False Albacore

By Mike Buss, Dec. 2016

We have talked about my favorite saltwater fly fishing target, false albacore, for the last couple of months. Last month we talked about a day at Harkers Island pursuing these fish. This month I would like to talk a little bit more about this year’s trip down there.

We spent the last couple of weeks of October and the first week of November there and it was our best year since we started going in 1997. It wasn’t even close as we hooked 429 false albacore and landed 287.

I think we had such a good year because we tried some new tactics and I would like to explain them in the hope that you will be able to benefit as well. We noticed that when we landed an albie, they usually were accompanied by other albies, so we used a technique that we have used for Mahi Mahi, namely, we kept one hooked at boat side while another angler would drop his fly next to the boat until he was hooked up. It worked over and over as we had numerous “doubles”.

We had a small 14’ semi-v boat with a 9.9 hp motor that would troll all over with both a short 30’ line and a longer 60’ line trailing behind the boat. When trolling in areas with breaking fish, the angler with the 30’ line would be on the right side of the boat and use a water haul to cast to breaking fish. He would often get an immediate hookup. The longer line would also have many hookups.

We also used a 23’ center console with one angler in the front ready to cast to breaking fish along with another angler in the back trailing about 30’ of line. When we would come upon breaking fish our front angler would make a cast and our backend angler would use a water haul to also make a cast. We often had double hookups using this technique.

We paid very close attention to our depth finder and when we would see fish less than 20’ deep, we would put our lines out and would often get hookups right under the boat.

I hope you can use some of these tactics. Next year we plan to stay four weeks, the last two weeks in October and the first two weeks in November. If you would be interested in getting more information about our stay, please send me an email at mike4519@verizon.net.

This month is Christmas and I would like to give you all some ideas if you have someone who you will be looking for Christmas presents and who is a fisherman or woman. I always like to receive a gift certificate to a local fly shop or on line store. That way I can receive two presents, getting the certificate and again when I use it to shop for my actual gift.

We will also be celebrating New Years Day and many of us will be making New Year’s resolutions. This year I would encourage all of us to resolve to introduce someone to the sport of fly fishing.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all, and tight lines.