Thursday, August 10, 2017

Albies, Bonito and Fake News

Don't get excited.  This was an albie from last fall.
Though fishermen are already looking, don't expect
the big numbers of albies to appear until September.
Already the hype has started.  In the last few days I have actually seen fishermen "looking" for albies and bonito along the oceanfront. There have also been reports of sightings, reports of fish breaking and even some fishermen saying they have caught some. I say it's as fake as the nightly news from the mainstream media!
Here is the real story on bonito and albies and what to expect in the coming weeks.
Bonito: Yes, they can be caught in August but they are few and far between.  You probably have a better shot at winning the lottery than you have of catching a bonito from shore in early August.  That being said, your chances increase as the month nears its end. In all my years of fishing, I have landed exactly one in August from shore and several from the boat.  Expect to see the first ones around the last week in August or the first week in September.  Even when they do come around, your chances of catching one are slim. They are not around in big numbers.
Albies: In the last fifty years I have caught more of these from shore than anyone, yet I have only landed one in late August.  These are a September fish.  If I were to pick a date in which they make their appearance along RI's oceanfront, it would be in the time period from Sept.10 to Sept. 15. I only know of only one year in the last five decades in which some were landed in late August.
Albies are a strange breed and everyone thinks these fish are a sure bet to hit the shore.  But, if I looked back at my logs over the last 50 years, I can tell you that about a third of the years there were NONE, about a third of those years we had a few for a short period of time, and about a third of those years were good with lots of fish for weeks. Bad weather such as a tropical storm or a hurricane will drive them out in quick time.
We have been spoiled in recent years since four out of the last five years have been very good.  One of those years had none.
So, when you begin to hear reports about these fish showing, consider the sources. Social media is very unreliable, and it is loaded with attention seekers and self proclaimed experts who know very little about fishing.  I will believe these fish are in when I see one or catch one! I expect that will happen in September.