|Jeff with a nice fish on a Hogy Epoxy Jig|
The fall run is now well underway in
waters, from bluefin off Cape Cod to the inshore
craziness as fish tear into the abundant bait in preparation for the runs south
or winter holdovers. Leading off this fantastic fall fishery are the albies and
bonito that arrive along the southern coasts chasing bay anchovies, silverside,
squid and more. Guys up here wait all season for what is typically a pretty
short albie run, hoping to catch these little speedsters on light tackle or the
fly. As soon as the first few reports trickle in, the craziness erupts. If
you're really lucky and can get out after them during the beginning of the run
on a weekday, chances are good of racking up double digit tallies on fish that
are looking to hit just about anything. Such was my buddy's luck on a two dozen
plus day in a kayak. Unfortunately for me, the run usually coincides with my
return to the classroom, relegating me to the role of weekend warrior with most
of the rest of the world. By the end of the first weekend or two, those fish
have been run over by about a thousand boats and seen every type of lure and
fly presentation. They can get pretty damned picky.
The most popular spots are busier than ever as soon as the first pictures start appearing online, something of which we're all guilty. Places like (OK - Spotburn Alert!) Watch Hill, RI might see three to four dozen boats of all sizes intermingled with kayakers all vying for those green speedsters, and anyone who's fished them is familiar with the Run and Gun Club. Fish pop up, and boats come gunning from all directions. Fish go down. Fish pop up a quarter mile away. Repeat the process. Few fish are actually hooked. Tempers flare. Even if you don't want to play, you get sucked in. I arrived at Watch Hill past Saturday with boats stretched from the point to the outer reef. I just wanted to get through and push further east, away from other boats. Dropping down to idle speed I find some open water to pass through. Another boat comes across my bow and I disengage my motor and let him pass. I bump back into gear and as I do so, the albies briefly pop up in front of me and then disappear. I've now got the guy who just cut across cussing me out for putting down the fish. Part of me wanted to tell him to go f&*k himself, while the other part knew he was pretty much an idiot wasting his time and not worth the effort.
|RNA with a fish that fell to an Albie Snax|
As I mentioned in a previous article, my biggest rule for fishing these fish is to STAY AWAY from other boats. If a school starts blitzing 300 yards away and boats are heading in that direction, don't waste your time. Find some open water on the edges, kill your engine and wait. Chances are pretty good the fish will resurface nearby because the bait and the chasing albies will be moving to a place away from all of the surface commotion. Look for the one or two birds circling way away from the gaggle of boats. If you figure it out, you'll never have to chase the albies. If you've got lots of fish and boats but the fish just aren't biting, break away from the pack. In doing so this past weekend, we were able to fish some blitzes completely on our own with fish much more willing to hit our presentations.
So here are my best tips for "chasing" albies:
· Don't chase, observe the patterns and let them come to you.
· Maneuver slowly. Avoid the temptation to gun it forward. Chances are you're just going to put the fish down.
· Kill you motor as you near the blitz, and don't sit around with your motor idling either.
· Stay away from other boats by hanging on the outskirts or striking out on your own.
Gear I like to use:
M/MH inshore spinning rods like the
St. Croix Tidemaster 7'6"
20/30lb. superbraid w/ 15lb. flouro leaders.
Hogy Epoxy Jigs
Plum Island Swimbaits (http://plumislandbaits.com/)
Any flies that mimic bay anchovies, silversides, peanut bunker etc.
As always, Tight Lines,