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Discussion Starter #1
My friend Terri (Jackback) hooked a snapper in ~100' of water, and after only a few turns on the reel, got slammed to the gunnel by something BIG. Shark, right?

After ripping off 50 yards of line, he gone! I'm thinking she's bringing up a snapper head, and after another 20' of retrieve - WHAM! OK, he came back for the head. Another short tussle and he's gone again. Another 20' of line - WHAM! He's back! No, wait a minute - he's gone.

Almost to the boat, another attack! Turns loose again. Almost in sight, WHAM again, and then gone.

She reels up a 16" snapper in whole condition, no teeth marks, but the snapper is pretty much scaled and deader than a hammer. I ruled out anything with teeth - sharks or cudas, and I don't think a big grouper would have followed all the way to the boat. Didn't see any blowhole bitches around us, so I'm left with cobia?

What do you guys/girls think? And how big of a cobia to take a 16" snapper? I'm thinking 60+ lbs.
 

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Could be a goliath. They've been known to follow baits/hooked to the boat.
 

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I have had dolphins do that on multiple trips this year. Same exact thing. Got a small keeper fish, got him almost up and he got hit, i pulled him away, he got him again, he came up completely scaled.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Could be a goliath. They've been known to follow baits/hooked to the boat.
That crossed my mind, but didn't know they would come up in the water column like that.

Years ago in Destin, I had the same scenario as Terri; massive hit/release/hit again/ follow to the boat, but I got a visual on the culprit - approximately 80# cobia.
 

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Yeah thinking a Goliath.
 

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You might be right with the cobia. We landed 14 cobia this past weekend 8 miles south of Navarre in 92ft of water. We had a 50lber get off due to a missed gaff shot that ate a 14" red snapper on the way off the bottom. The other 2 hit live pins on the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
definitely a school of large cobia.....50+ lbers....
Damn. And I had a big live mullet in the livewell and a pitch rod ready. So what did I do?

I dumbfounded - that's what. Lack of recent time on the water became obvious... studied the snapper, shrugged, got another beer.
 

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Did the rod bend straight down? or did he run out away from the boat? Straight down, prolly grouper, if it ran away from the boat i'd say a dolphin, but yall didn't see any dolphins. Shark unless its a really small shark would not have let a snapper go and it would have been riddled with teeth marks. I guess a cobe could do it also a big AJ could do it too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
First attack was close to the bottom and it ran out, not down, like a grouper. Being so far down in 100' of water and not seeing any blowholes around us, I'm kinda ruling out flipper. The continued attacks were like my experience years ago in Destin when I visually confirmed it was a big cobia.

I'm inclined to go along with Fairpoint's opinion - a school of large cobia, taking turns attacking the snapper. He seemed pretty positive.

I appreciate everyone's input.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
About 10' of relief.
 

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If it were a shark, king, cuda,grouper or porpoise nothing (or very little) would have been left. Seems a little shallow/little relief for AJ. Dolphin typically don't hit near the bottom. No idea what favors scales. Maybe cobia.
 

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There's been a lot of good size cobias that have shown back up in the last couple weeks. More than likely that's what it was. Next time, when they bite it, don't immediately put the reel in gear. Instead, let them eat it for a few seconds at least, then put the it in gear but back your drag off. No reason to have bottom fishing drag on a fish that is just wants to make a few runs. Easy does it.
 

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