Cobia Fishing at Myrtle Beach | Ultimate Guide

Cobia Fishing at Mrylte Beach

Myrtle Beach is an idyllic coastal landscape located in South Carolina, and it’s a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts. One of the most sought-after species in the area is cobia, which is known for its size, strength, and delicious taste. These prized fish make Myrtle Beach an attractive fishing spot for people of all skill levels. 

The clear blue waters, lush marshlands, and sandy beaches of Myrtle Beach provide a perfect backdrop for anglers looking to experience the thrill of catching these majestic creatures. This picturesque environment makes it even more enjoyable when you finally land that big catch or just take in the scenery while admiring nature’s beauty. 

The cobia is a migratory fish species that typically move through Myrtle Beach in the late spring or early summer months. Their distinctive appearance, with stripes along their bodies and fins, makes them easy to identify among other species. They can be found near the surface during these months, making them a prime target for anglers who want to increase their chances of success on their fishing trips.  

Cobia fishing has been part of Myrtle Beach’s culture for decades and continues to be a popular activity among locals and visitors alike. With its stunning natural environment and abundance of fish, Myrtle Beach is an ideal place to get out on the water and try your luck at catching these prized creatures.

Understanding Cobia

The physical characteristics of cobia make them a unique species among their fish relatives. One of the most distinguishing features is the elongated, flattened head, which is broad and slightly rounded, with a protruding lower jaw.

Cobia have a streamlined body shape that allows them to move quickly and with agility in the water, furthered by a powerful tail fin and pectoral fins set far back on the body. Their coloration is dark brown on top with a white underbelly that serves to camouflage them in the surrounding water.

Cobia is large predators who can reach lengths of up to 6 feet and weigh over 100 pounds. They have expansive hearts and gills, which help them to travel great distances in search of food in the open ocean.

They also have four rows of teeth along their jaws for catching prey, as well as several sharp spines running along their dorsal fin for defending themselves from predators.

Cobia are capable hunters that feed mainly on small fish such as herring, anchovies, mackerels, and sardines but they also eat crabs, shrimp, and squid when they can find them.

In addition to feeding at night or during twilight hours, cobia will often hunt during daylight hours using vision rather than scent to detect prey. This ability helps them find food even when visibility is poor or they are swimming deeper into the ocean depths.

Cobia is known for their unique habits and behavior that make them a highly prized gamefish for anglers. These fish are migratory, meaning they can be found in shallow waters such as bays and estuaries, but also in deeper waters. Their patterns vary depending on the age and size of the cobia; juvenile cobia can be found in shallower water while larger adults will venture into deeper waters. 

In terms of feeding behavior, cobia are opportunistic predators and typically feed on small marine creatures such as shrimp, crabs, squid, and small fish. Additionally, they have been known to follow larger marine animals such as sharks and rays in search of prey.

They also feed on smaller fish like menhaden or mullet when they can find them. This behavior makes them an exciting catch for anglers due to the challenge associated with catching one of these elusive fish. 

Cobia is also known for their powerful fight once hooked by an angler which makes the experience even more enjoyable. Not only do they put up a good fight but their delicious taste adds to their allure. With proper handling techniques and knowledge about the habits and behaviors of cobia, anglers can increase their chances of success when targeting these fish species.

Fishing Gear and Techniques for Cobia in Myrtle Beach

When it comes to cobia fishing, having the right gear is essential for success. A heavy-duty rod and reel setup is a great start – opt for a conventional reel with a high line capacity and fast retrieve speed, combined with a 7-8 foot rod in medium-heavy to heavy power rating and fast action.

A braided line in a 50-80 pound test is also recommended due to the tough mouth of the cobia. For additional security, consider adding a fluorocarbon leader with an 80-100 pound test. Lastly, large strong hooks are necessary – 6/0 to 9/0 size circle hooks are ideal for live bait fishing while J-hooks can be used as well but the former should be preferred for greater efficiency. With all these pieces of equipment in your arsenal, you’ll be well on your way to catching plenty of cobia!

A gaff or landing net is necessary to bring the fish onboard once it is hooked. A pair of gloves can also be helpful when handling the cobia since their spines can be very sharp.

Bottom fishing is one of the most popular techniques for catching Cobia. This method involves using a heavy weight and a large hook baited with live baitfish or cut bait. It is an effective technique to catch these powerful fish as the weight can be adjusted to reach the appropriate depth for them to be found.

The bait used should also be chosen carefully, as some species may not be attracted to certain types of bait. Sight fishing is another exciting way to catch Cobia. This technique requires you to spot the fish swimming near the surface of the water and cast a lure or bait directly toward them.

