St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Captain's corner


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 5, 2001

Although a month behind schedule, the spring shallow water cobia migration has started to pick up. These are fresh from south Florida on their way to the Panhandle. Inshore fishermen are beginning to catch them on the grass flats and sandbars in Tampa Bay, and along the north Pinellas coast. The smaller fish showed up a few weeks ago, and larger females are arriving. Most follow sting rays, but occasionally they can be found behind large bull sharks, manatees and turtles. Just about anything big that stirs up the bottom may attract the cobia.

Sight-casting for cobia with light tackle in shallow water is one of the most exciting angling opportunities our area offers. They are cooperative, great fighters and good to eat. Tackle can be light. My clients have landed several cobia over 50 pounds on 10-pound spinning tackle. We usually carry one rod rigged with 14-pound braided line in case of a big cobia. The best artificial bait is an eel-like soft plastic bait on a half-ounce jig head. Jig colors should be bright, such as chartreuse and gold. These are not only preferred by the cobia, they are highly visible, allowing exact bait placement. Live sardines, pinfish and shrimp all work well, but the best live bait on the flats is a small, live blue crab, which is why they follow the rays. When the ray digs onto the bottom, crabs are exposed and pounced upon by cobia.

If on inshore waters, have a jig rod ready. Cobia encounters can be brief, and if you're not ready you may miss out on a fish that could make your day.

- Ed Walker charters out of Palm Harbor. Call (727) 944-3474 or e-mail

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

Hubert Mizell
  • Some will pull against Woods

  • Devil Rays
  • A blast (from past)
  • Lopez sore, but okay for Sunday
  • Kelly is traded to M's for cash

  • Golf
  • Fortunes can turn on 2 holes
  • Officials plan more TV, harder par 4s for tournament
  • Amen corner
  • Five to watch (other than Tiger)

  • Lightning
  • Lightning: no answer for Jagr

  • Sports Etc.
  • NHL briefs
  • Trittschuh breaks leg, will miss three months
  • Pro football notebook
  • NBA briefs
  • Three prospects, one goal: continue improving
  • Butterfield glad he's back with Yankees
  • New fan base a nice boost for Dunedin
  • Sports briefs
  • Baseball briefs
  • Around the AL
  • Around the NL
  • Can IRL find success at Homestead Speedway?
  • Point Givenis favorite in last prep
  • South Sumter wins title again
  • Zephyrhills ekes out victory
  • Bull, Tiger named top players
  • Gators blank Rams 1-0 in pitchers duel
  • River Ridge wins 11th in a row
  • Depth propels Rams into first
  • Around Pinellas
  • Crusaders coach calls it quits
  • Warhawks' appeal to be heard today
  • Several could win conference
  • Warrior star cherishes wearing soccer jersey
  • Captain's corner

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts