Capt. Cobia Hunter Ben, Sean S, and I gave it another whirl chasing cobia with the fly the other day in the inshore waters of the Virginia Beach, Va area. A few weeks go we tried, saw a bunch, but could not get one to eat the fly. Well, we did get a bunch to chase the fly at the end of the day, but the fun was spoiled by a buoy jack.
Wednesday night Capt. Ben and I talked and he said it looked like Thursday would be a decent day, that he had had good success he last few days catching them on light tackle and eels and that we should give it a go on Thursday. I said, “Game on!”. Packed my bag, rods and reels, and loaded up the car. Got up at 3am and made my way down to Owls Creek ramp where I arrived around 7am. We packed up the boat and headed out to find a good chop on the water. Original plan was to head southwest, but after getting pounded for a while we changed our plan, grabbed the following sea and made our way in more of a northernly track. We looked in the open water, we looked on the buoys, we casted the buoys, we looked some more, made some calls to only learn that no one really had been seeing anything. Jet Ski Brian said he saw one….things were not looking hopeful, but hey, that’s fishing for you.
We got a call from a fishing friend who said there might be a bite on red drum, given we’d beaten ourselves up looking all over we decided to give it a try, maybe catch a few, go in and grab lunch and head back out. Capt. Ben put the hammer down and we headed towards the area of the red drum report. We ran about ten minutes and all the sudden the boat comes off plane, I look up and Ben says there were four cobia he saw, they went under when the wake hit them, but that we should hang a few minutes and see if they come back up. Sure enough two minutes later they appear. Ben points them out, I have them in my sights. We slowing make our way over and I shoot a long backcast, but it falls behind them. I make another, miss again, the fish changed direction. We move a bit and I make a forward cast, line gets tangled, have to get it out, if the cob takes the fly and runs (if it runs lol) I’ll break him off.. Now I am pretty much messed up, I’m watching them with one eye and untangling with the other. Finally I get it undone, two cobia have moved out front, and two behind just a few feet. We sneak up a little further on them, I ask Ben to turn the bow to the right so I can get a long cast in, I shoot a long shot, it falls right in front of them, I make one twitch of the fly and the fish light up and go wild over it, they miss, I make another short strip and one of them jumps all over it, I set the hook and come tight….stuck’em! We’re all jacked up on the boat, but now comes the landing part…..I can see when the fish comes up to the surface that it does not look like it is hooked that well, I give it another hard set, but still do not feel good, fish runs at me and I wind like a mad man to keep it tight, finally he goes down and I stay tight. He starts making his way to the surface again and I feel like he is going to jump and all I am thinking if he makes a good jump he has a real chance to throw this hook…sure enough he jumps, but the hooks stays and I’m feeling better about landing this sucker. I wear the fish out a bit and finally it gets near the boat, I think this is it, but the fish makes another run. Few minutes later we finally land the rascal. Mission accomplished! To say we were all jacked up is an understatement, whenever I get a new species on the fly for the first time it always jacks me up . Good times!
We took some pics and headed to where we heard the red drum bite was, turns out there were no fish there, but it did not matter to us. We headed to the ramp and had a big lunch at Rudee’s. Later in the night I made my way over to Ross’s Harpoon Larry’s Seafood Bar. There I managed to catch up with local legend, Capt. Pete Bregant, who I had not seen in a while. The really sweet part of it was that I caught the cobia on a yak fly he tied and gave to me fifteen years ago on my very first trip fishing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT) area. Capt. Pete and Ron Russell took me out to show me what it was all about. Because of Capt. Pete and Ron introducing me to the great Virginia Beach fishery, I’ve had more adventures then I could have imagined fishing the area. I’ll remember this cobia on the fly adventure with Capt. Ben for a long time to come, and I will be back for more! Thanks Capt. Ben, you are part Cobia!
The Fly Fishing Equipment List of what I used:
Sage 10wt XP
Tibor Everglades Fly Reel
Rio Striper 250 line
leader: 2 feet of 30lb Ande fluorocarbon, 2 1/2 feet of 20lb Ande fluorocarbon
Fly. Capt Pete’s Yak Fly
A few pictures below (click for a larger version of the image)
Oh yea, put some bend in that Sage fly rod!
Capt. Pete’s Yak Fly that tricked this cobia
What else can we catch with this fly rod