False Albacore Galore

By: Terry Gibson


When I hear stories of anglers getting weathered out on false albacore fishing trips in the Mid Atlantic and New England, I just shake my head.

What few people realize is that you can experience some of the best false albacore fishing in the world right here in the calm, balmy Fishing Capital of the World.

Few local anglers even target the species, so you'll have them mostly to yourself. There are far tastier tunas and many other delicious species to target. That’s why most anglers try to avoid them. They fight so hard that battling a “bonito” as they’re called locally, takes a lot of time out of the day, and costs you baits.

But some of the world’s biggest “albies” are caught right off the beach in many places around the state. You don’t have to run far and you get to chase the fish in water that is generally dead flat to calm. The fish more or less show up late April and leave in mid-September, though the timing depends on where you’re fishing. Make sure to check with local experts to time your trip for the peak of the run.

Fly anglers, if you’re sick of trying to cast in strong wind while dancing on a bucking deck, this is the place to fish for those powerful tunas. Quite a few fly anglers from parts north have discovered this amazing big-fish fishery, and are now regular customers of renowned fly-fishing guides including Capt. Scott Hamilton, Butch Constable and Capt. Ron Doerr out of Jupiter. Check out this video of flyfishing off Palm Beach County.

The reef edges in the Keys produce great opportunities to catch albies. Capt. Tony Murphy in Key West and Capt. Geoffrey Campbell in Islamorada have it wired.

Just to the north, in Stuart, the fish blitz really tightly to the beach. Give Capt. Justin RiegerCapt. Mike Holliday or John Meskauskas a call.

The action also takes place from Fort Pierce inlet north through Vero Beach and Sebastian inlet. A couple of captains that know this game well are Christian Yergens and Glyn Austin. Yergens also targets the species in northwest Florida, where they’re thick in the spring and summertime.

Other tunas including tasty blackfin and skipjack tunas are in the mix. Better get down here before everyone else up north figures it out!


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