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  • Hilton Head Cobia Action

    There is good and bad news if you are going to Hilton Head for cobia. The bad news is because of an early spring the cobia are moving out of the rivers. The good news is that there are plenty of cobia hanging out at the reefs near Hilton Head, and Capt. Michael Perry of Papa Bear knows the reefs.

    This time of the year Capt. Mike likes to anchor up on the Betsy Ross Reef which is located approximately 25 miles from Hilton Head. Once the boat is set in the right position, Capt. Mike will put out two rods with large, live menhaden on a fish finder rig using a 6-ounce weight with a 7/0 circle hook and 50-pound braid with an 80-pound leader.

    In varying his technique, Capt. Mike will drop down a Spro 6-ounce jig head with a large menhaden on a stinger hook directly on the bottom. He also uses a downrigger with a large bait and no weight, and he will suspended the bait a few feet off the bottom.

    Using an electric grinder, Capt. Mike sets out a chum slick that is the siren's song in bringing the big boys in close. While fishing, Capt. Mike vigilantly searches for any cobia schools that may be cruising the surface. If surface fish are spotted, he will throw a “Papa Bear Special” jigging or casting rig which is a soft bait inserted with a jig head and two stinger hooks for a solid hook up.

    Capt. Mike says that the cobia fishing off the reefs will usually stay good until the end of June. But if you can't get to Hilton Head until July, don't despair because that is when the king mackerel, red drum, and tarpon action starts to heat up with the temperature. Capt. Michael Perry is available for various charters and can be reached at 843-816-3474 or visit his website at

    South Carolina Sportsman Field Reporter
    Capt. Glenn “Teach” Corley
    Teach on saltwater!!

    I love that you went down to HHI and obviously got all over their cobia, thanks to Papa Bear of course.

    The AR's really seem to be the ticket these days. Incidentally, good report of cobia on AR's are coming from Charleston and Murrell's Inlet as well.
    Yo Jeff, the weights of the four cobia ranged from 21 to 47 pounds for a total weight of 135 pounds. The 47 pounder was caught on top on a Papa Bear Special lure.