By Chris Berzas
Skip Floyd of Kaplan, La. was on some big fish during the fall of 2012.
The 47-year-old tournament redfish angler had spoken to his friend, Paul Davidson, Jr. of FishTale LLC Charters of Hackberry, and he conspired to get to the huge Cobia Paul told him about.
“I launched and headed south from the Cameron Jetties, running 15 miles out to the marker buoys where the fish were reported,” said the angler.
Once he and his angling buddy, Dan, arrived near marker buoy 23, the 25-ft. Sea Fox tenderly eased into the area.
“We were 15 yards away when we saw the fish,” said Floyd.
Floyd then picked up his Duce rod and offered a huge, sleek fish cruising on the water’s surface an 8- inch, lemon, Al Gag Whip-it Eel.
Twenty minutes later, Floyd and Dan were admiring a Cobia (Ling) of 67- pounds!
Seeing other Cobia on marker buoys, Floyd knew what to do next.
“I ran home and told my wife, Tanya, about these fish,” he said. “She had never caught any of these before, and she loves fishing.”
The very next morning found Floyd and Tanya slowly edging toward a marker buoy on the Sea Fox.
“We were about 10 yards away and letting the tide push us near the buoy,” described Floyd.
“I told her to cast the yellow Al Gag eel, and a good fish made a lunge at it.”
“Tanya immediately pulled the bait completely out the water at first – because the size of the fish actually intimidated her,” he chuckled. “She had never caught anything that big before.”
Once Tanya placed her bait back into the water again under Floyd’s urging, the fish charged it aggressively and the battle was on.
“It was a long fight that Tanya had with that Cobia – about 45 minutes of her walking aft and stern . . . all over the deck of the boat really,” said Floyd. “The Cobia also ran under the boat . . . the whole time Tanya reeling and allowing runs with the drag chugging.”
After drifting nearly 1.75 miles away from where Tanya hooked the fish, Floyd gaffed it near the boat.
According to the angler, Tanya had little control left of her upper body having spent so much of its strength in the encounter with the fish.
He then took his camera out and snapped a photo of Tanya sitting exhausted on the deck of the boat cradling a Cobia of 40- pounds.
“These fish will be out here until the end of October, and there is little if any fishing pressure on them,” said Floyd. “I figured that the lemon Al Gag eels would work very well in attracting them, so we took the opportunity while they were there.”
Since Big Lake and the surrounding waters are better known for their trophy trout angling, there is little attention drawn to the near offshore fisheries and the reefs the closer rigs offer.
The Cobia here migrate in the summer to locations south of the Cameron Jetties where these fish can be found lurking near riff-raff, marker buoys, rigs and other structures.
“We saw even larger fish, and there were no boats at all out here,” admitted the angler.
Research on Cobia has demonstrated a return migration back to Florida waters when temperatures fall in Louisiana. The good news is however, that most, not all fish join the migration.