The hard NE blow started to subside today and come noon the wind had died to a comfortable 12 knots. Since no one has fished in days, I decided to check things out and get a hand on what’s happening outside of beaufort inlet.
The combined cold front and hard NE winds have lowered the water temperatureto a chilly 72 degrees and the bait is POURING out of the inlet. Rivers of mullet, clouds of menhaden, balls of silversides – the bait is EVERYWHERE.
So I motored out of hte inlet in search of some “cleaner” water. Before I could go anywhere, I spotted a huge cloud of birds working over a breaking group of fish – big 3-5 chopper blues. After releasing a few, I moved on to the next group of birds. The second group of gulls was working a big pod of FALSE ALBACORE – in the muddy water of all places!!! The albies were simply destroying the bait – mullet and silversides were flying through the air with sky-ing albies close on their heals. I tossed in a tsunami and WHAM – 10 minutes later I boated a 10-12 pound albie. Feeling adventerous, I tied on a zara spook mullet imitation and on the first cast half a dozen big albies came after it – 15 mins later, 15 pound albie in the boat. My next cast with the spook produced the same result – except this time two albie grabbed the plug (that’s right – one on each hook) and the line snapped. Laughing at my stroke of bad luck, I tied on another leader and a zara spook. A few casts later the EXACT same thing happened -so many albies went after the plug I ended up hooking two at the same time and resulted in a SNAP. With this “problem,” I ended up losing all three zara spooks i had with me
With all my available topwater plugs lost, I pulled out hte fly rod (an 8 weight – i had been expecting small 5-8lb albies) and tied on a crease fly. After getting back on the fish, I immeadiatly hooked up and 20 minutes later boated a 10-12lb albie. I did this once more but I felt bad fighting such great fish on an inadequate rod and worrying I would fight one to death, I shelved the 8 weight for the day.
All in all, I ended up boating 8 albies in the 12-15lb class and lost 8-10 more. These HUGE pods of fish were numerous and all over the place and they were eating HUGE baits! The best part – I was the ONLY boat working them! 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀
Whoever wants to catch an albie better come on down – the weather for the rest of the week looks GREAT and the albies bite is MAJOR. 8)