Entered in the Cobia Challenge put on by Chasin’ Tails Outdoors in Atlantic Beach, N.C., Greg Marquart of Macclesfield had high hopes of hooking a fish that would put him in the money when he set out for Barden Inlet near Cape Lookout on May 15.
The National Marine Fisheries Service closed the recreational cobia season on Tuesday in waters more than 3 miles off the beach along the Atlantic coast from the Georgia-Florida line north to New York, reacting to a second-consecutive year of over-the-limit catches of the popular nearshore fish.
Capt. Karl Helmkamp of Fistful Sportfishing in Manteo said the cobia fishing around Oregon Inlet is about as good as it gets, and it’s a rare trip when his parties don’t have multiple fish and at least one large enough to earn a citation.
Since the beginning of the month, the heat wave that has bombarded Myrtle Beach vacationers with nearly ideal conditions for a stroll down the pearly-white strand has set up a different kind of beach experience for fishermen looking to reel in a bruiser cobia.
The latest stock assessment on cobia in the South Atlantic was released this past January. It took years to compile, and approximately half of the 400 pages of information came from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. Some of the findings were extremely interesting.