Cobia!

It’s that time of year on the Panhandle.  Cobia are migrating west along the beaches and the tournaments are in full swing.  If you have never done this, it’s a unique fishery.  It’s all sight fishing for big fish.

Boats move down the beaches with two, three, six, eight people in the tower looking for cruising fish.  Towers range from thirty foot tall welded works of art costing tens of thousands of dollars to step ladders lashed to the bow of a jon boat.  You do what you need to to participate in this adventure.

Once a fish is spotted an angler in the tower casts a bait to the fish.  The bait of choice is a live eel.  Failing that, a grunt, or pinfish, or other medium size bait fish.  If that does not work, a jig, or a shrimp, or whatever works.

The captain may maneuver the boat following the fish for feet, yards, maybe miles while all the offerings are made until the fish eats or disappears under the waves.   Once hooked up the rod is lowered down from the tower on a pulley system and retrieved by the angler in the cockpit and the fight engaged.

This week I was able to get out with the boys on InstiGator, a proven Cobia killing machine with a tournament winning and hardened crew.  The trip did not disappoint, yielding this 61.7 pound beast for angler Big Rick.

While this was an awesome fish, the current first place fish is an astounding 98.8 pounds.

There was plenty to go around so I decided to pull together a little creole cobia treat for dinner.

Yum, that is some good fish.  The recipe:

Garlic, onions, chives, chopped fresh tomatoes, bell pepper, chili pepper, celery, shrimp shells (remove after the sauce simmers for a while) a cup of wine and a cup and a half of water all sauteed and then simmered for about thirty minutes.   Seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme.  Fish is just dredged in flour and pepper and cooked for about four minutes with a bit of oil in a hot skillet and then put in the sauce to finish.  Saute a few shrimp in the same pan and add to the mix.  Garnish with green onion.

Good stuff.

Hope you get out there and catch ’em up!