Cobia season may be drawing to a close, but it’s not too late to get in some last licks on this challenging fish. If this September is anything like last September was, at this point in the run trolling tubes will become a top tactic for bagging ‘em. Here’s the drill:

angler holds up a cobia he caught fishing
Cobia like this will keep any angler coming back for more.
  • Pull two number-three planers with 20 feet of 50-pound test behind them, terminating with a 24” surgical hose tube eel.
  • Pull two more hoses with in-line weights of varying sizes (eight and 12 ounces, for example). In all cases, be sure to rig a ball-bearing swivel at the end of the leader and one inline in the middle to prevent line twist.
  • Before deploying the tubes, put the hook through the lure’s eye, twist it into a figure-eight, and give a solid tug. This will put a curvature into the tube, ensuring it will swim rather than just drag through the water.
  • The ideal trolling speed is a topic of contention — some anglers believe three to four knots is best, while others claim the five to six knot range draws more strikes. There’s no solid rule here, so varying speeds between three and six knots until you draw a strike or two is a good move.
  • Troll over shoals and structure in 20 to 30 feet of water.
  • When you get a hook-up, always have a rod rigged and ready to cast with a jig. With some regularity, the cobia on the end of your line will have a buddy swimming close-by.