Albies at CALO, 12/1 & 12/2/2017
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Thread: Albies at CALO, 12/1 & 12/2/2017

  1. #1
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    Default Albies at CALO, 12/1 & 12/2/2017

    Launched from Taylors Creek ramp in Beaufort shortly before dawn on Friday morning. Headed out of Beaufort Inlet looking for birds and breaking fish. Ran the front of Shack, checked Barden Inlet, but found no fish. Lots of trawlers around with birds everywhere, but apparently no feeding fishing behind the boats. Eventually ended up on the east side of the Cape Lookout shoals where we spent another hour unsuccessfully looking for any clues of fish.

    Crossed back over to the west side and began to pay more attention to radio traffic. We could see at least a dozen boats south of us near the shoals all apparently hunting for albies. Radio reports indicated fish had been caught earlier that morning, but now boats were having difficulty locating the fish. About 2.5 miles SW of Shark Island we dropped small Yo-Zuri Deep Divers and started to troll. Quickly got a knockdown on a pink plug, and when we returned to the spot we hooked up. From that point on we picked up very nice 8-10lb albies with regularity. By early afternoon we had boated 25-30 fish, with several over 10lbs and at least one big slob that weighed at least 20lbs if not a few pounds more. The pink Yo-Zuri DDs outfished everything else 20:1. I was using a 4000 class Shimano reel with a medium action rod, and the biggest fish almost spooled me. We had to spin the boat around and chase the fish a bit to gain enough line back on the reel to finish the fight. On Friday all fish were caught on DDs, and we saw no breaking fish all day. The afternoon wind kicked up as well which made trolling 6-7 MPH pretty snotty. So we headed back to the ramp mid-afternoon completely exhausted.


    The NE wind on Saturday morning was pretty brisk, even at dawn. We stayed protected in front of Shack until we reached Barden Inlet. As we approached we spotted a small pod of breaking fish -- which looked hopeful, but we cruised around with no further sign of feeding fish. Eventually, we decided to drop the trolling gear, and we quickly hooked up. As wed done the previous day, we dropped GPS waypoints when we hooked fish, then trolled over that pattern of waypoints repeatedly. We found the bites were in such a tight cluster that we drifted with the outgoing current past those spots, then cast metal jigs, letting them fall deep down in the water column before we began our retrieve. Fish held right in the mouth of Bardens for a couple of hours, and we caught a bunch on casting jigs to add to the multiple fish wed caught earlier trolling. Eventually that bite went cold, so we dropped the trolling gear again in an attempt to relocate the fish. Just after we passed the inlet buoy, we hooked up again -- marked the spot and made several passes. Not only did we catch more but these were a bigger class than the ones wed caught earlier inside the inlet. One pushed 12lb on our scales, another bottom out the 15lb scales. Again, most of the fish came on a small pink Yo-Zuri Deep Diver. We ended the day with 15-20 fish.

    Both days we caught False Albacore that were bigger than Id ever seen, much less caught. The big one from Friday was at least 20lbs, and at least one from Saturday at least 15lbs. We kept a few fish for sashimi & poke, but most of the fish were released in good health.

    A much different way of catching albies than I have experienced. DIdnt cast to breaking fish once in two days. There were plenty of birds around, but it didnt sound like many fishermen near us were successful in finding fish on the surface. Did see a small group busting the surface on Sat., but didnt get there in time to cast. Most of the fish were clearly staying down in the water column, and they appeared to be chasing large bait. One fish coughed up a 6-8 croaker, another a 8-10 pogie. Have never seen albies feeding on such large bait -- usually its the opposite problem, i.e., theyre feeding on such small bait that its hard to match the hatch.

    We did rely on the sonar to find baitfish, and would often start trolling there. But once we hooked up, use of our GPS was critical. I know albies can move around at 40MPH, but it's clear they were favoring certain areas for whatever reason, and our ability to relocate areas where we had bites was critical in catching more fish. The navigation skills of my buddy Barry ensured that we got back on the fish quickly and consistently -- even though his unselfish attention to handling the boat often meant he didn't catch as many fish as he could have otherwise.


    A great two days of catching. My gear was a bit light (4000 class reel, medium action rod) but catching 10lb plus tuna (albies) on bass gear was a blast!

    Water temps in upper 50s (ranged from 56-59F, I recall). Wind out of NW (Friday) and NE (Sat), at least 10-15MPH, maybe higher, and wind gusts really picked up Fri PM and Sat.

    FWIW // Joel

    A short but fun little auto-generated video of some clips from the trip:
    https://youtu.be/z4R469joccE

    Some photos:
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    Always under-promise & over-deliver (Fortune Cookie)
    Native Mariner 12.5 Propel / Wilderness Systems Ride 135

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  3. #2
    dbeam's Avatar
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    Great, report, pictures and video. I love catching them things, nothing like the fight for the size.

