How to Land Big Cobia on a Kayak

How to Land Big Cobia on a Kayak
Cobia (also known as black kingfish, black salmon, ling, lemonfish, crabeaters, or aruan tasek) are large saltwater gamefish. Found in offshore waters of various depths in many parts of the world, cobia can grow to weigh well over 100 pounds. Although it is easiest to catch these fish from a large vessel, kayak anglers also pursue these prized fish. Catching and landing a large fish such as a cobia requires planning and a cool head while playing and landing the fish to avoid injury.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Medium-heavy rod and reel with line
  • Lure
  • Net or gaff
Step 1
Set up your kayak for landing big cobia before heading out on a fishing trip. Consider the amount of space you will need to work with when playing and landing a big fish. Locate accessories, such as rod holders, so they are flush mounted and move other gear behind you if possible. Reduce the chances of snagging or tangling your line on the kayak.
Step 2
Locate a net or gaff where it can easily be reached and will not interfere with landing the fish. Consider using a net when the cobia will be released. Only use a gaff if you intend to take the cobia home to eat because it is likely that gaffing the fish will mortally wound it.
Step 3
Play the large cobia once it is hooked so that it will tire somewhat. Allow the fish to pull against the weight of the loaded kayak. Turn your body sideways in the kayak and hang your legs over the side. If the fish has to pull sideways against the kayak, it will tire more quickly.
Step 4
Work the large cobia closely in beside the kayak. Adjust your weight to counter the weight of the fish on the end of the line. Shift your body weight back as the fish is reeled in close to the kayak.
Step 5
Net, or gaff, the large cobia, keeping in mind that when it is touched there may be an explosion of movement. Position yourself and the rod so you do not become tangled in the line. Prepare to hold the fish tightly so it does not injure you or itself if it will be released.

Tips & Warnings

Release the fish, with the line attached, if you cannot hold on and injury becomes a real possibility. You always have the option of playing the fish in once again or cutting it loose.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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