When we think of cobia fishing, we usually think of sight fishing or chumming. But… kite fishing? That’s not exactly a technique most folks would consider when targeting this species. And that’s too bad – because it can be quite effective.
We all know cobia will chow down on a live baitfish, and we also know we regularly see them on the surface. Now ask yourself: what do you use when kite fishing? Live baitfish. And where are your baits, when you kite fish? At or just under the surface.
This does not, however, mean you should run right out there and set up kites any old time. The method is most effective when the fish are in a fairly concentrated area, and sight-casting to them isn’t working well because of cloud cover, rough seas, or off-color waters. In these situations, kite fishing allows you to keep those baits in the strike zone, your bow facing into the waves, and your boat in the same spot, all at the same time.
The basic tactics are more or less like any other type of kite fishing, with one exception. Sharpies will tie a piece of bright yarn (or another form of visual indicator) about five feet up above the bait. This lets you monitor the bait’s depth, and make sure it stays up near the surface even as the kite dips or rises. Anglers must constantly tend the lines, pulling in a bit or letting out line as necessary, to keep the float or visual indicator right at the surface of the water.
Do you have to fly a kite to catch cobia on live baits? Of course not. But, will keeping a kite rig handy pay off when conditions make it difficult to fish for them in the usual ways? You bet.