these monsters. Every time I go out in the Chesapeake and inshore along MD and VA it amazes me the fisheries we have with in just a few hours drive. I mean, sight casting for cobia just a few hours away from my house, amazing. We should all count our blessings for the amazing fishing opportunities we have in the region.
I think I know the ticket now to get these guys on the fly and Capt. Ben and I are going to head back out in the next week or two when we get some good weather for round two, stay tuned!
Some pics for your viewing pleasure (special thanks to Lauren for snapping some shots)
This is a link to my cobia fishing picture photo album with the below pics and a few more in my Tidal Fish profile, everyone has the ability to have a photo album(s) on Tidal Fish and its easy to link to your pics as I did below.
Capt Ben and his mate Lauren. Guys, do not get any ideas, she is taken
Hooked up on light tackle, what a fight!
A school of menhaden we saw
Close up of some menhaden
This is how cobia crazy they are down in VA tidewaters
The monster cobia that got away...even when tempted with an eel
Last edited by Brandon; 09-08-2010 at 09:17 PM.
Reason: fixed a few tyops
That is really cool Brandon. I cannot understand why they would take a bucktail and not a bucktail fly unless it is the strip.
No idea, but probably as you suggest, something about speed. I also think the bucktail is a little fuller then the fly I was casting. When I head out again in a week or so with Capt. Ben I have a few menhaden yak flies I am going to try.
The cobia definitely kicked my butt....but I'l be back
Awesome report, Brandon. Great pictures too. Thanks for sharing the trip.
Good pics and report...I love the redneck engineering with the latter!
Awesome report...... Capt. Ben is TOP NOTCH, and put us on some fine action out of Hatteras this past winter. I really wanted to hook up with him for some Cobe action this year, but 2 vacant rentals have put a crimp in fishing funds this year...... Get-um next time Brandon.
very nice Brandon!, Cobia are on the top of my list!
Now you know Brandon he must of been on his best behavior not to cast over you and hook the fish. I'm actually surprised he wasn't jumping up and down on the tower when he saw the 90lber and yelling "GET THAT DAM FISH".
Saw a guy the other day headed down 95 with a big step ladder laying in his boat, figured he was doing some work on his summer place. Maybe thats what he told the wife, "workin on the roof, need to take the boat to haul the ladder".
Thanks for the report. It's amazing the variety of fishing down that way. Shame it's such a haul from the upper bay.
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