Fly Fishing For False Albacore
The False Albacore is called about every name in the saltwater fishing book. It is often
called a Little Tuna as well as many other smaller tuna names. It's also called a Bonita
and an Albacore. A common name often used correctly is "Albie".

In many areas they are considered a trash fish because they aren't exactly prime
tablefare, to say the least. In the world of fly fishing they are considered one of the prime
saltwater species. It's because of their speed and fighting abilities. Anglers can spot them
and cast to them and that is another reason fly fishing for False Albacore has become so

These are migratory fish. They follow the bait wherever they go. The baitfish are very
sensitive to changes in water temperatures and that's the main factor that causes the
migrations of False Albacore. You usually find them in water that is in the sixties. It is
thought that some fish winter over in the warmer Gulf Stream and return inshore. The
season varies along the Atlantic Coast. In North Carolina they can be caught almost
year-round. The North Carolina Albies are also very large fish, averaging a larger size
than those north of the state. In New England, fly fishing for False Albacore starts in late
September. Prime time in North Carolina is October. In the Florida Keys the prime season
is November.

You will know it when you have found feeding False Albacore. You will see plenty of birds.
You can also hear and see them feeding. They tear the bait into pieces on the surface of
the water and the birds also have a feast.

When you find a school of False Albacore, don't run the boat over or up to them or you
will put them down every time. If you can determine the way the school is moving, let them
intercept you. If not, at least ease up to the school very slowly and cut the motor. They
spook easily.

You will need about a 9 weight fly line. Intermediate lines work best in our opinion but
some anglers prefer sinking lines. Eight foot long leaders with 12 to 16 pound tippet
works fine. A nine weight, fast to medium fast action fly rod is preferred.

The False Albacore love anchovies and a fly that imitates them, such as our "Perfect Fly"
Anchovy is an excellent fly for False Albacore. Our "Perfect Fly" Olive Baitfish, Dark
Bunker and our Green Barred Baitfish all work great. If you haven't tried them yet, you
certainly should.
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