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Below is my report from fishing with Capt Ben last week, any fellow cobia fly anglers with some fly pattern suggesting tips are welcomed :))Hi All

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 doh . 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 light 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.....:surrender::pout:

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!:yes::fishing2:

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


Capt Ben and his mate Lauren. Guys, do not get any ideas, she is taken:nono:


Buoy Jack that stole my fly!


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
 

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Brandon, Big Bunny flies in red/orange, all black, chart, all white will get eaten when they are in the mood. Love a big magnum bunny strip for the tail, moves a ton in the water with minimal stripping. Will try and post some pics of what is left in my box.
 

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When I did my cobia trip about a month ago, I had 4 or 5 refusals before I could get a strike. The fish just give it a casual glance and move on. I was fishing with Brian Watkins, a duck hunting buddy of mine and an excellent cobia sight fisherman. I asked him what the eel does as soon as an angler casts it to the fish. He says that when the eel hits the water, it starts swimming pretty quickly to the bottom. I sped up my retrieve for the next fish we saw, and got him to bite.
I was fishing with an intermediate head and an eel with dumbell eyes and a big olive rabbit strip like Toddkfly suggests. What you might try to do is use a fast sinking line with a slower sinking fly. That way, when you make the cast, within a second or two the line is already sunk beneath the fly, and that way when you strip, the direction of the fly will be downward. Determine the fish's direction and cast well in front of it so that your line has a bit of time to sink below the fly before the fish shows up. It may help if you can have your rod ready to cast in the bow of the boat, but also be up in the tower looking at the fish so you have a good idea of his depth, speed, and direction. Once you spot him, quickly get down and make your cast while others on the boat maintain his location for you.
I only have one successful attempt to base this advice off, but who knows, it may help. Good luck!
 

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Parker w/ ladder... Guess we've all contemplated using some sort of contraption to get us up there. Most just give up and stand on the console. I'll give them an "A" for follow-through and effort.
That shot should definitely make the highlight reel :) Tony Harding
 
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