Unique Casting System Lands Big Cobia

Unique Casting System Lands Big Cobia

ASSATEAGUE — Using a special surf fishing caster system, three local anglers teamed up to catch what might have been a new state record cobia from the beach as Assateague late last month but the fishing world will never know.

Anglers Mike Costanzo, Dan Triano and Chet Porches caught the 60-inch, 75-pound-plus cobia, frequently called the “man in the brown suit,” from the beach at Assateague on Saturday, July 25, using the Bunker Up Fishin’ Sand Blaster Bait Caster. The Maryland state record for cobia is a 79-pounder caught by angler Jack Latimer about a mile and half east of the Ocean City Inlet last September.

However, the anglers that caught the big cobia in the surf at Assateague two weeks ago will never know if it would have set the new state mark, but they are convinced it had the length and weight to set the record. Triano said the cobia was measured at 60 inches, but the anglers had no idea at the time what the state record was and didn’t follow up on getting an official weight total.

The cobia was processed before an official weight could be determined and few days later, the crew got to see a picture of the existing state record and was convinced their fish would have topped the mark. Triano said the likely record cobia would have to remain the crew’s own fish story and they would never be without a scale again.

Triano and the Sand Blaster Bait Caster team have been catching big sharks and other species off the coast of Assateague, along with other big fish, for years, but the cobia caught on July 25 made the trip memorable.

The system uses a tradition surf rod with the tackle connected to the launching system. Using durable plastic molds similar to large ice cube trays, the bait and sinker are frozen together and launched hundreds of yards out into the ocean. When the frozen bait-sinker combo hits the water, they thaw and separate, putting the tackle much farther out than a traditional surf cast allows.

Based in Pennsylvania, the company developed the product largely on the beaches at Assateague and the crew returns often to the barrier island to take advantage of the great surf fishing it offers. The company holds a patent on the Sand Blaster Bait Caster.

Bunker Up Fishin’ is currently in the midst of a summer-long contest after which a lucky veteran of the U.S. armed services will win a Sand Blaster Bait Caster. Participating veterans meet up with Triano on one of his Bunker Up Fishin’ trips and each contestant gets one launch, one hour and one fish. Each fish is measured and recorded.

At the end of the summer contest, which wraps up on Sept. 27, the veteran with the largest fish will win a Sand Blaster Bait Caster. Any active duty, current or past military veteran is eligible to participate. To register, visit www.bunkerupfishin.com.