September 4, 2007

Oh Six! Chasing Funny Fish Around Buzzard Bay

If you've never done it, chasing false albacore, bonito and spanish mackerel either from shore or boat is an exciting and frustrating fishing experience. From scanning the horizon for birds and boiling fish to reeling as fast as you possibly can, this is not normal fishing.

Over Labor Day weekend I had the pleasure of joining my long-time friend Andy and our buddy Craig for a trip off Falmouth in search of "albies". Bonito and spanish macks have also been in the area, but the albie fishing had been hot for the last couple of days.

As soon as we left the dock in Wild Harbor, we saw birds about a 1/2 mile from our position, and sure enough there were fish boiling under the birds. By the time we made it out there, the fish had dispersed. No big deal, soon the yell of "six o'clock" has Andy spinning the boat 180 degrees and heading back from where we came and towards another cloud of birds. (For the uninitiated, the bow is 12 o'clock, the stern six, port is nine o'clock and starboard is three. ) This time both Craig and I get a cast into the middle of the boils and each of us are tight almost immediately. Decent fights ensued, but the hopes of funny fish diminished as we each reeled in a decent sized bluefish.

We continued to chase clouds of diving birds and boiling fish for about five hours. I was lucky enough to land two false albacore's and a bluefish. Andy had an albie and bluefish and Craig landed a nice sized bluefish on ultra-light tackle.

The albies were active from about 7 AM until Noon at which time the action lessened considerably. Pound for pound, albies fight on 8-10 pound test like a large tuna on heavier gear. The drag-reeling runs happen several times and landing these fish is a thrill.

To land two in one outing was outstanding for me since I've only landed three previously, all from shore during trips to Martha's Vineyard for the Derby.

For a small dose of what it was like on the boat that day, you can visit this short clip of Andy and I in the throws of battle. Warning: Adult Language Contained in Video Clip.

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