Cobia (Black king), Yellowtail Kingfish and Amberjack are a hard fighting pelagic fish found along most of the eastern seaboard. They make their presence felt here on the Gold coast from around June to January. During the colder months the bigger fish are around, usually on average between 25 - 45 KG. These are big fish, by anyone's standards. As the water warms up the size of the fish decreases with fish in the 10 - 20KG range the norm. Kingies turn up on our reefs around May and hang around for most of winter. People often mistake cobia for sharks when sighted down deep and if the fish runs along the surface when first hooked. It has a fairly high dorsal fin which does look like a shark fin in the heat of the moment. When a kingie is hooked, other kingies in the school will generally follow a hooked fish up to the surface. It is then that another bait should be deployed over the side.
Cobia and Kingies are mostly found over reef bottom in depths of water from around 15m - 50m plus. A good sign to look for on your sounder is the schools of bait fish, if you find these & put a live bait down amongst them, a cobia or kingie is usually not far away. Many anglers have a hookup from a cobia while bring in other fish such as trag, snapper or tailor. If this happens a large livey deployed back into the water is usually smashed in no time at all.
The rig at work
The humble yakka.
This is one of the easiest rigs going. Simply it is a 50LB leader, 2 Gamakatsu 8/0 hooks, Lumo Sinker. We use this rig extensively for Cobia, Kingfish, Tuna and the like. The Lumo sinker size can be changed to suit conditions.
Amberjack are the apex of the brute species. While they hang around the same grounds as cobia and kingfish they are generally found in deeper water. In cases where you hook one of these, its a case of hang on and hope you don't get reefed.