Wednesday, August 21, 2013

08.21.13 Went out looking for some early bonito and albies but found mahi instead...and then off to the Bill Canfield Fly Fishing Camp

     After last nights Atlantic Saltwater Flyfishers meeting and a presentation by Tom Gilmore on false albacore, I was really ready for a quick early morning look for some fish. I have heard of a an albie and bonito caught here and there and wanted to give it a look. 


     Wet the boat at 430 am ( at a dead low full moon tide!) and was out on the scout by first light and the sunrise. I didn't see a thing. A few scattered birds, one guy fishing the tip of the Hook, one other fishing boat, and large car carrier ships traversing the channels. That was it. 

     So I went with plan "B" and motored out and around looking for flotsam, seaweed, pots, just about anything a mahi-mahi might camp under looking for a meal. My fly rod was rigged with some albie flies I had tied last year when I got my first order of Clear Cure Goo so I just went with it. I was tight on the first cast.....and the second......and the third. 

     I was into schooling banded rudderfish, seriola zonata, which is one of the three species of amberjack. I caught a handfull, maybe several handfulls of these fish. The younger ones under a foot have lateral marks, after that they just maintain the strip that starts at the dorsal fin and extends down over the eyes. Like mahi-mahi, they too like to hold near pots and floating debris.I can attest to that as every stop produced several of these feisty fish. After a few stops I saw a few different colors and shapes in the was the mahi-mahi. They were juveniles and no bigger than 14-18 inches, but I did see bigger mahi below the schooling and aggressive fish. I wonder what a few buckets of chum would have done to the fishing.
     As soon as the fly would hit the rudderfish would shoot out and one would hook up. I decided to go with a sinking line and throw past my targets, let it sink, and hope for the mahi to bite. Luckily it worked. I started get more follows, lightning fast swipes, and hook ups. They weren't big but it was fun while it lasted. 

     Today I leave for the Catskills and the Bill Canfield Youth Fly Fishing Camp. Myself, Joe D, Brandon, and Charlie- all Delaware River guides- will spend the next four days introducing kids from the Hancock, NY area to fly fishing. Last year was a great time and this should be great as well. They are the future of this sport. Below is last years group photo.