St. Aug Looking for Kings and finding cobes

Put the boat in at 6AM, had pogies (small) by 6:20 and were trolling at Desco by 7. Water was cold and we could only manage one bonito early so we hung up the trolling gear and tried dropping some pogies down below. Our first drop resulted in a triple header of sharks but the third shark to the boat was followed by a big cobia. My buddy Don kept the shark in the water while the other two of us scrambled to get him some breakfast. I took my weight off and tossed a couple of squished pogies out for chum. The big cobe sucked one in without a hook and then spit it. I thought, oh, you're going to be one of those huh? But she came around and took mine and spit it and then took it again and I came tight, lifted her a bit and the small circle hook I had on just never got the bite it needed. I thought it was over but she was determined to keep eating and took my buddies pogie only to have that one pull too. Don kept the shark in the water the entire time and the cobe wouldn't leave it. I cut my rig off and tied on an 8/0 circle and cut a long belly strip from the bonito that we had saved for bait. It worked much better and the big fish sucked it in, came tight and the fight was on. She circled the boat on the surface a couple of times almost coming into gaff range and I thought it was going to be easy but then she decided she had had enough sun and pointed her big head down and proceeded to kick my **** for the next 20 minutes as I tried to keep her out of the bottom. We finally got her back to the surface and only had the narrow hook gaff (I like that one better for kings and we left the big one at home). I told my fishing partner to get the hook in deep just behind the pectoral fin - he must have thought that was the one on the back because he barely got the gaff under the dorsal - in the photo you can see the in and out on the back of the fish. For future reference, this is the perfect location to gaff a large cobe as the fin is apparently extremely tough, you don't really hit any meat and, unbelievably, the gaff did not pull out as we both worked to lift the 50 pounder over the rail. Sweet!

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That was about all the fishing excitement for the day. We caught a couple more bonito, 563 sharks and one pinfish - yeah, we couldn't even catch grunts on the bottom. We saw tons of bait, big sharks on the surface - two hammers and a lemon, one big ray with cobes that would not bite and a thousand porpoise. We got some great photos of the porpoise under the bow. Just an unbelievable amount of life out there today but no kings. Water temp was 75 on the beach and 77 at Desco early warming to 78 by noon when we came in to beat the rain.



Sorry about various picture sizes, still getting used to new interface.

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