A day ago my friend Phil caught a nice false albacore here in Southern New England. Way to go Phil! When they left the dock that morning, the air temperature was below freezing, but the water was around 58 degrees. So how long do “albies” hang around ? Perhaps longer than you might think.
I’ve had the good fortune to fish for “albies” for over 3o years and as you would think seen changes in the fishery over time. The finest years we had were in the 90’s. The schools were considerably larger, 3 or 4 times the size of today. And the average size of the “albies” was bigger. Yet at that same time the season was often shorter. Why? Years ago, water temperatures here in New England were lower, no question. In the early 90’s “albie” fishing started in the middle of September and tapering off by the middle of October.
Yes, there were exceptions and still are. One warm year I caught an “albie” in December. It fact its was the largest one I ever hooked, measuring a crack over 31″. And I hooked from my drift boat. That’s right I was using a drift boat to reach the action. That fish towed me for 100 yards. Now there is a catch to this story. Pun intended. This “albie” and his buddies were staying in the hot water release from the Millstone Nuclear Plant. Perhaps that were even trapped there, although it’s interesting to note that like few other fish false albacore can regulate their internal body temperature. Keep fishing for “albies”.