During cobia season, a quick look at many bodies of water around the Beaufort/Hilton Head area will erase any doubt about the popularity of cobia. Boats are literally everywhere, and the best honey holes are obvious because of how densely they are packed in one spot.

In these situations fishing etiquette becomes very important.

"Cobia are just about on every rip and drop-off, but everyone congregates in the same areas, and etiquette is required," said Capt. Mike Sackman. "Anchoring in someone's chum slick can ruin their day; if you think you are too close to a boat, you are."

Idling around looking for a spot among anchored boats can spook cobia, especially those close to the surface.

"Scope out a spot from downcurrent and ease into position while minimizing your wake," Sackman said.

Strong currents and wind will affect how a boat drifts after it's anchored, and consideration of those factors is needed before getting into position. Take time and look at how other boats are positioned in relation to their anchor lines and think about how this also affects chum slicks and lines out of the back of the boat. Paying attention to details like that can greatly reduce the likelihood of having to reposition several times.

Another helpful item is a heavy anchor that can really dig in. With boats packed in closely, a dragging anchor can result in a collision or crossed lines. Tempers can sometimes flare in close quarters; when faced with this situation, it is better to move on than to stick around and risk serious confrontation. Certain spots are more popular with anglers than others, but this is not necessarily true for cobia.