Albies are in thick on all of the beaches

Gage Taylor’s false albacore. (Submitted photos)

My favorite fish to catch from land are albies, falsies, or false albacore and they are in thick right now.

Now I just have to blow off this demolition job and get out there. The other day and for the last few days, Gage Taylor and Tyler Graden have been hammering albies in the surf, on all of the beaches. Wednesday was no exception for action.

“We got ‘em yesterday morning,” said Taylor. “Tyler’s hit a white 2-ounce cripple shad and mine hit a 1-ounce metal jig with a mullet design. Tyler’s was about 28 inches, and mine was 23 inches. They are in thick. We got a great pattern on them so far. We’ve been logging every group we encounter. Crazy how things can be the same every day.”

The albies are in thick on small bait, so you definitely need small lures to match the bait. Throwing a huge metal like a 4-ounce hopkins will just scare them off. That was the case a few days ago for some anglers offshore.

“The albies would only hit the small lures. They were not feeding on the bunker or mullet, there were on the anchovies,” one of them said. “There were 40 boats chasing them and no one was hooking up but us, we were using 1-ounce spoons.”

Tyler Graden’s false albacore

You need something small with good strong hooks. I am fixing up my small metals right now with better, stronger hooks. Reeling your lure in as fast as possible is a must. Run the beaches, you will find them, the schools move fast, but will sweep up and down a beach once they get on bait fish.

Sea bass season

Sunday was the first day of sea bass season, which will last until Dec. 31. There is decent flounder and sea bass action off shore on the wrecks and reef sites.

Charters went out on Sunday and loaded up for the first day of the season. Not too many were skunked and a lot of keeper flounder in the mix. Triggers and sheepshead are still hitting out there as well. The creel size for black sea bass is 12½ inches, (tip of snout/jaw (mouth shut) to farthest extremity of tail, not including tail filament). Anglers can keep 15 fish per day. Black sea bass is some good eating, and fun to catch.

On the bay

Tautog action at the walls in the Delaware Bay has been decent. A lot of throwbacks but some keepers in the mix.

Suzanne Martin catching baby blues in the surf.

“I have thrown back 114 and a half inch fish today!” I keep hearing that from a few buddies who have been out there almost daily. Sheepshead and trigger are still random catches at the walls and haystacks (ice breakers).

There are some bass on the bunkers schools up north off Jersey’s coast, but not as many as anglers would like to see. The fall run is starting up there with bass moving out of the back bays into the surf and Atlantic ocean. They are all feeding and some are going to join the migration, but the smaller resident fish will return to the back bays. They are just following the bait for now and feeding.

Down here in Delaware, around the inland bays, we are still loaded with peanut bunker that bass are feeding on heavily and in the tidal creeks, or rivers.
Bloodworms are the preferred bait if you are fishing the inland bays for striped bass right now. Otherwise use lures that mimic mullet or peanut bunker. It’s almost time to break out the white swim shads they like so much this time of year.

In the surf

The surf has been an array of small bluefish, short striped bass, skates, and dogfish. Small black drum are still hitting on bloodworms. Mullet is working on rigs or as chunks on top and bottom rigs for bluefish. Bluefish chunks for that matter are working as well. Catch one on a spoon and chunk it up, cheap way to get bait. The albies are being seen from shore and in casting distance just very tough to hook up one. We will see how the week finishes out in this beautiful Summer-tober weather.

Rich King’s outdoors column appears Thursdays in the Delaware State News.

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