Land Based Game Fishing Guru
Goshie has been targeting both pelagic and demersal species from the stones for over two decades. An east coast based angler, Goshie heads to the west coast several times per year to enjoy the extraordinary land based fishing opportunities available there.
Goshies Land Based Cobia Tips
- Quobba is one of the best land-based fishing destinations in Australia. There’s camping, huts, chalets and everything you need at the station. And Cobia are there all year round, although the summer months do tend to fish better.
- Cobia like large bays for the food sources. In addition to the usual bait species such as slimy mackerel, herring and so forth, cobes love to eat sandcrabs and stingrays, boith of which are plentiful in bays.
- Cobia are less fussy than other land-based game targets when it comes to water clarity and colour. That said, Goshie still finds that clear, blue water fishes better that milky green water.
- Look for points and ledges that protrude into the ocean, similar to fishing the points in lakes. These create a “pinch point” for baitfish and the cobia will often work them. They’re also often associated with large sharks and with manta rays, feeding on the baitfish and food scraps that accumulate around large marine animals.
- Current doesn’t play a huge role at Quobba station, but at placed like Hat Head in northern NSW where the ledges protrude into areas that are sandy and don’t have a lot of reef, currents can be vital.
- Usually pelagic fish will bite better around a new moon. The dark nights seem to result in a more intense daytime bite.
- In Summer at Quobba Station you’re likely to be hit be the predominant SW winds, so you’ll need conditions of 15 knots or less for safe rock fishing. Garths Rock is nestled inside the bay and is somewhat protected from the wind, making it a popular spot for LBG fishing. That and the presence of cobia and other fish, of course.
- To get to the ledges at Garths you need to traverse a slippery and treacherous section of rock known as “The Gauntlet”. To do this safely you want the swell to be 2m or less.
- Dawn and dusk are always good times to fish at Garths Rock, although the sheer cliffs behind the ledge tend to shade the water until 9am or later, creating an extended bite window.
Goshies Cobia Fishing Tackle
- A general purpose land-based game spin rod of 9-10’ in length will allow you to cast most lures far enough. A good quality spin reel such as a Saltiga or Stella in the 4500 to 6500 size, loaded with 40-50lb braid completes the outfit.
Goshies Cobia Land-Based Cobia Lures
- An 85g Sure Catch Knight is perfect for cobia and is the best option if it’s windy, but you need to use it differently for cobia than you might for some other species. Goshie finds that cobia prefer to take metals on the drop, so long casts and a flat out crank are less effective than winding for 10m and then free spooling to let the lure fall to the bottom on a slack line. Even jigging the lure along the sand can be effective. When a cobia takes a lure on the drop it won’t be a high speed affair like a mackerel might exhibit. It’s more likely to be a slow, solid take, you’ll see the bow come out of the line, flip the bail and you’ll be on. Goshie upgrades the hooks to 4/0 trebles when he’s targeting large cobia.
- The 5” Mack Bait lipless crank is deadly on cobia and can be fished in very much the same way as the metal, but is a better option when there is less wind. Goshie upsize the tail hook from 2/0 to 3/0. There is a line of chrome Mack Baits and a White model that Goshie has had a hand in developing with the team at Lively Lures. These are specifically intended for cobia, with the white ones being particularly effective at Garths Rock when the fish are feeding on sand crabs. 75% of the strikes will come when the lure is on the drop.
- A white soft plastic is a good option, in fact probably the #1 classic cobia lure due to their love of slow moving lures.. A 1 ½ to 2 oz Jig head with a McCarthy or Abrolhos paddle tail plastic in the 6.5 to 7.45” size range is perfect. There are lots of techniques for working these, but the same approach as is used with the metals is as good as anything.
Lively Lures is an Australian Lures success story and Alan Dolan has worked with Goshie to develop some lures specifically for those who like to target cobia from the shore.
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