Be extra cautious when hunting cobia


Cobia are all over the wrecks, heavy bottom structure and ledges. Both scuba and freedive hunters have found them. With either setup, make sure your gear is in tiptop shape. The cobia’s strength and intensity is legendary, and it will find the weakest link. The spearshaft and any spear line can hurt a person on the boat or the diver as the fish is being lifted. Try to have an open deck box available to drop in the fish until it finally decides to stop going crazy. If you put a metal stringer in the fish, be careful — if the fish comes back to life and goes nuts, the stringer in your hand can twist and break your hand or arm.

Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 and