Only Way moves to the front of the pack in World Championships
Meet the new cobia boss; same as the old cobia boss.
Chris Raim, who won the Cobia World Championships last year with a 98.6-pounder, hauled in a 93.2-pound cobia on Thursday to take over the lead spot in the 2013 tournament held out of Harbor Docks.
Raim was fishing aboard the Only Way with Capt. Curt Gwin and Tony Beaver.
"Those things must just attract to him," said Capt. Gwin.
The crew was actually on a charter and had fished from Destin to down east near Sandestin.
"We couldn't find a fish," Gwin said.
But when they neared Destin on the way in they found a couple of small ones. Things started getting fishy, so they decided to stay out a little longer.
They kept fishing down near Sandpiper Cove when they spotted a pair of cobia.
"They looked like they were big ... and then they came on top."
Tony Beaver who is part of the Only Way fishing team along with Raim, tossed at one of the cobia.
The cobia spit the eel. They spun the boat around and tried to relocate the fish.
"We found them and they were still hungry," Gwin said.
Raim threw out an eel on a circle hook. The cobia took the bait, went down, and the fight was on.
"We didn't really realize it was that big," Gwin said.
While Raim was fighting the big one, the other fish came up and they put one of the customers aboard the charter on that fish.
Raim's cobia ran.
"It went down, then it came back to the top," Gwin said. After 45 minutes of playing tug of war with the cobia, they got the cobia on board.
"It was long," Gwin said. The fish measured 59 inches long and was 33 inches around the girth.
"We figured it was probably in the 90s," he said.
When they got back to the scales right before 6 p.m., the fish weighed in at 93.2 pounds for a top spot on the board.
"That's a record for me," said Gwin who's been cobia fishing since he was 11.
"I hope it will hold, but who knows? The 100-pounders may show up next week. But we've got our fingers crossed," he said.