Rachycentron canadium a.k.a. Haruan Tasik, Black Kingfish, Ling.

What is dark brown like a stingray, almost as fast as a spanish mackerel and has nearly as much stamina as a giant trevally? The cobia! A pelagic found around coastal reefs, buoys, steep drop offs, wrecks and islands, the cobia provides sport for both the bottom fisherman and troller. Often caught as big as 15 kilos it gives a really good fight on medium or light tackle.

Baits like squid and fish are suitable for those targeting the cobia. Live bait however is the most effective bait. Place the bait near the bottom or in mid-water. But most of the cobia I have seen caught have been taken in mid-water. There are certain spots that cobia are often seen cruising the surface in shoals. Sometimes the shoal can consist of many large cobia. Casting lures to them sometimes works. However the most effective is probably to cast a live bait ahead of its path.

Wire leaders are not essential, but as the cobia has very fine teeth, heavy mono is essential against the abrasion. On the other hand wire would be an added insurance, especially if the sharp toothed predators turn up instead. However it is a fact that fish bite less on baits rigged up with wire leaders.

Cobia will also take the normal lipped (bibbed) plugs on trolling. Skirted lures are also suitable when they are feeding near the surface. But many a time, the cobia can be seen cruising just below the surface, refusing live bait and lures cast into their path, which is very frustrating!

At other times multiple hook ups can occur as the lures are trolled past a buoy or reef! The cobia will run in different directions, requiring the anglers to move around the transom to uncross the lines, preventing the lines from getting tangled.

With its muscular torpedo shaped body, it has endurance to give the angler a good long powerful run, when taken on trolling. When taken on bait placed deep down, the cobia will fight to stay down, making the angler fight vertically, but occasionally running away horizontally. In any case it always makes the angler work hard!

A muscular fish, it has plenty of meat, but many local anglers scorn the flesh of the cobia, but for the anglers on the other side of the world, the cobia is quite a popular fish.

But be careful when handling the fish as it has some sharp spines before its dorsal fin.