Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Albie Hype.....Starting Early

We are less than a month away from albie
fishing. While there may be some bonito
around right now, the albies are basically
a September fish.  Note, this is a photo from
last year.
Already I saw a report this past week about albies and bonito off the RI shoreline. Really? I can believe the bonito, but no way there are albies around now. The hype starts early every year in mid to late August, and much of those early reports of albies are fake news. One issue is that many fishermen simply don't know the difference between an albie and a bonito.  I know that some bonito have been caught already, but realize many fishermen use the words bonito and albies interchangeably and that's how this gets into a report.  In addition, many fishermen in boats see fish breaking at this time of year. They are certain they are seeing albies. Most likely they are bluefish. Still others looking for some headlines will post an old photo of an albie caught years ago and claim they caught it this year.  You've got to love social media!
Here are a few FACTS about albies that I have gathered over the years:
*They most likely will appear in big numbers along the RI shore from Sept. 10th to Sept. 15th.  They will show in Vineyard Sound in big numbers about a week earlier, so look at those reports to get an idea as to when it will happen here.
*In all the years I have been fishing, there is only one year in which I landed an albie in August, and that was at the very end of the month.  It is rare to find them around here in August.
*I can count on one hand the number of bonito I have landed from shore.  Several of those came in August while I was targeting stripers and blues. I've had better luck with bonito from the boat, but still they are rare.
*If you look back over the last 40 years, about a third of those years saw good numbers of albies, a third saw a few and a third of those years had none.
* Recent years have been very good for albies here in RI and most fishermen new to the sport think this is a sure bet.  I am guessing that between the warm water and the good amount of bait around this year, we should see good numbers of albies, but you never know.
*The start of the action will be the best.  When these fish first arrive, they will hit the shore in big numbers and they will be super active.  The first arrivals will be the easiest to catch on a variety of lures.