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Old 09-22-2002, 10:01 AM
Tuna Tuna is offline
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9/19-21: Typical Picky Albies out East

Thursday, Friday and Saturday were calm, sunny and without rain, which weather reports early last week did not predict. With sun, winds that never topped 15 knots and some nearly flat and calm mornings, conditions on the water were quite pleasant.

Whether predictably or by chance, the albies were quite picky, providing more typical albie frustrations than earlier in the month. Of the 3 days, I only got in double digits once, and landed only 6 albies Saturday.

Thursday morning I found albies early around Shag, but boy were they picky. I managed some before the crowds (tounrament time!) arrived, and some after the crowds, but mostly experienced refusals and fly sacrifices to the bluefish gods.

Went to the Point a few times, but only late did I find any albies (although they were easier to get to bite than elsewhere). Heard there was at least one bass blitz but missed it, although casting sinking line to shore between radar and Turtle Cove I pulled in 3 bass quick, including a keeper and at least 6 fish following each time I hooked up.

I also made a run to Gardiners, but found nothing but blues that day.

Friday morning started better for me, having switched to a smaller flashier (green and blue) epoxy fly. Got 5 quick albies at inner Shag before 10 am, but the crowds came in strong and managed only 4 more for the rest of the day. Never saw albies anywhere but Shag and near shore at Oyster Pond that day, despite several runs to the Point and the south side.

Saturday morning my friend from work Don Almgren joined me (arriving 5 minutes early, a big shock given the culture of the company we work at). We found the albies at Shag again in the morning, but they were even harder to get than the prior two days. I managed some, and Don got blues on spinning, but it was far from a good first look at East End fall fishing for Don. He was, however, quite pleased with what was offered and spent a good amount of his time waiting for me to hook up (he was like a fish magnet all day, so particularly in the morning when my shots were limited, he would wait, despite my urgings to catch more, while I tried to get the finicky albies.)

Don had joked before the start of the fishing that he would outfish me and boy did he (I can't even estimate the number of fish he landed) although I was unsuccessful trying to get him an albie. I did, however, teach him some of my best tricks, including leaving fish to try an unproductive spot (several trips to the Point showed nothing, and even working structure for bass didn't pay off the times we tried it) and swearing profusely when albies would erupt around the boat but my fly line would find some new way to get tangled and keep me from casting. He was a lot of fun to fish with, and had great balance and patience with my run and none antics. Other than Shag, only Oyster Pond had visible fish in our forays in the area.

Mid afternoon I dragged him to Gardiners. Told him I had 3 favorite spots to show him. Spot 1 (Tobacco Lot) - nothing. Spot 2 (Eastern Plains Point) - nothing. I figured I had given him my best leave fish for unproductive spots lesson when bingo, spot 3, Bostwicks, had albies in the rips and then as the afternoon wore on blues and albies near shore.

Although the albies were picky there too (I got only 2 despite MANY chances), the afternoon bite turned a so-so day into a darn good one. Particularly when the fish went to shore, Don got a feel for what East End fishing can be like. Some of the blues feeds near shore were eye candy, and seeing albies race through the water in 6 to 10 feet was a treat for him. Also, protected from the wind and with the feeds getting better as the afternoon wore on, there was no need for run and none as long drifts through fish were possible.

Don had told his wife he would probably be back around home in NJ 7 pm that night, but my quest for a seventh albie put a bit of a dent in this plan. From 5 to 5:30 pm, I had uncountable unsuccessful shots at albies (and Don had uncountable bluefish hookups). Figured I had to stop or his wife may never let him visit again.

All told, a very pleasant 3 days, and a reminder that generally albie fishing will drive you crazy, but even that was fun and the upside is I don't ache too much today. Don might, having caught uncountable bluefish all day.
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2002, 10:31 AM
joshr joshr is offline
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I was only out yesterday (Sat)....but a relatively lame morning tuned into a very good afternoon and a super early evening. Like Peter, I got very frustrated chasing pods among 40 or so boats at Oyster Pond, and I bolted fot Gardiners at about 12:45 on a tip from Blinken. Got to the cliffs on the north side of Gardiners and found calm, protected water with nice groups of albies in tight to shore ripping through massive amounts of anchovies. We got a couple but, yes, they were picky. Then fished in the Bostwick rips with Peter and a lot of other folks who had headed west...again, we got only two... they were tough.

Then things opened up for us. There were a few hours of great boils of blues with albies all around them on the fringes back in closer to shore on the north side of the island towards the spit of land that forms Bostwick Pt. Peter, you headed further west under the cliffs I think. Where we were by the sandy shoreline, we were nailing them, and they were not tough once we went to small dark topped flies, which really seemed to be the key. I noticed the masses of anchovies looked particularly deep purple in the shallow water there, so I thought, maybe something darker would help....I guess every now and then one of these very unscientific fishing theories bears out, cause sure enough small dark olive and brown (not tan) and copper topped epoxies and super hair clousers got hit consistently. It really seemed like they wanted something dark, 'cause I couldn't hook up with my usual light tan topped epoxies or with little white flies. But whenever we got a dark epoxy into busting fish, we connected. We donated a lot of flies to blues, but we also stuck a good number of albies (8 or so) in those last couple hours, fishing until about 6:30pm....beautiful eveing, and great to have so many fish in shallow, calm, protected water like that.

