Cobia Bowl Aides in Virginia Cobia Fishery Research

Tournament raised money for scientific efforts and helped experts study fish caught on-site

Dr. Ken Neill, III (left) of the PSWSFA and Mike Hanna (right), managing partner of Dare Marina, present Dr. John Graves of VIMS with a $11,000 check from the Cobia Bowl to aid in cobia research.Courtesy Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman's Association

The Cobia Bowl, a tournament held off the Virginia coast, helped scientists from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science learn more about the species and Atlantic fishery. The event was held by the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association and hosted by Dare Marina and Yacht Sales.

Genetic samples were collected from each cobia brought in and the fish were examined to see how close to spawning they were. The examined fish were cleaned and donated to a local food bank — and fish carcasses were donated to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s Sportfish Collection Project for further analyzing.

The 2017 tournament, which included 125 boats, had a total cash payout of $43,800 to the anglers. The largest cobia caught was 82.6 pounds on Black Jack, captained by Ashley Davis. The crew includes William Robins and Quinton Chapel. Old Dominion University, participating in the study, said the fish was 9 years old.

In the daily release division, Knot Enough released four cobia on the first day. Mojo released 11 to win the second day's prize. Lauren Robertson caught a 31.8-pound cobia to win Top Lady Angler and Ayden Sowers' 56.3-pound catch was good enough to win the Youth Award.

For more information about the Cobia Bowl and the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman's Association, visit the association's website.