Cobia fishing is as exciting as it gets. Their aggressive and investigative nature makes them a top target for anglers.
They can be targeted in various ways, but none are more fun than using artificial lures. I’m going to cover 6 of the best cobia lures you need to have on hand during the cobia run this year!
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Table of Contents
- Bucktail Cobia Jigs
- Eel Jigs
- Inshore Twitchbait Lures
- Z-Man Heroz Lure
- LIVE TARGET Atlantic Croaker
- Nomad Design Riptide 155
- Final Thoughts
Bucktail Cobia Jigs
A bucktail jig should be present in any saltwater angler’s tackle box. Its ability to be fished in several different ways and altered in presentation make it a go-to for cobia fishing. Plus, you can cast them a mile if need be.
It is no secret that cobia love bucktail jigs. Their large profile and quick sink rate get cobia fired up and ready to pounce.
As fishing for cobia with artificial lures gains popularity, throwing flashy bucktails with different patterns tends to grab cobia’s attention.
The Feathered Cobia Jigs by Hunting and Fishing Depot offers several attractive colors and feather patterns.
They are available in 1.5oz. – 3oz. with a round bugeye head, or a long and flatter squid head. The rounder head will allow the jig to sink more quickly through the water column, while the squid head will make the jig dart more.
Bucktail jigs can be used for sight casting directly to fish or to locate fish.
If you are trying to locate fish near the structure, cast the lure out and retrieve it with a heavy jigging motion to make that jig fall through the water column. You can also bounce it off of the bottom.
If the fish doesn’t react to the bucktail being jigged in front of it, try to flip the bail and let the jig drop suddenly below it. A lot of times, the cobia will take off after the bucktail.
One of the keys to artificial lure fishing is mimicking the natural presentation of live bait predators feed on. Well, companies like Savage Gear take their jobs very seriously.
Cobia loves to eat live eels. Eels are among the most popular baits for cobia on the East Coast.
Most eel lures are made with a durable soft plastic material that makes them last! Savage Gear has made everyone’s job easier by creating an incredibly lifelike eel jig.
The eels come in 8-inch or 12-inch lengths and weigh 2 ⅓ oz. and 5 ⅓ oz. respectively.
In fact, Cobia eat so much eel and bottom-feeders that they will even swim alongside sharks to hunt for a good meal!
As far as an application for this lure, just get it in front of the cobia. The lifelike motion when this lure swims is sure to draw a strike. It is a great lure to sight cast to a cobia or drift back to a buoy or bridge piling.
Inshore Twitchbait Lures
Twitchbaits are relatively new in cobia fishing but are highly effective lures. The Yo-Zuri 3D Inshore Twitchbait’s “match the hatch” profiles mimic some of the most common baitfish that cobia pursue, like mullet, pilchards, and threadfin herring.
Yo-Zuri’s inner hologram sheet and 3D prism finishing is proven to get a cobia’s attention. The flash projected off this lure with a subtle twitching motion is impressive and will not be ignored.,/center>
This is a great lure to cast in front of swimming fish near the surface or higher up in the water column near buoys, bridge pilings, and other large structures.
On the retrieve alone, this lure has a phenomenal swimming action. Simply lead a cobia swimming by and use this lure right in front of its face.
If you want to get more technical, retrieve this lure with a twitch, twitch, pause cadence. Make sure to not set the hook too soon, wait to feel the weight of the fish.
Stopping a cobia in its tracks to come investigate this lure is something that you’ll never forget.
A special tip for this lure: if you have a cobia that is checking it out, but won’t eat it, try quickly swimming the lure away. Often the sudden change in pace will trigger a strike. If that fails, throw a bucktail to it immediately.
Z-Man Heroz Lure
The durability of Z-Man’s patented Elaztech plastic makes it tough to not include their product on this list. Soft plastic jerk shad lures like the Z-Man Heroz are essential in your tackle box for cobia fishing.
The Z-Man Heroz serves as a swimbait, a jerk shad, and a trailer for your bucktails. You can fish these lures with 1oz.- 3 oz. jig heads or with weighted swim bait hooks.
At 10 inches in length, on a steady retrieve, these lures resemble an eel-like swimming motion.
When retrieved with a jigging motion it gives the Heroz an erratic motion. My favorite way to fish these is with a 2-ounce jig head near a structure or a deep channel edge.
They are great for vertical jigging on a slow drift. Simply cast out or drop right to the bottom and jig your rod tip, like a bucktail, to let the lure lift and fall through the water column.
The Heroz is an excellent search bait when cobia aren’t showing on the surface.
LIVE TARGET Atlantic Croaker
Cobia love to eat croaker. They also love to crush swimbaits. The LIVE TARGET Atlantic Croaker is an easy meal for a hungry cobia.
This lure looks like a juvenile croaker at 5 inches and 1 ¾ ounces. Croakers tend to congregate around structures or the bottom. Let this lure do the work for you.
Fish this lure around bridge pilings, wrecks, or other structures. Let the lure sink to the bottom and slowly retrieve it back. I like to give the lure a subtle pop after every couple of winds to entice a bite.
Nomad Design Riptide 155
Who says that cobia won’t eat topwater lures? I trust that they will. The Nomad Design Riptide 155 is a 6-inch stick bait that creates all sorts of commotion.
This lure can cast a mile and mimics panicked baitfish or fleeing houndfish. It is an excellent sight-casting lure for cobia.
You can retrieve this lure one of two ways. The first is like any standard “walk the dog” style topwater lure, twitch your rod tip and reel the slack. Watch the lure dart side to side. When you pause it will sink back.
You can make long sweeps with your rod tip. This pulls the lure subsurface for a second. As the lure reaches the surface again it creates a disturbance that cobia can’t resist.
The Riptide 155 is a great lure to throw if you spot a group of cobia on the surface or to change the mind of a cobia who is swimming away from you.
Sight casting to a cobia and influencing its bite is one of the greatest feelings in fishing. The key to successful artificial lure fishing for cobia is paying attention to how the fish react.
If you are interested in learning more about Cobia as a species, the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center has a great document that is loaded with information!
Each of the lures listed above mimics the preferred prey for cobia and can be used in different applications. Understanding their action and adjusting to how the cobia reacts to each lure will make you a successful artificial lure cobia fisherman.
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