What Size Hook For Cobia Fishing? (Answered)

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For those of you who don’t know, the Cobia is a fairly large marine fish, one that puts up a big fight no matter how you fish for them, as well as a fish that tastes pretty darn good too.

That said, to catch a cobia, you need the right gear, and yes, this includes the right hook. So, what size of hook for cobia is best?

Generally speaking, the best hook sizes for cobia are 7/0, 8/0, and 9/0, which you might recognize as being quite sizeable. Depending on the bait being used, some people may even use hooks sizes 6/0 and 5/0, although sizes 7/0 and 8/0 are the most commonly used ones.

hook size for cobia fish


Does Hook Size Matter With Cobia?

Yes, what size of hook you use when fishing for cobia does make a difference. As you can tell, all of those hook sizes we discussed in the introduction are fairly sizeable. Even the 5/0 is fairly large.

Remember, cobia can easily reach six feet long and weigh 100 pounds or more, which of course means that you need a strong hook to keep hold of them, and you also need something fairly large for the bait.

Keep in mind that the larger the fish is, the larger the bait needs to be, and therefore, the larger the hook needs to be.

If you get a hook that is too small for cobia, you either won’t achieve a good hook set, the hook may not set at all, the cobia may swallow the hook, or it may actually bend the hook during the fight.

On the other hand, if the hook is too large, the presentation of the rig will be ruined, or in other words, a super large and visible hook will scare cobia away.

Types Of Hooks You Can Use For Cobia

Now that you know what the best sizes of fishing hooks for cobia fish are, let’s take a closer look at the types of hooks that work best for these fish.

Circle Hooks

Perhaps the best type of fishing hook that you can use for cobia fishing is the good old circle hook.

There are many different reasons why the Circle hook is usually considered the hookup choice for this purpose.

For one in circle hooks have great hook up and landing rates for a ton of different species because the hook sets very easily.

It’s also cool is that your own reaction and the strike time of the fish does not make a big difference in terms of achieving that hook set.

The circular shape of that hug allows it to really move and dig into the mouth of a fish without much effort needed.

On that same note, the circle Hook also reduces the occurrence of deep hooking, which means that the chances of losing gear and the cobia are reduced.

J Hooks

Another very popular type of hook that people often use for cobia fishing is the J hook.

The J Hook is a very versatile type of hook that works very well for dead bait and live bait, and can even be used to troll behind trolling baits.

One of the biggest advantages that you get with the J hook is that it allows you to hook a fish virtually anywhere, and this without much effort needed.

If you’re looking for a fast, easy, and secure hook set, then a J hook is a good way to go. However, what you do need to keep in mind is that J hooks can cause deep hooking, which may be OK if you plan on keeping the fish, but not for catch and release.

On that note, with a deep hook set, your fishing line will run across the teeth of the cobia, which greatly increases the chances of your line snapping.

Baitholder Hooks

The other type of hook that you may use for catching cobia is a very large bait holder hook, especially if you plan on using live bait such as eels. (Pro tip, cobia really love eels).

Now the big time advantage that you get with a bait over hook is that it allows for a very stealthy presentation so that the fish cannot see the hook underneath the bait.

With that being said, a bait holder hook is not your best bet in terms of getting a fast and secure Hook set.

However, if you are an experienced angler and you know what you are doing, then you can definitely hook a cobia with a bait holder hook.

What Is The Best Hook To Use For Cobia?

Most people would agree that due to the fact that circle hooks usually provide you with the best hook said that the circle hook is the number one choice to go with here.

There is a pretty big debate about whether a J hook or a circle hook is best to use for cobia, but the majority of professionals will agree that the circle hook is the number one type.

How Do You Rig for Cobia?

Ok, so let’s teach you exactly how to make a cobia rig that will maximize your chances of landing one of these magnificent beasts.

  • First off, cobia can be skittish, so using a leader that is at least a foot in length is recommended, a tough leader that is rated to hold a lot of weight, as well as something that will greatly reduce the overall visibility of the rig (in a good way).
  • Next, you want to use the appropriate type of knot to tie that leader onto your circle hook, with the size 8/0 circle hook usually being the preferred hook size and type of choice.
  • Where you have tied the leader to the main line, using a fairly heavy pyramid sinker is recommended, as cobia generally do not eat right at the surface (you can fish from the pier, but that said, cobia tend to stick to the deeper waters, so you will really need to boost that casting distance). What you need to do now is to rig your live bait to the hook.
  • Generally speaking, any large baitfish that cobia are used to will do fine here, but eels and croakers tend to work best, particularly eels.

Cobia Fishing Tips

Let’s go over some of the most important and valuable tips that you need to follow. If you plan on catching as many cobia as possible.

  • One thing that every professional angler who fishes for cobia will recommend is that you use chum. In other words, throw dead fish parts and blood into the water to attract them, because these fish are much like sharks in the sense that they cannot resist the smell of blood in the weather.
  • A good trick for catching cobia is to take a mullet and then stab it through the hard cavity with a knife and then throw it into the water right in front of a cobia that is not biting. The scent of blood and the moving mullet will usually get a cobia hungry enough to go for your bait.
  • If the cobia is being extremely picky, something else you can try doing is using large shrimp as bait. Crabs also tend to work pretty well.
  • Keep in mind that cobia fish are usually never in waters shallower than 30 feet (generally much deeper), and can be found as deep as 300 feet.
  • Also keep in mind that cobia are very structured. Oriented fish so they like to be around weed lines, floating debris, and reads.
  • Remember to use a South water ready fishing reel and fishing rod and moreover, make sure that your fishing line is strong enough to handle these large fish that love to put up a fight.
  • The final tip to keep in mind here is that cobia are generally sight feeders, which means that they use their eyes for finding food more than any of their other senses, so make sure that your lures and baits are very visible.



There you have it folks. Everything you need to know about the best types and sizes of hooks to use for cobia fishing. For your best chances at landing one of these fish, try that special cobia rig that we discussed above.

Image credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife @ Flickr CC.

Jason Downs

I created Fishtackly to share my 30 years of fishing experience and knowledge with others with the aim to help, and hopefully get more people involved and educated in this fantastic hobby that I love.