Chuck and I started the day at 845 this morning with five fly rods in the boat. We bought some time until the tide would be low enough to sight cast by blind casting with an LC shrimp, thank you John Holbrook for that fly. We hooked a nice red that ate as it came to the boat, making it difficult to get a good hook set. After a short time of pulling off line from the reel, the fish came unglued. A few minutes later we hooked into a doormat of a flounder that if he had been a buzz saw would have separated the boat right at the console as he darted under and out the other side. Though he ripped some fly line from the reel, he too came unglued.
In the next two locations we found no shortage of reds…hundreds of them. We changed flies twice but never made one eat. So I said lets pull out the 10wt and see if we can find a Cobia. I was explaining what we would be looking for and on cue one came up as an example; it was pushing due west across the river. I reached over Chuck’s shoulder to point out the wake but as soon as we pulled closer the fish disappeared. Again a push, and again it disappeared. The third time this happened we moved a little closer to where the push was and momentarily got a fairly close look at a 25 plus pound Cobia but didn’t get a real good shot at it. The next fish cruising wouldn’t let us get close before it would go down so we moved on. For the next 45 minutes we saw a few sheepshead cruising, some bait and as always hundreds of jelly balls but no sign of a brown fish. Chuck said, “let’s go fish for some reds again, we might spend an hour looking for a Cobia and when we find it I might not capitalize.”
“Alright” I replied. Putting the 10 weight away we headed off to another flat. After getting up some speed I looked over to the right at a black bucket floating upside down bobbing in the subtle slick waves. I spun the boat and said, “Triple Tail.”
“You see one?” Chuck asked.
“Not a Cobia, a triple tail right with that bucket.”
I pulled the eight weight out with a redfish toad, a good triple tail fly, and identified the triple tail to Chuck. He put his first cast a little wide right and it wasn’t long before the triple tail caught sight of the boat and retreated under the bucket. At that point I instructed Chuck to cast past the bucket and let the fly sink a bit before stripping it back, hoping the hidden fish would dart out and grab it. As Chuck cast, I glanced up river seeing what appeared to be a kamikaze fish pushing right toward us. I reached for the 10 weight as I said, “There is a Cobia coming!” Closing fast, the cobia moved just a little left of center, so Chuck and I switched rods. “You see it?” I asked.
Chuck replied, “Yeah I see it,” which was another way of saying, “what do you want me to do?” The fish sunk and disappeared.
“Put it to left of where he just was and strip.”
I took a quick look back to the bucket to see if the triple tail was still there. He was, and was zoned in on the toad as it was sinking. I looked back to Chuck’s fly just as the cobia lifted out of the depth pushing a wake that screamed, “here I come!” The fish punished the fly and Chuck didn’t hesitate to give the most successful strip strike of the day. I removed the redfish toad from the water and away from the triple tail to say thanks for making us stop the boat. No bucket equals no triple tail and no triple tail most likely means I never would have seen that cobia.
An early statement from Chuck said, “it appears they fight a little sluggish.” The just legal fish quickly changed Chuck’s opinion on that, and was followed with him making statements such as “we don’t have fish that can bend a rod like this at home...unless I am using my 3 weight.”
We got him in, took some photos and then lipped the fish with a boga next to the boat as it idled along until he was strong enough to swim away on his own.