Cobia, Rachycentron Canadum, Aka Black Salmon.
This fish is a rare one, simply because it can’t be placed anywhere at any one point on the tide, water conditions or even depth.
They feed from the surface and up to 300 ft deep. It’s a well-known fact they like reef habitats though.
A few facts about these beasts of the deep.
IGFA world record is currently held by Anthony Guenel at 42 kilos (92 lb 9 oz) caught in Guinea Nassau. Just 100 miles south of The Gambia.
In 2018 Bob Murdock recorded 69.85 kilos (154lb) of the coast of Gambia (Bakau reef). This fish, unfortunately, was not registered by the IGFA as a paperwork error was made when filing the claim.
Pictured below is Captain T with a stunning 51 kilo Cobia (112 lb)
How do we catch a Cobia?
Your best bet is to find a reef (deeper the better)
NOTE. Gambian coastal waters are very shallow, there are sand bars (banks) within just a few feet of the surface as far out as 6-7 miles.
A good captain knows where the deep areas are, and where the reefs are.
Cobia is a strange one for technique, they will take lures when your fishing for Barracuda, even surface baits, but for the best results live baits is best. Using different weights you can set your baits at different depths to increase your chances.
As your fishing the reef this also gives the opportunity to strike other large reef fish such as Red Snapper, Grouper and Lady Fish.
I have to be honest and say I’ve never caught a Cobia.
But this is what happened one day!
It was mid-April 2019 when the water is often calm so we set off for the reef. After catching several different species over a period of a few hours I got a bite. This wasn’t just any bite, It was big, huge, it took the line for fun pulling 100 m (approx) from the reel in one single surge. Then suddenly stopped.
Nothing, yet my line would not come in. We pulled the anchor and I started to reel the line back in, towing the boat towards where it had stopped. After being directly above my tackle for maybe five minutes and no movement I decided I was tangled on the rocks. Captain T asked to try and free it so I passed him the rod. With some huge pumps of the rod and very aggressive reeling (close to snapping the 50-kilo braid), It started to move. Thirty minutes later this huge Cobia was hauled between us over the side.
This also could not be registered as under IGFA rules only one person can handle the rod.
But nevertheless, this shows they are out there and I’m sure a record can be achieved one day!
Why not come with us and grab a record beating fish with us…