Paddle Tail Basics for Kob

Veer Hiramun -

March 18, 2022

FEATURED GEAR
  • McArthy Kob Slinky (Weedless Rigging)
  • McArthy Paddle Tail (Weedless & Jig Head Rigging)
  • Keitech Swing Impact Fat (Weedless & Jig Head Rigging)
  • Blu Kob Thumper Paddle Tails (Jig Head Rigging)

Known across the globe by many names Dusky Kob, Silver Kob, Squaretail Kob, Salmon, Dagga, Mulloway, Jewfish, Butterfish, Mulley, and Japanese Meagre all the from the same family (Argyrosomus). Locally they can be found along our entire coastline all the way up to Angola. Renowned for their hard pulling action and big hits on paddle tails, they’re hyper attuned to their environment and can feed successfully in low light and dirty water conditions keying in on only the vibration of the lure.

Scattered across our entire coastline, they are a shoaling species, so where you land one be sure to stick around as you might land more in the area, especially when targeting shallow sand banks, scattered rock banks, gullies, and the entrance to river mouths and at night it’s not uncommon to find them feeding up shallow close to shore.

Larger adults tend to be migratory moving into estuaries, harbours and certain rivers to feed and spawn (Kob can tolerate a very low level of salinity so you will you often find them far up freshwater river systems). Juveniles live a large percentage of their lives in these ecosystems and once they reach maturity they move out to sea.

It takes an average Kob roughly 5-years to attain a length of a metre and reach sexual maturity, their growth rate slows significantly after that, although they can reach weights in excess of 80kgs and over 2m. Due to their slow growth rate vs numbers caught by both shore/offshore anglers/commercials, the numbers have dwindled over the years and are under severe threat.

 There are several approaches that one can use to target Kob successfully:

· Live bait such as Mullet, Shad, Karrenteen are great for targeting your larger specimens.

· Prepared baits such the above fish fillets, choka blobs/strips with added Redeye/sardine cutlets for scent.

· Lures both soft/hard plastics

 Anglers that venture in search of these fish on paddle tails enjoy the ease of choice and equipment required, it’s a grab and go approach that includes an 8-12ft rod, 40-60 spinning reel head light, tackle bag, a couple lures and you are ready to start fishing.

WHERE TO FISH

As ambush predators Kob are very structure oriented relating to any current break, rocky banks, points, gullies, and sand banks be it in the surf, in an estuary or man-made harbour. Prime fishing times include the entire period from dusk to dawn and especially during a turning tide, when fishing from the beach as the tend to hold to the bottom in these areas hunting baitfish as they come over the bank. Offshore anglers have the added advantage of being able to target them off the edges of wrecks/reefs.

PRIME FISHING TIMES

Key bite windows are before sunrise and until well after the sun has set, although you can successfully target them during the day as well, depending on the tide and where you are fishing.

TECHNIQUES USED

When arriving at your spot search for any visible features such as rocks, gullies, river mouths etc. These are higher percentage areas and depending on the tide might be close to shore. Once you’ve picked a suitable area, fan cast in different directions, counting the seconds it takes for the lure to reach the bottom before starting your retrieve, this will help you establish the bottom contour and once you get a bite to try and stay in the strike zone.

Most of the time you will want your bait maintaining bottom contact but alternate the speed of your retrieve to work the entire column to determine where the fish are positioning. Most often you will find that a slower steady retrieve, with a bit of slack in your line works best to keep the bait moving horizontally.

Bait Selection

  • McArthy Kob Slinky (Weedless Rigging)
  • McArthy Paddle Tail (Weedless & Jig Head Rigging)
  • Keitech Swing Impact Fat (Weedless & Jig Head Rigging)
  • Blu Kob Thumper Paddle Tails (Jig Head Rigging)

Colours

At night the movement/vibration of the lure is more important than colour although darker colours do enable the fish to zone in on the bait. During the day natural baitfish colours, will deliver the best result and when fishing closer to estuaries and rivers use colours such as Olive, Goldfish and Babwe special.

You can also experiment with colours such as Orca, shad flash, red mullet and your brighter colours depending on water clarity

Calm vs turbulent water baits

Matching the action of your bait to the current water conditions is essential, full bodied paddle tails are better suited for calm/still water conditions with primarily a thumping tail but it offers a lot of resistance when casting them in the wind. A slim profile paddle tail such as McArthy’s Slinky is more effective in stronger currents and winds because of its narrow profile but it doesn’t sacrifice on the vibration it puts off.

Weighted hooks also offer a different option when targeting rocky areas.

Jig Head vs Weedless (1/8 > 3oz)

There are two main rigging methods for paddle tails:

Weighted Jig head

If you are fishing a sandy area this is your best option as the exposed hook enables better hookups.

Weedless

For rocky areas, the usage of a wide gap hook with a running sinker reduces snags and enables you to fish the lure on the bottom, you can also use this rig in sandy areas.

 *Weights will vary depending on the size of lure, tackle and conditions.

GEAR SELECTION

Rods (8ft to 12ft rods)

Depending on the area you are fishing the lengths and casting weights will vary but the Loomis Archipelago, Okuma Pro Series, Matrix, Nomad and Caspian ranges will cover various lengths and actions.

Reels (Size 40 up to 60)

The Okuma ITX, Ceymar, Blue Diamond, Azores, Epixor, Cedros and Tomcat are available in sizes to match the rod and your budget.

Line

  • Braided line (8 strand, 15 to 30lb) Boss Braid Slick
  • Leader (Fluorocarbon, 20 to 30lb) Elbe Fluorocarbon

Tackle Maintenance/care

Always spray off and wipe your tackle after every use, general servicing/maintenance will increase the longevity of your reels as well. Storage of your rods during transit/storage should be in a case to prevent them getting knocked on any hard surface.

 Fish Care

We urge all anglers to practice catch and release as the Kob numbers are in danger, handle them with wet hands, and a fish friendly mat when releasing them.

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