Albies, otherwise known as False Albacore, are on everyone’s minds these days. These fish are inedible and can drive you mad with their elusiveness, but when you dial them in, boy is it fun! I have heard some outstanding reports in the last couple of days. We’d hoped and expected them to turn on, but it’s fishing and you never know. Since Labor Day, we’ve had a tremendous amount of bait and the perfect conditions, but the fish were slow to respond. You’d see pockets here and there, but nothing explosive. Until… this past weekend.
I heard reports of someone catch 10+ albies south of Tuckernuck, 10+ fish off of Eel Point, 10+ fish at Old Man and 20+ fish from the beach at Great Point. That is amazing! We have peanut bunker in shore and tons and tons of silver sides. If you are on a boat head out to Great Point, or over to Madaket. Do not run full speed and watch the water. Actually, this is great advice for any fisherman. Too many people make a plan at the beginning of a day and follow it exactly. The great part about fishing is that everything can change in an instant. You should always watch the water to look for something different. It may be a couple of birds eating bait, it may be a lone seagull on the water pecking away or it may be a fish pushing water. If you think you see something different, you are probably right. Watch the water and fish it. When you find fish outside of your comfort zone is one of the more rewarding experiences of fishing.
When fishing from the boat for Albies, make sure you have new line and light leader. These fish are not like bluefish and will not chew through a leader, but in a 10-minute fight with them, you are sure to have some rubbing. Have your rod rigged with a small metal or an epoxy jig. Everyone has their favorite color, but I can tell you, we sell Green 3 to 1 over other lures at Bill Fisher Tackle. Wait until you see these fish crashing and put the plug where the fish are going. If they are being unresponsive to a metal, try a small swimming plug like a yo-zuri. These are particularly effective when you are at the Bonita Bar or on the east side of the Island, and you know fish are present, but they are not active on the surface.
From the beach, Great Point is getting all of the attention and it should. It has been remarkable. Having said this, if you don’t have that much time, I love sneaking down to Hoikes Hollow or the bluff at the Wauwinet. The Albies run up and down the east side of the Island and are just as active in other locales than Great Point. Use bigger metals for distance and retrieve quickly with the lure dancing on the surface. If you encounter a seal, please do not them eat the fish. If you have to, loosen the drag and let the fish run. Or tighten it and pop the plug right off. These fish are too valuable a resource to be giving seals a free meal.
Now onto the other three species that are a part of the Slam, which makes up the Nantucket Inshore Classic. Bonito have been very sparse, but slowly but Shirley anglers are catching them. I have heard of no fish to the east, everything has been west at the bar and in the edges.
Bluefish are still here in very good numbers, you’ll find the biggest fish off the east side of the Island, where guys are catching fish that are 10+ plus pounds from the boat. Bluefish have been a little sparser off of the beach, perhaps it’s due to the Albies screaming up and down the shoreline, or the bait sitting a little further out, but in the evening, plenty of guys are soing well with Blues.
I have not heard of many boat anglers targeting bass with the Albie fishing so good, but I was in the western edges this weekend and caught a couple of fish. Nothing too exciting, but they are around, What is exciting is that it sounds like the beach fishing is heating up. The south shore has been fishing well at night again. The surf is light and the tide is right (for now) so go chase albies during the day and plug away at the south shore at night for some success. Go wet a line and enjoy the best time of the year!