Updated: Sep 14, 2021
August was primed to ignite. The peanut bunker that had filled our inner harbors at the end of July had only grown in numbers. Bait continued to pour into the oceans from our salt ponds, estuaries and rivers. Birds fumed above them as we flipped the hour glass on our season. Bay Anchovies lined the coastlines as larger Stripers and Blues were observed gracefully sipping anchovies beneath the waters surface. Providing excellent opportunities of running and gunning the coastlines or stealthily stalking bass on the flats or shallows.
Opportunities for young anglers to experience. Juvenile stripers viewed leaping from the water as birds danced above for what seemed to be for miles. Bait scattered across the bays as packs of Stripers hunted, separating the bait into deeper water and pushing bait near shore. Staying on top of the fish can be a challenging and fun game. A game of Wack-A-Mole of were they where to pop up next. Excitement fills the boat as we quietly stalk the fish. Keeping the boat in a no wake cruise with subtle movements to remain undetected. With a shorts reach of casting range we stayed with the fish and the kids enjoyed some top water fishing. A visual and exciting as they strike your lure into the air while displaying their aerobatics. Providing a fun and exciting fight on light tackle gear for any angler.
As days began to shorten it was a reminder. A reminder that summer was coming to a end. While the Fall Run had definitely began. Hard decisions were to be made at this time. As peanut bunker grew in size so did the fish that pursued them. The fish that we targeted thus far for the season had only complied. Hard to leave them behind. As a new game was about to begin. A new target, a new pace, goals and places to explore.
The plan was made and some solo scout trips were to begin. Working southern waters in Cape Cod pursuing the most powerful inshore fish for the Fall Run. A fish that reaches speeds of fourty miles per hour. The recon began covering over a hundred miles of ocean in a few trips. Coveted fishing grounds and scenery. Lands that are untouched by human influence. Waters as mysterious as the anglers mind. A peace and calm set over until what was uncovered.
A pair of birds hovered a few miles off shore. Peering... it was them it had to be...then they uncovered themselves as they porpoised from the water. At speeds of only one fish can reach. False Albacore scientifically identified as Lil Tunny nicknamed Albie's, Footballs, Albert and more. A fish that only whispers could be heard about in seasons pasts. A treasure and trophy of New Englands inshore fishery.
Just in time as our Captain Georgie was returning from tying the other kind of knot overseas! What a wedding present there could be especially if you know Georgie. The homework was done. Areas circled and boxes checked off. We were ready and our guests were aboard the "Betty Anne". It was day break Sam and Dereck out for their first trip targeting Albies. Quickly got them up to speed in time to enjoy the sunrise prism oranges, pinks and reds color across the waters surface. Lighting the match to the carnage that was about to occur.
Spotted... a blender of Albies exploding peanut bunker clear from the surface. The fish were working at speeds were they seemed to be in two places at once. Feeds sparked throughout a three mile area and it was it. Sam and Dereck were ready. They now know what they're up against and you can see the tension and excitement in the anglers.
Our anglers casted darts along and through the boils of fish. Working every technique called out to them. Your lure or fly becomes a rain drop in the ocean indefinitely. As the Albies have excellent vision while being notorious for being picky and finicky. Especially early in the season. This is when fishing becomes a sport. Racing to eyesight distances of diving birds. Maintaining your balance and composure and ability to stay calm in the feverish work pace.
The boys were up to the test. Sam getting us on the board connecting to ten pound Blue that gave him a fight to remember with the athletic runs and jumps. We had established the Albies feeding path and focused on a shoal where the fish kept circling back to. Sam launched his cast into the feed, when you hook onto a Albie the fish doesn't quite know its hooked yet until... Sam's drag gave out as line poured off his spool while rod keeling over. With famous long erratic runs, change in directions and rod thumping vibrations!
Dereck helming the bow of the boat working patiently cast after cast. After dialing in he was hooked up hooked a fish right from the boil. A quick dance though as Albies will time to time swim right at the boat and come unhooked. His smile was ear to ear and he was ready for another. Working our stretch we cornered fish in a cove. Dereck connecting to a schoolie striper to complete the Cape Cod Slam for species that day! The bite cooled down as the fish went to digest their feast. Heading back to the dock we spotted another pod of feeding fish off shore. We hit the throttle, casts where in and Dereck was tight and felt the power, a sizzling run to only elude him once again leaving us in laughs and high fives.
To wrap up the month the only we know how to. Georgie was due he had to get on the board for his first Albie of the year. What a day it was. The fish where less picky and we hit double digits on the spin rod. Doing what we do best as Albie fishing is a team sport. Georgie was hard on the vice till midnight. The perfect fly, cast, strip and drift executed and we watched his line go tight!
Rocks Pebbles and Sands