gellfex

Chased albies only to find they were schoolies!

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Yesterday I thought this was my big opportunity to get my 1st albie. Birds working, but moving around a lot. Must be a fast moving school! Unfortunately they were a mile directly into 15 mph wind! Finally I got up to them and they moved. And again. I hook up at boatside and my too thin leader snaps with my smallest Deadly Dick. Put on 30lb flouro and a bigger skinny tin. Hook up! But there's no screaming. Then it drops. Grrrrrrrr. Then the action dies. I put on a small darter and sail-troll around, and finally hook up, with a 15" schoolie. That explains the lack of screaming reel on the 1st hookup. 

 

So how does one tell it's albies if you never see them, only splashes and birds? Seems like the schoolies were on a mass of fast moving bait. The trip wasn't a total loss, fantastic day and got my 1st keeper tog of the season, 19", only allowed 1 in NJ for now. No sign of bigger bass, blues or bunker.

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For me its simple, binocular and look for the distinct tail an Albies usually come out if the water. Just me

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1 min ago, mybosox3 said:

For me its simple, binocular and look for the distinct tail an Albies usually come out if the water. Just me

I don't bring binoculars on the kayak! But the tail is interesting. There weren't a lot breaking water, I was mostly following the gulls.

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6 mins ago, gellfex said:

I don't bring binoculars on the kayak! But the tail is interesting. There weren't a lot breaking water, I was mostly following the gulls.

Yesterday on the canal tons of birds on peanuts but no fish under them. Talk about strange

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I guess my first question is how does your too light leader snap on a dink bass but you were expecting it to hold up to an albie run?? :) Now to answer your other question.  You will normally see the football shape of an albie breaking water.  It's very distinct. 

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16 mins ago, 27conch said:

I guess my first question is how does your too light leader snap on a dink bass but you were expecting it to hold up to an albie run?? :) Now to answer your other question.  You will normally see the football shape of an albie breaking water.  It's very distinct. 

I wasn't sure how heavy to go with the smallest DD, so I used 10# flouro. Still, you're right, shouldn't have happened with a toothless fish. Tied direct with with a uni.

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Tying direct with a uni is good but most times, using a small clip is successful, too as the albies swim so fast, they're looking at the lure, not the tackle. If you find you're missing them and your neighbor is catching, then switch to direct tie.

Most albies we catch from shore are on blind casts. If we're lucky, we'll see swirling, sometimes distinctive splashes but, most of the time, we don't see tails unless they're actually leaping out of the water, which sometimes happens but, most times, doesn't. Look for swirls, especially at first light and cast to them, shiny small calm spots or actual sudden eruptions. 

 If you hook an albie, you'll know it's not a striper!  Also, we don't use the smallest DD, but, #1 or #2 for normal conditions. For this size, we use 20# flouro for our 24-30" leader, whether spin or fly. Good luck.

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41 mins ago, gellfex said:

I wasn't sure how heavy to go with the smallest DD, so I used 10# flouro. Still, you're right, shouldn't have happened with a toothless fish. Tied direct with with a uni.

An albie may be a toothless fish but its speedy, fast running strength as soon as it hits your lure at its swimming rate of 40mph. will break a 10# leader. If you don't want to lose your albie, you should be using 20# flouro as recommended to me by the owner of a major fishing shop on Marthas Vineyard years ago. I've done so ever since. 

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John, like mentioned,  seeing them surface is nice but albies don't always show themselves,  look for a fast slashing motion across the surface as opposed to the slower slurping type that bass have.

 

 Albies feeding on the surface is closer to what a blue does but faster. If they're up than down, keep blind casting all around you, they move around stupid fast sometimes...

 

Bass, blues & albies will mix. I've casted at schoolies only to hook up with an albie more than once...

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59 mins ago, BillZ said:

Bass, blues & albies will mix. I've casted at schoolies only to hook up with an albie more than once...

Now you got me wondering if there were some albies there but they were gone by the time I was getting bass hits. I've just never seen bass move around that quickly.

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Albies will sip on micro bait like micro chovies. Gliding along, little to no splashing. It will look similar to bass on krill. Notoriously hard to get, spooky, but not impossible. A casting egg with fly works well as do epoxy and metal cast in front.  

