05 Sep Fishing Report 9.5.14 – Albie Fever Grips Region!
Albie Fever has hit the region! There is no known cure other than putting your time in and being ready when you have a shot. False Albacore seem to have filled into all their typical haunts from ACK to MTK with the notable exception on South County to this point. Some days they chew through the tide and other days wind and boat traffic can cause them to scatter. If you find the bait don’t miss the chance to do some blind casting in the vicinity.
So Much Peanut Bunker So Little Time
Peanut Bunker less than two inches long seem to be the most common bait. Locally they are still present in the rivers of the upper bay with many schools the length of the bay both east and west. They seem to exit the rivers in waves around the moon tides. Their abundance is likely related to the restricted access to the upper bay for the “pogie boats” that had in years past done quite a job on the adults in the spring. There have been books written about this baitfish and one the titled “The Most Important Fish In The Sea” sums up their relative value perfectly. A high protein, filter feeder there isn’t a bay around that could do with more of that! That said they will grow over an inch a month and assures us we should have good concentrations of bait for the foreseeable future. And a great fly rod bait to boot!
Back to the albies
Look for a combination of moving water and structure. Albies feed in packs and work together to attack bait balls where they have an advantage. One forage method is to keep the school tight and force it to the surface to disperse it and then feed on individual pieces or use structure like a reef or breakwater for the same purpose. Always be on the lookout for a pattern in the location of the blitzing bait as this may well correlate with structure. It’s a good strategy to pick out one of these repeated blitz locations and blind cast while you wait. The busting fish you see are the tip of the iceberg and there are always fish feeding on individual pieces of bait. This method is inevitably more productive than giving chase to busting bait and birds.
Albies from Shore
For the shorebound angler a jetty, breakwater or breachway blitz is the holy grail. Those who catch from the stones have put their time in and are ready when the opportunity presents. There are a number of locations in the Ocean State to get a shot at a albie from shore. The West Wall in Point Judith, the breachways in South County (fish either side on the incoming and the down current side on the drop), the jetty at Little Compton and the Coast Guard Cut on Block. Here is a good overview from On The Water on How To Catch a Speedster From Shore.
What to throw?
Here’s the results of an unscientific survey of Saltwater Edge staff and guides to identify the Five Top Lures for False Albacore. Using a casting egg can help spin fisherman deliver soft plastics and flies if need be.