While on vacation with my family in the Outer Banks, we decided to try our hand at some Cobia fishing.
Using the charter service, Fishingbooker.com, we booked Captain Howell and the Backin’ Up for a half-day of Cobia fishing, mixed in with some trolling on our way to the fishing grounds.
The Backin’ Up is a large 46 foot Sheldon Midgett boat with a tall two-level tower, and a large fishing space in the back.
The two provides an excellent viewpoint for the captain to see Cobia from a distance, which tend to swim near the surface as they are a very curious fish.
The Backin’ Up sets out from Pirates Cove Marina in Manteo, NC., which is in Roanoke Island in the Outer Banks.
Setting out early in the morning, we arrived at the Oregon Inlet as the sun was coming up to head out into the ocean and down the coast towards Cape Hatteras.
Having never been through an inlet like this before, I was not prepared for the wave height we would encounter.
If you’ve seen “The Perfect Storm” movie, these waves were about as close to that in height I’d ever like to be, with the boat feeling like it was going straight down at times.
That said, Captain Howell navigated it well and we were never in any real danger, but it sure was exhilarating at the time.
Once we were out of the inlet, the swells became much gentler, but were still tall enough to be over the top of the boat at some points.
On our way down to the Cape Hatteras area, we trolled some and caught some King and Spanish Mackerel, a few false albacore tuna (which are mostly good for bait) and a couple trout.
We saw a good number of cobia, but most weren’t interested in going after our bait at the time.
In one instance, we saw a sunfish floating along the surface, it was probably about 6 ft in length.
Cobia are curious fish and are often found hanging around sunfish or sea turtles at the surface, so it’s always a good idea to head in the direction if you see either while out fishing for cobia.
Since they swim near the surface on occasion, when spotting for cobia you look for a brown shape in the water and a dorsal fin extending up the surface, similar to that of shark.
They feed on many different types of sea life such as crabs, squid, and fish and grow very fast due to their voracious appetites.
Overall, we had a good time on the charter trip, though we wished we had been able to catch a cobia or two while we were out there.
The fish that we did keep managed to feed the family for several meals. Broiled mackerel makes for a very delicious meal.
Captain Howell and his first mate were very friendly, experienced, and did their best to put us on the fish.
Captain Howell offers a variety of different charter options, ranging from inshore, nearshore, and offshore gulf stream trips to suit whatever you’re looking for.
If you are planning a trip to the Outer Banks I highly recommend you give Captain Howell a call about chartering his boat.
Here is a link to his page on Fishing Booker: https://fishingbooker.com/charters/5244/backin-up-sportfishing-charters