You may have thought the only way to experience the pull of a giant fifty pound plus fish while visiting on the Outer Banks is to book a deep sea offshore charter. Well we have a secret you are definitely going to want to hear about. Every spring and summer large groups of hard fighting and great eating cobia migrate along our Northern Outer Banks and catching them is just about as much fun as you will be able to handle. As the water warms into the mid 60's and rising into the 70's these schools of cobia travel relatively close along the beaches following the smaller surf fish and feeding on them as they go. Often times cobia can be spotted by seeing their shadows reflecting on the bottom as they cruise behind giant manta rays that are stirring up the sand and bait-fish. Cobia are known for their predatory curiosity around every object they encounter during their travels and their willingness to continue feeding whenever they find a source.
Cobia show up along the northern Outer Banks from the first of May through late June and even into early July. This corresponds nicely to our OBX peak early vacation seasons. One of the other nice aspects about cobia fishing is that it is one of the few species that get even more catchable on a sunny calm bluebird perfect day. That's the kind of day you want to just kick back, relax and soak up some sunshine until you are hooked up to your dream cobia.
Over the last several years, as anglers have learned more and more about the cobia's habits, some of our local Northern Outer Banks charter boats have specifically rigged themselves to target cobia for their clients. Cobia fishing charters can provide you with specialized spinning tackle or bait casting outfits designed for just the right presentations. Boats will also stock up on the favorite lures and jigs that have proven to be what cobia can't resist. Boats like Marauder have even custom rigged with tall towers so we can spot schooling cobia from greater distances.
Local charter captains like Capt. Troy on Marauder use several methods for catching cobia from sight-casting to teasing them with live bait. Our charter is always rigged for these bruisers when the opportunity arises. Our licensed captain also keeps in close radio contact with other professional captains sharing when and where they are seeing the cobia so that everyone on board their boats have a better chance of scoring on them. Many a young angler have been hooked on fishing for their lifetimes during one of our Marauder cobia charters!
Cobia are also a real favorite on the table. Their meat has a fresh firm buttery broad flake texture with no fishy taste. Here are a few ways we like to cook them here on the Northern Outer Banks.
Many smaller private boats are even getting in on the action by rigging themselves for cobia fishing. Being fast and maneuverable can be an advantage at times as long as their customers are willing accept the inconveniences of fishing from a small boat with no head facilities and no seating. These can be a slightly less expensive option for novice cobia anglers not familiar with the sacrifices of chartering them but probably not the best option for a family outings or die hard anglers. Beware.
It is best to book your cobia charter with the charter boat itself and avoid the disappointment of booking any charters from a foreign online booking website like fishingbooker. Instead most local captains recommend using a trusted reputable Outer Banks booking service like Sharky's which is based in Nags Head and can match you up with the right charter for your group.