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Species Spiels: Cobia (Rachycentron Canadum), by Nick Martin

Cobia (Rachycentron Canadum), by Nick Martin

For this month i thought i would talk about a hard-fighting tropical sportfish which occasionally shows its broad, flattened head in Sydney Harbour... the Cobia

On an interesting note congratulations to James Reilly who landed a 1 metre, 8kg (estimation) Cobia whilst fishing for Kings in Middle Harbour with Craig. Just for the record this is the 6th or 7th caught by Fishabout in Sydney in 15 yrs of operation.

Cobia (Rachycentron canadum)

Common names: Black kingfish, Black Kingy, Cobe, Crab Eater, Sergeant Fish

Identifying features: Cobia have a long, elongate fusiform shape with a broad flattened head. They are dark in colour with dark, grey brown colour transitioning to white on the belly of the fish. They have between 6 to 9 independent spines in front of the dorsal fin. Adults have a forked tail whilst juveniles have a more rounded tail.

Cobia are quite commonly mistaken for Remora. However there are two profound differences:

Remora have a dorsal sucker on top of their head so they can attach themselves to large sharks, fish and marine mammals and essentially hitch a ride.
Remora have a less developed tail because of this.
It can get confusing though because Cobia will also hang around large rays and sharks looking for a free meal.

Size and lifecycle: The biggest Cobia to date weighed in at 60kg with a length of near 2 metres (massive!!!). These pelagic fish are long living and have been recorded to live up to 15 years. They are fairly solitary coming only together for spawning. During this period the mature female Cobia (3+ years old) will release between 370,000 to 1.9 million buoyant eggs every 4 days for a period of several months! After hatching the tiny Cobia lacks a mouth and eyes for the first week of life!

Diet: Cobia eat Squid, Cuttlefish and fish. Interestingly, when Craig was gutting James' recent catch they discovered that the Cobia's stomach was filled with baby stingrays. According to Craig every Cobia caught by Fishabout has had baby stingrays in its stomach so maybe the Cobia follows the stingrays not for a point of ambush but to eat the baby stingrays.

Distribution: Cobia are a tropical pelagic fish which frequent the Northern oceanic waters of Australia. They are most often found in water which averages in temperature above 24 Degrees Celcius.


Fishing Qualities: Cobia make an excellent unpredictable sportsfish. Sometimes they act similar to a Kingfish heading straight for a snag. Other times they make aerobatic leaps out of the water and occasionally they put up little fight until they see the boat and the net and then proceed to go absolutely berserk. The most recent Cobia leaped out of the water 3 times making for a very nervous 10 minutes on the white boat!

Fishing techniques: All of the Sydney Harbour Cobia's have been caught as a by-catch when targeting Kings. Which means that live or fresh squid have been the bait of choice. In areas North of Sydney they are commonly caught by trolling yakkas, crabs, squid or Pilchards near structure such as buoys or over rocky bottom. They are also caught jigging and trolling large hard-bodied lures. Over in Western Australia they are caught casting soft plastics at fish lurking below manta rays. However I'm not sure what would be more exciting, hooking the fish..... or foul hooking the manta ray?

Eating qualities: Cobia make an excellent eating fish with a firm texture and excellent flavour. A couple of suggested ways to eat them include:

1. Sear the fish and serve with salsa verde and slightly blistered cherry tomatoes (place on a tray and in a hot oven for 5 minutes).
2. Also great just seared briefly, cut into cubes. Place in a large bowl with green olive tapenade, fresh parsley, garlic, chilli and a little parmesan. Mix well then add and linguini good quality olive oil.
3. Or poach the fish. Boil some waxy potatoes (Royal blue, Desiree or Kipfler) once cooled slightly make a nice fish and potato salad with homemade mayonnaise, dill, chives, capers, gherkins, boiled eggs, Dijon mustard, and roughly flaked fish. Serve with some rocket right at the with good quality olive oil.


Stuart Reid's 50lb Pending World Record PNG Black Bass

Pending World Record Black Bass

Papuan Black Bass are renowned the world over as the toughest pound for pound freshwater fish in the world, and the place to find the biggest Black Bass is PNG's Gulf province. The current all tackle world record Black Bass of 46lbs, and the fish pictured (caught on 19/6/14, by Stuart Reid, Fishabout) which is the pending world record at 50lbs, were both caught from these rivers.

Once you feel the strike you know that no freshwater fish can come close to the power. Watching 100kg guys get knocked over on the strike, reels give way, rods break in half and 130LB pound braid snap from the pound for pound strongest fighting fresh water fish is a sight to behold. If would like to experience the thrill of targeting PNG Black Bass and Barramundi in remote areas with very low fishing pressure contact us now. *2017-18 spots selling now* ... read more

Kadavu Island - Great Astrolabe Reef

Fiji Macky

The pristine Fiji Islands are home to the South Pacific's finest sport and game fish, including massive GT's, monster dogtooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, dolphin fish, wahoo, spanish mackerel, black marlin, blue marlin and plenty of reef fish. Many of these species are endemic to the Great Astrolabe Reef (one of the largest barrier reefs in the world), which is the reef that encompasses Kadavu Island, Fiji.Fishabout now offer 6 and 8 day fishing packages to explore this marine wonder of the world, which include 3 and 5 days fishing respectively. For more information call us on (02)8922 2651 or click here

Endyalgout Remote Fishing Camp

Sunset at Endyalgout

Fishabout is pleased to now offer remote fishing trips to Endyalgout Island, one of the best fishing locations in Australia. (Nestled on the south east of the Coburg Penninsula).

Situated on a shell grit beach under shady trees, are several permanent tropical friendly safari style tents, raised on wooden platforms.

Looking out past the resident Crocodile you can see miles and miles of enticing mangroves, barely touched creeks, rivers, rock bars and channels, all calling your name.

From monster Baramundi up to 130cm, to big Black Jewfish, Threadfin Salmon, various Trevallies, and some of the biggest Golden Snaper to be found anywhere, Endyalgout Island is truly a dream to fish.

Pricing ranges from $4350 (4 days, 3 anglers per boat) to $6910 (7 days, 2 anglers per boat)

For more information please call us on (02) 8922 2651 or click here