Kick-Ass Cobia! - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 12-22-2008, 11:33 PM   #1
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Default Kick-Ass Cobia!

Reading the post about the Cobia that took TWO divers to subdue took me back to my own humbling at the hand (fin?) of the mightiest and tastiest fish in the Gulf.

Diving the Avocet with my OTHER buddy John (divers named John seem most common), we agreed to each take a side of the ship to expand our killing possibilities. Same ocean, same day buddy system can be uncertain at times. Halfway down the wreck, a huge stingray flies past me with at least 6 Cobia in tow! I watch as the ray settles in the sand and the Cobia play circle the wagons above him. I go down the hull slowly till I nest in the sand then oh so slowly get into firing position.

Now at this time I'm between the wreck and the ray, which is at least 3ft thick, 20ft long, with a wingspan of about 12ft. The Cobia are circling about 5ft above the ray causing me concern about spooking the ray and getting ZAPPED by the barbs which must be 2ft long! I choose to ease toward the head of the ray (away from the barbs), float up about 5ft, even with the Cobia, aim for a medium size one (I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid?), pull the trigger and get ready for a ride.

After I pulled the trigger, things got wild real quick! I'm still a bit fuzzy on the exact sequence of events, but this is how I remember it.

I see the shaft pierce my chosen one, then a train hits me in the chest! At least thats what it felt like. After the train nails me, I'm slammed against the hull of the wreck, then flipped end over end a few times, then the train hits me again knocking the wind out of me, along with my regulator and mask and somewhere during my underwater gymnastics, I lost my speargun!

With the water totally silted out, I quickly recover my regulator, and take an assessment of my situation. I feel the hull near me and ascend above the skirmish area to try to get some bearings, but without a mask, I'm only guessing. Remembering an old trick from dive training, I cup both hands on my forehead and around my eyes, exhale a little air through my nose trapping a pocket of air and giving me a small window to see my way around. I don't see the ray or his merry band of Cobias,apparently the excitement was too much for them. I have to keep reloading my makeshift air pocket (it apparently leaks), causing salt water to burn my eyes repeatedly and blurring my vision. I catch a glimpse of something blue on the bottom and make a beeline for it. Its my MASK! Boy am I glad I can see now (actually I'm just glad to be alive!).

I scout around for my speargun/cobia assembly, but my luck doesn't hold. I now go in search of John on the other side of the wreck. I see bubbles coming out of a compartment in the engine room,I find John doing a long reach into a smaller opening, whilehis speargun islaying out on the deck. I tap him on the shoulder, give him a "whats up?" gesture, and he points to his speargun with his free hand. Seeing he can't possibly shoot anything with his arm jammed into the opening up to his shoulder, I give him another "whats up?" gesture. He then grunts loudly and props his fins against the bulkhead and heaves backwards, pulling his arm slowly out of the hole. I can see he is straining mightily but can't figure out whats going on. Finally I see he has MY speargun in his hand! I help him pull on the barrel and can feel a strong tug on the end of the shock cord. The Cobia is stillON!We pull a few times but something is hung up. The Cobia is probably sideways behind the bulkhead. I shine a light to see if there is something we can do different but it is hopeless. If we give thefish any slack, it goes further into the bulkhead. If we pull, it wedges between to supports about4ft away.

I help pull the string as hard as I can while John pulls on the barrel hoping the fish might "slide" past the supports. The clip holding the shock cord to the barrel gives with a shot, the string burns through my gloves quickly, and theCobia, with spear and shock cord, swims deeper into the bulkhead and out of sight.

At least I got my gun back, minus shaft, and running low on time and air, we go in search of the ascent line. When we get in the boat, John tells me he sawaCobia hauling ass past him with my speargun in tow. He drops his gun to grab mine as it goes by only to be dragged into the engine room where the fish then wiggles into the smaller openingpulling him shoulder deep into it. When I tell him what happened to me,he falls to the deck laughing so hard, he's crying! I failed to see the humor, seeing how I almost got killed by a Cobia/Stingray death monster!

That Cobia had to go at least 50lbs andhe owned my ass and dragged my 250lb buddy through the wreck like aragdoll. At leastneither of us got hurt, and I learned a valuable lesson- Don't piss off a stingray that weighs more than you do!
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:17 PM   #2
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Default RE: Kick-Ass Cobia!

I am not a diver.. but that was a great read thank you for sharing!
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:35 PM   #3
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Default RE: Kick-Ass Cobia!

Cobia is an extremely hard fish to kill with a speargun. I shot a 56lber myself and it was off to the races also. I was drug so far away my buddy went up the anchor line couldn't get the anchor up by himself so he tied a lifejacket to the line and tossed it in the water to come and retrieve me and my psycho cobia. We ended up about 1000 yards away from the boat. I have shot quite a few cobia of different sizes and have yet to put a kill shot on one. They are one mean machine for sure.
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