Cob, KABELJOU (Argyrosomus Inodorus)
The Kabeljou is widely spread along the eastern and western coastline of South Africa, in rivers, estuaries, and in shallow inshore waters, as well as far out to sea.
Although classified as a bottom feeder, it is regularly found close to the surface and caught on spoons and dropshot especially when schools of Sardines and Haarders are around.
It's not considered a good fighting fish, but the sight of a large Kabeljou is always a joy on any vessel.
The Kabeljou is known by various names depending on the region you happen to catch one:
Walvis- Infanta : Kabeljou
Infanta - Knysna (1-2kg): Melk Kabeljou "Milk Cob"
L'Agulhas - Cape Infanta in estuaries and rivers: Vleikabeljou
Infanta -Mosselbay: Boerkabeljou, Kwagga, Rietbul
PE - East London: Salmon or "Salmon bass"
In the Agulhas area Kob is found almost all year round but mostly from October until end of May.
"Kob water" is easily identified as a brownish soupy water inshore, and a darker Peasoup colur offshore.
Bird activity and even the oily smell and slick of baitfish can be found at the area where they feed.
The area around "Die walle" is a good area, especially when conditions allow for you to position your vessel in between the kelp beds.
The gulleys in this area will always be productive in water that is almost the colour of a mud dam!
Another area to go look for kob, is off the Rivermouth when the swell is quite high.
The Breede River is another excellent fishing area for the larger specimens of Kabeljou, and fish of 50kg are regularly caught while pulling rapalas or fishing with Live Bait.
Most of the small estuaries hold large cob in summer, and they can be found in very shallow water at night.
Kob is a very good tasting fish and sought after as a table fish.
Bag Limit: 2 per man per day.
The kabeljou takes a variety of soft baits. Live shad, mullet, karranteen and mackerel is excellent if you can get them, and whole dead baits of the aforementioned species also work well, as do fillets and mixed grills. Your best baits will be fresh squid (chokka), pilchards(sardines) mud prawns, bloodworm (worms are prohibited in Namibia) and slowly retrieved lures (spoons). Mussel is a good bait fished over rocks, but you need to make a big parcel of several mussels all bound together with elastic thread. Record sized Kob can also be caught with freshly skinned octopus leg, Sardine or Sardine and Tjokka(Squid) combinations.
When using fillets, make the bait large and compact, and guard against throwing it too deep. Obviously, a whole, fresh sardine is a good bait too and is best hooked in the way illustrated in the "dead bait hook placement" figure on the right. Make sure all your baits lie on the ground. Live baits are most productive for the 12kg to 20kg fish and should be attached to the hook as shown in the figure on the right. Large kob from the shore demand patience, rugged tackle and rigs capable of hurling a big bait plus several ounces of lead far out to sea. If a giant kabeljou is cruising nearby then you will have a far better chance of attracting his attention with a massive hook offering than a couple of scrawny little worms more suited for a dab.
Remember, the bigger the bait the bigger the kabeljou you will catch!
37kg Kob caught in Berg River 30km from the mouth on light tackle and a spoon.