Fish that you may find at the surface include Redfish, King Mackerel, and Spanish Mackerel. When trying this technique, it’s important to have a fast-acting rod and reel as Cobia are known for their speed and agility when they strike your lure or bait.

Trolling is also another great way to target Cobia. By dragging a lure or bait behind a moving boat, anglers can cover large areas quickly and efficiently in search of these fish. Heavy-duty rods and reels are necessary for this technique as Cobia put up quite a fight when hooked! With all three methods, patience will be key in order to successfully land some strong catches!

When it comes to bait for Cobia, live bait is always your best choice. Popular options include eels, crabs, and pinfish. Eels and crabs are especially effective as these are known to be a favorite food of Cobia.

Pinfish can also be used when fishing in shallower waters. When it comes to lures, the bucktail jig is a popular go-to choice as it mimics a wounded baitfish which can make it an attractive target for hungry Cobia. Another great option is the swimbait which can imitate a variety of baitfish in order to draw them in.

Both lures are designed to provide maximum movement and action that will entice Cobia into striking. With the right gear and knowledge, anglers can increase their chances of catching these elusive fish!

Finding Cobia in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is a great spot for Cobia fishing, offering anglers plenty of opportunities to target this delicious and exciting game fish. Some of the best locations for Cobia in Myrtle Beach can be found near shore.

Here, several miles off the beach, anglers can find numerous reefs and wrecks that provide excellent habitat for baitfish and other prey species that Cobia like to feed on. These waters also offer a refuge for the Cobia, providing them with an opportunity to grow and reproduce.

Another worthy spot to consider when looking for Cobia in Myrtle Beach is its rocky jetties and piles that line the coastline. Here, large schools of baitfish congregate, making it easy for hungry predators like Cobia to find a tasty meal. The jetties also provide shelter from larger predators such as sharks, creating a safe environment where Cobia can live and breed without fear of being eaten.

Finally, don’t forget about the shallow brackish waters in the area’s inlets and estuaries. These areas are teeming with small baitfish which draw out larger predatory species like Cobia into their depths. With so many prey items available here, it’s no wonder why these waters attract both large numbers of Cobia as well as anglers looking to land them!

If you’re an angler looking for the best time of year to catch Cobia in Myrtle Beach, then you’re in luck! The spring and early summer months of April to June are the prime time to target these fish. During this time, the water temperatures begin to warm up, signaling the start of their annual migration through the area. This makes it the perfect opportunity to capitalize on the abundant catches that can be found. 

The fall months from September to November are also a great time of year for fishing Cobia in Myrtle Beach. As the water temperature cools down again, anglers have reported success when targeting these gusty fish. Many prefer this period due to the smaller waves, making it easier for them to cast out and remove their catch from the water. 

No matter what season you choose for your next fishing trip, one thing is certain: when it comes to catching Cobia in Myrtle Beach, timing is key! By planning your trip around these optimal times of the year, you’ll be sure to land some impressive catches. So don’t wait any longer – head out now and get ready for your next adventure!

A good understanding of tides and currents can also be beneficial when targeting Cobia in Myrtle Beach. These areas are best fished on an outgoing tide, as the fast-moving water will help attract baitfish and other prey species that Cobia loves to feed on.

Cobia Regulations and Conservation in Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts, and one of the most sought-after species in the area is Cobia. Regulations and conservation efforts are in place to ensure that these fish remain plentiful and healthy, so it’s important for anglers to understand the restrictions before embarking on their next trip. 

For recreational vessels, May 1st to June 30th allows for either one cobia per person per day or two cobia per vessel per day – whichever is less. From July 1st to December 31st, there’s still one cobia per vessel allowed per day.

While engaging in a For-Hire Vessel operation as defined by G.S 113-174, anglers can possess four cobia per vessel per day. Additionally, there’s a six-vessel limit and a 36-inch fork length minimum size requirement in effect all year round. 

In South Carolina state waters north of 032° 31.0 N latitude (Jeremy Inlet, Edisto Island), the maximum number of cobia permitted on a single vessel is six – with no closed season. This means that you can fish for Cobias throughout the entire year but be sure to stay aware of any additional rules or regulations that may be enacted by local governing bodies along your journey. Knowing what you’re allowed to take home helps protect the environment while keeping our fisheries bountiful!


Myrtle Beach offers some of the best Cobia fishing in the United States, and with a little research and preparation you can have an amazing time out on the water. Understanding regulations are essential to ensuring these fish remain sustainable for generations to come, so be sure to check all local laws before leaving port. With its warm waters attracting baitfish and its rocky terrain providing ample hiding spots for Cobia, your next fishing adventure in Myrtle Beach is sure to be an exciting one! Good luck and tight lines!