When heading out on the deep blue sea, there are many variables to be considered that should increase your chances of filling your box with fish. There are many basic principles that are true with every fishing trip, but sometimes it is important to break it down for the individual species that you are really going after for that given day.
This post is dedicated to the art of chasing Cobias off the NC coast. I am by no means an expert in this field, but below you will find a few quick and simple tips that I have learned over the years.
Do your homework – This is true for all fishing, and goes without much need for explanation. Before heading out on the water, it is critical to do your homework as part of your preparation. You need to have a plan of attack before you put your boat in the wind. Knowing where the fish have been getting caught will give you a good way of gauging what areas you need to target.
-Visit your local bait and tackle shop. If you are friendly (and spend some money) they should be willing to provide some tips on where the fish are being caught.
-Utilize social media and the internet. These days, we have the internet at our fingertips whenever we want it. Technology gives us full access to fishing reports and you need to do some research. Interact on fishing and boating forums such as NCAngler or The Hull Truth Be friendly, make friends, and thank users for their input. You will develop relationships that will prove to be beneficial to your fishing. Follow popular Facebook and Instagram accounts that will keep you up to date with what the fishing is like while you are in the office waiting to get to the coast.
Get Out There – You don’t have to be the first boat out of the inlet, but it always helps to have a head start on the competition. Get out on the water early, and you will have the first look at what is going on, and should get some good fishing in before the late risers join the party. Plus, who doesn’t love a good sunrise over the ocean anyways?
Cover Ground and Get Elevated– Don’t get discouraged when you can’t find the fish immediately. It’s a big ocean out there, and they have lots of options on where to go. Sometimes you have to cover some ground (or water) before you find the bait balls and the fish. Try looking in the shallows and off the beach in deeper water. Zig and Zag until you figure out where to wet your hook.
It is much easier to spot the bait or fish when you have a higher vantage point to look from. If you don’t have a tower, then get creative. Every bit of additional height will give you a better chance of spotting what you are looking for from a longer distance.
Mix it up – Fish are just like us humans. We like a little variety in our diet. Make sure that when you do find the bait balls, you have several items on the menu to offer out there. Throw a live bait rig into the bait ball and let her sit while you work the artificial lures at the same time. Test different colors to see what really tends to catch their eye. Sooner or later the fish will hit one of them. This also allows you to gauge what is working or not for any given day. If the same combination seems to be working well, switch everything over to increase your odds. However, be sure to keep a rod or two ready to go with the other options. I would hate to miss to opportunity to site cast at a big fish because I wasn’t prepared to pitch one right to his mouth when he came around.
Listen to the Radio – Keep your ears on the radio throughout the day. You may hear some chatter on where bait is being seen or where the fish are being caught. It may also provide some entertainment for the slow days, as you never know what you might hear discussed between two fishermen. Just be careful – some may find it fun to mislead boaters who rely too heavily on this tactic. There’s a defensive and offensive approach to using the radio!
Be Patient – Patience is not my greatest virtue, but this character trait is certainly one that all fishermen need to encompass. You can’t expect to get out there and catch a limit in the first hour or ever trip. Fishing takes time, dedication, and PATIENCE! Don’t give up when you can’t find the bait or the fish. Take a minute to re-group, discuss your strategy, and fish on until you find them. If you end the day without a bite, don’t get discouraged because even the Pro’s don’t catch them every time. Take what you learned and put it in the memory bank for the next outing.
These tips won’t catch the fish for you, but they should give you something to think about on your next trip! Thanks for reading, and make sure you subscribe to our email list to keep up with our blog!
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