Cuberas are opportunistic feeders, yet they show a marked preference for crustaceans, primarily lobster. Prior to lobster season, blue crab is the bait of choice. But crab quickly becomes a second stringer once lobster is legal in August. Both Jeffries and Smith claim the lobster bite is the most consistent, but if you have access to both crustaceans, take them. Live goggle-eyes, blue runners and other finfish are used occasionally, but they are often picked off by sharks, barracuda and kingfish. Meanwhile, lobster and crab guarantee the longest and most productive soak times.
The business end of a cubera rig consists of 15 to 30 feet of 130- to 150-pound monofilament leader crimped onto a 10/0 extra-strong hook. A second 10/0 hook on a short length of the same mono, crimped to the eye of the lead hook, serves as a stinger. The leader is joined to the braided fishing line with a three-way swivel. The swivel’s third eye accommodates a short length (3 to 6 feet) of 40-pound mono, to which a bank sinker (heavy enough to penetrate the current) is attached. We used 24-ounce sinkers on our trip.