Another thing I think I observed had to do with the way the albies were working: the blues were practically beaching themselves they were boiling so close to the shoreline, and the albies were outside of them, so we could set up the boat between the boil and the albies surrounding them and drift out through the waves of fish. Here's the thing: it seemed like the albies were doing loops, starting out a hundred yards or so from the shore and then rushing the beach and then heading out again for another rush. Several times after they got in tight to shore, I saw the birds that were tracking them suddenly bolt out to deeper water and then work their way back in over the busting fish. Interesting...and useful since it meant you could have a relatively long drift and always be in the fish.

--Josh
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Old 09-22-2002, 10:41 AM
joshr joshr is offline
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Oops, just re-read my post...Peter headed further EAST (not WEST as I wrote in my post) along the north side of the island late in the day for those trying to picture the geography.

--JHR
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Old 09-23-2002, 05:39 AM
Tuna Tuna is offline
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The pattern of blues close to shore and albies outside of them, allowing you to set up and drift through the albies, was repeated along the shore all the way to the area to the east we had set up (and further to the east than I had gone).

Interesting that you got them on darker flies. I was running through a lot of flies (after losing ones to blues) amd almost put on a dark olive epoxy, but decided instead on a white and red clouser (which immediately hooked a nice blue, which fought like crazy before taking the fly at the boat). Hmm, gotta try dark next time.

When we left at 5:30 it looked like it was still building, but I had already been telling Don "one more cast" for a half hour at that time.

It really was a pretty late afternoon feed. When the albies set up in the shallow waters there, it can really be fun.

One thing we saw that I forgot to mention was a seal in the rips outside. I was surprised to see it in such warm water, usually expecting to see seals only later in the fall after the water temps have dropped more. David Blinken told us he had seen seals in the area for more than a week.
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2002, 10:27 PM
fmw fmw is offline
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Fished the south side shore line on early a.m. Saturday, walking from the Camp Hero parking lot all the way to Caswell's. Totally dead. Despite many dozens of surfcasters, saw but one guy come walking down the beach with a fish and saw no fish caught. Confirming the above posts, no sign of albies working offshore. Later in the afternoon, drove back to the point and it still appeared totally dead everywhere.

Saw some reports on the Noreast site indicating that on Sunday afternoon and today (Monday), the bass have started blitzing again. It is the story of my year of fishing -- wrong place, wrong time. Seeing that the forecast is for north, northeast, east, southeast winds all week, these seem to be the type of winds that can really get the Point cranking.
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Old 09-24-2002, 09:03 AM
joshr joshr is offline
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FMW et al--

I saw those Noreast.com posts too....definitely good news!

--JHR
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2002, 09:49 AM
teds teds is offline
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Josh, I'm heading east on wednesday night and I hope to have dinner with Jim levison.He might have some amplification of the Redbone controversy.It's a bit sad that in a day and age of unethical accountants and stock market manipulation that a fishing contest couldn't be above reproach.The Redbone has raised lots of money for a truly good cause and they should see to it in the future that a fun event like this should not be clouded by any doubt.
I'll talk to you from out east.
Ted
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Old 09-24-2002, 10:08 AM
Tuna Tuna is offline
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Regading prospects for the week, looks by Saturday conditions may be unfishable. If course, NOAA has been wrong before, but I plan to go out East tonight and fish Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (weather permitting) which should give me plenty of time to see how Saturday really shapes up.

Does look like the type of weather this week that might kick things up a bit, although I feel a bit guilty wanting better fishing, must have been a bit spoiled by the first few weeks of September. Getting frustrated by picky albies, like last weekend, is part of the game and my coworker Don is still thanking me for the fishing he enjoyed Saturday.
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Old 09-24-2002, 10:16 AM
joshr joshr is offline
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Ted and Peter--

Looks like I am going to head out early tomorrow am (Wed) for 1 day on the water. Thurs and Sat look like a mess, but I probably wasn't going to be out this weekend anyway. Peter, let's talk tomorrow by cell as I'll be leaving from 3 Mile and you from Montauk...we'll probably go east by way of Bostwick Pt. to take a look on the way out...will let you know what we see...sounds like both north bar and turtle have seen nice bass and blue boils the last couple days in the afternoon/early eve. Do you know if the afternoon bite on the n. side of gardiners has continued since the weekend?

Ted, I'll call you after we get off the water to give you a report.

--JHR
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Old 09-24-2002, 10:26 AM
teds teds is offline
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Peter,NOAA is due to be right one of these weekends.I share your frustration though.It's back to reality on the Albie fishing as color, style and presentation become important again.The early september glory days may happen again but it seems like we have to work all our skills to boat them now.I applaud you searching out less crowded waters and less competitive places to fish. Maybe the rougher water and windy conditions in the forecast will help the cause in the next few days. I'll be out on the water on thursday.Stay in touch.
Ted
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