    Darrell
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    Red X Angler

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    Awesome report. My arms would be sore! 20 pound plus albacore is a STUD. How do you prepare them for the table?
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    "What we do in life, echoes in eternity." - Gladiator

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    Quote Originally Posted by crappie89 View Post
    Awesome report. My arms would be sore! 20 pound plus albacore is a STUD. How do you prepare them for the table?
    You just can't cook the meat. My fishing buddy keeps a few and uses them raw for sashimi and poke (soy- based, I think). We only kept a few of the smaller ones because the big ones would have taken up all the room in our cooler!

    And as regards their fighting ability, I routinely felt like I had brought a knife to a gunfight! I just wasn't prepared for fish this big. In a few cases we had to crank the motor and chase the fish to keep from getting spooled. Definitely glad that I had upgraded my drag washers to carbon fiber because the fish really burned off some line. Obviously important to have plenty of line on your spool as well. I had upgraded the treble hooks on the lures to 2x or 3x strength and I still had to keep bending the hooks back with pliers. Set my drag much tighter than I was accustomed for albies because these fish were so big. Otherwise they definitely would have spooled me before we could get the boat turned around.

    // Joel

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
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    Always under-promise & over-deliver (Fortune Cookie)
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    Very cool post and photos /video. What camera for the stills?

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
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    Quote Originally Posted by challenger View Post
    Very cool post and photos /video. What camera for the stills?

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
    Most of the stills were taken with an iPhone (not sure which model, perhaps a 6) and a Pixel 2. Some of the stills were also captured from my GoPro Session 5 camera as well. FYI // Joel

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    X 2 on what Challenger said. Great photos. Those are some stud albies. I saw a post from fly guide Brian Horsely on another site with one that hit 24# on his Boga. You might have to change some drag washers this winter.
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    Great report and photos, as always. Maybe I've not seen enough of your posts, but I don't remember seeing photos with so many facial expressions. LOL
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    when's a noob no longer a noob...

  11. #9
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    Yeah, at the end of the day, my face hurt from laughing and smiling so much, and my throat was sore from yelling "Booyah!" everytime we boated another fish!

    Quote Originally Posted by badankles View Post
    Great report and photos, as always. Maybe I've not seen enough of your posts, but I don't remember seeing photos with so many facial expressions. LOL
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    Great fun on light tackle. Very impressive photo, retouching is amazing ..... ICM
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    My wife keeps saying I don't listen to her .... or something like that.

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    Thanks for the report. What line type and lb. test were you using?

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    Trolling with a Shimano Spheros 4000FA (I think) with upgraded carbon fiber drag and 10lb braid. Had drag dialed down tight enough to bend the 2x #6 VMC Barbarian trebles on the Yo-Zuri Deep Diver. (Originally thought I had 3x hooks but the VMCs are 2x.) Casting with a Shimano Symetre 3000 (also carbon fiber drag) with 15lb braid. Here's a video of one of the big albies burnin' some drag:

    https://youtu.be/iyCS1kfEZeQ (turn up the volume!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pond Hopper View Post
    Thanks for the report. What line type and lb. test were you using?
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    Always under-promise & over-deliver (Fortune Cookie)
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    Default Great Post - we were there Wed & Thurs - with less steller results

    Quote Originally Posted by Spider Crack View Post
    Trolling with a Shimano Spheros 4000FA (I think) with upgraded carbon fiber drag and 10lb braid. Had drag dialed down tight enough to bend the 2x #6 VMC Barbarian trebles on the Yo-Zuri Deep Diver. (Originally thought I had 3x hooks but the VMCs are 2x.) Casting with a Shimano Symetre 3000 (also carbon fiber drag) with 15lb braid. Here's a video of one of the big albies burnin' some drag:

    https://youtu.be/iyCS1kfEZeQ (turn up the volume!)
    Very insightful post! We ran out Barden Inlet from Harkers Wednesday and Thursday - first inside the hook and then out along CL Bight to the shoals and just past. Saw a few surface flourishes Wednesday, then only a few hectic scrambles for diving birds. We saw more inside the Hook Thursday morning, with four hookups and two medium albies captured and released. Then it went very quiet. We did troll red and white mirror lures for a while - which have produced in the past, but were probably not getting down deep enough. I will definitely add the Yo-zuri Deep Diver's to the mix next time.
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    Thanks. I just spooled up a 3000 with 50b. power pro (12b. diameter). We're going out around Shackleford in the cold rain this Saturday. Weather is working against us but we planned this trip over a month ago. All we can do is dress warmly and hope for the best. Thanks again for the info.
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    Did the guy at the tackle store suggest it or try to talk you out of going with 50# ?

    Because 50# braid is overkill on a 3000 series reel.
    It will cut down your casting distance, which is key to catching busting Albies.
    If they see your boat they're gone in a flash.
    10# & 15# braid at most on 7'6" or 8' rod, 20# fluorocarbon leader., no hardware either. ... ICM
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    My wife keeps saying I don't listen to her .... or something like that.

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