Current Waters: Abundant Albies

Capt. Carl Bois •

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Presented By Top Spin 2 a8757e12

At this point in the season, the fishing is on! It’s almost more difficult deciding what species to go for. What a great problem for any angler to have. There were multiple reports this week of the September grand slam; Bluefish, Striped Bass, False Albacore and Bonito all in one trip.

A true sign of September is the return of the False Albacore (albies). We’ve been catching them all week. Albies, which look like mini-tuna, are lightning fast and a fun surface water catch. You’ll know when you have one on the line when the classic ripping drag. Sometimes they’ll swim to the side fast enough that it looks like the line is cutting the water. They really are an awesome fish to fight.

False Albacore (Euthynnus alletteratus), sometimes called little tunny, is closely related to the mackerels and has the silvery sheen to show for it. Once boated, check out their cool, iridescent colors before returning them to the water. They are pretty stunning.

Although they are classified as a pelagic, or open-water, fish and travel in very large schools, false albacore prefer relatively warm water and spend much of their lives in near-shore and inshore waters, making them more available to anglers, especially in late-summer/early autumn. This small sport fish is a welcome return when it arrives to the Nantucket waters this time of year.

Albies can often be found wherever baitfish congregate—in inlets, around jetties, and sandbars. Baitfish make up the majority of the albies’ diet, although they will also feed on crustaceans and squids. Like other fish that feed in schools, false albacore will drive bait to the surface or into shore in order to concentrate the food.

Albies lack a swim bladder, which means they must be in constant motion, which explains their phenomenal swimming power. The thump of their tail hitting the line as they’re swimming fast; it’s unmistakable. They may frustrate many a fisherman, but the fight and ultimate catch are worth any challenge.

Because of its strong "fishy" taste and the considerable effort required to prepare it, Albies are considered by many to be a “trash fish” as far as table-fare goes and isn’t commonly eaten. However, they are a great sportfish, so we hope their numbers remain strong.

Remember, this week is a great time to sign up for the Nantucket Inshore Classic hosted by the Nantucket Anglers Club. Saturday, September 3rd is the opening party at 5:30 at the Angler’s Club. The tournament goes from September 4th to October 8th and is open to all.

Fishing report:

The west end bonito bar seems to be more productive than Great Point right now. With our changing weather patterns and bigger tides, we suspect this may change again.

All the inshore species are productive. As the water cools, things will liven up again.

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