Bigger Chovies and Peanuts, they go ape ****. They have to work harder. They will feed horizontal and vertical. Personally vertical albies are easier for me. Especially when they go left and right.  

 

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1 min ago, The Riddler said:

Albies will sip on micro bait like micro chovies. Gliding along, little to no splashing. It will look similar to bass on krill. Notoriously hard to get, spooky, but not impossible. A casting egg with fly works well as do epoxy and metal cast in front.  

Bigger Chovies and Peanuts, they go ape ****. They have to work harder. They will feed horizontal and vertical. Personally vertical albies are easier for me. Especially when they go left and right.  

 

Thanks. So how do you even know they're there? I don't recall another time in the kayak I even suspected they were around. I saw them once fishing off the Mattituck Jetty a long time ago, I had no idea what I was looking at! My instincts were good, I put on a tin as fast as I could and got a cast in, but they were gone, a whole school zigging and zagging. I'd probably have been spooled anyway on my 2500 reel with 8# mono I was using for snappers.

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4 mins ago, gellfex said:

Thanks. So how do you even know they're there? I don't recall another time in the kayak I even suspected they were around. I saw them once fishing off the Mattituck Jetty a long time ago, I had no idea what I was looking at! My instincts were good, I put on a tin as fast as I could and got a cast in, but they were gone, a whole school zigging and zagging. I'd probably have been spooled anyway on my 2500 reel with 8# mono I was using for snappers.

 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Have been chasing albies (unsuccessfully) from shore for years now. If it's late august through october, there is a chance that they are there around moving water, rips, bait schools. As other mentioned, when you see silver footballs launching out of the water or fast slashing, it is albies/bonito. Lot's of youtube videos will show you what it looks like. 

 

Was in the same predicament as you yesterday, saw a bait school getting worked in the distance but decided it was too far to chase. Some fish did eventually moved closed and the surface action looked more like schoolies or bluefish, and again I decided to keep bottom fishing. Thinking back today, I wish I would have chased the closer because you never know what's under there I have really been wanting to land an albie but it can be some of the most frustrating fishing, even if they are right in front of you. There were guys on boats nearby and were looking with binoculars and decided not to chase, which helped me feel better about my decision but still..it's in the back of my mind.

Edited by tcal4404

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7 hours ago, tcal4404 said:

Have been chasing albies (unsuccessfully) from shore for years now. If it's late august through october, there is a chance that they are there around moving water, rips, bait schools. As other mentioned, when you see silver footballs launching out of the water or fast slashing, it is albies/bonito. Lot's of youtube videos will show you what it looks like. 

 

Was in the same predicament as you yesterday, saw a bait school getting worked in the distance but decided it was too far to chase. Some fish did eventually moved closed and the surface action looked more like schoolies or bluefish, and again I decided to keep bottom fishing. Thinking back today, I wish I would have chased the closer because you never know what's under there I have really been wanting to land an albie but it can be some of the most frustrating fishing, even if they are right in front of you. There were guys on boats nearby and were looking with binoculars and decided not to chase, which helped me feel better about my decision but still..it's in the back of my mind.

Just a suggestion: What you've been seeing on YouTube albie videos is very exciting and, yes, if you're in the vicinity, seeing erupting water, slashing and even leaping albies, like on these YouTube videos, certainly, do not continue to bottom fish. Put on an albie lure like a Deadly Dick and reel as fast as you can and maybe you'll catch your first albie. However, these exciting videos don't always show how albies appear and how you should fish them if they're not slashing, like on the YouTube video. 

  On the other hand, albies don't always "show". Even if they're in the area, you may see nothing, so blind cast, or, maybe you'll see "swirls", which is a very good sign, especially at daybreak, when the usually best albie fishing occurs,  that they're there, in areas where they're expected to be. 

In all the years I've been fishing, whether spin or fly, I've caught most of my albies on blind casts! Truth!

  So, as I suggested, if you think or have heard, albies are in your area, put on an albie lure and keep casting and reeling fast.

  Hoping you'll catch one!

  

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