Typically, when you see a record get broken, it’s by some small increment. It’s rare to see a record just completely get shattered, whether it be fish or anything else for that matter. That’s why when the shocking news of the spear record for cobia being broken by nearly 30 lbs. started circulating, conventional wisdom held that it had to be a hoax.
As it turned out, the rumors were indeed true. Last January, off the shores of Brazil, a monstrous cobia (called bijupira by the locals) was taken near an artificial reef created by a sunken pipe. Read the amazing story of what it took to bring this monster catch down.
The story begins about 4,300 miles southeast of Bradenton, in Marataizes, Brazil. The city of just more than 34,000 people is about 200 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro. It’s here where spear fisherman Marcelo Mello Lobato lives. I contacted Lobato, who was aboard the day the giant cobia was captured. Lobato tries to dive once or twice a month, usually on weekends or holidays when the sea conditions allow aboard a 21-foot boat with a newly acquired 2013 150 Yamaha 4Stroke.
On the boat’s second journey to sea, Lobato was with Cyrus Bravin and Gabriel Santana. Their destination was 50 miles away, to what Lobato describes as a large iron pipe which fell from a cargo ship to the depth of 26 meters, about 85 feet. The spot is known for producing large cobia, known as “bijupira,” which means “tasty fish” to the locals.
The day started well, as the crew secured a 54-pound cobia. To most, this 54-pound cobia would probably be the stuff of legend, but now it is merely an appetizer to the main course.Thirty-m inutes after taking the 54-pound fish, Bravin entered the water once again to see many smaller cobia still around.
Photos: Bradenton Herald