The wait is over: False albacore have shown up

Chad Shuman, of Millerstown, Pennsylvania, caught this false albacore from Indian River Inlet on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)

Chad Shuman, of Millerstown, Pennsylvania, caught this false albacore from Indian River Inlet on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)

It finally happened, I have been waiting weeks for the false albacore to show up and they finally did.

The other day a couple were caught out of a school, chasing bluefish at the Indian River Inlet. The albie hit a popper, and the angler thought he was going after bluefish. Then this albie hit and he had the fight of a lifetime on light gear.

Albies are tough to get to hook up; they can be very finicky and prefer fast-moving bait or food. Using metals like deadly dicks or silver stingers work very well. You have to reel the lure in very fast.

Albies will hit like a freight train, and are considered one of the best fighting fish for light tackle.

They are not very good to eat. Best is to just land the fish, pick it up by the tail, take that quick picture and then release the fish.

False albacore are one of my bucket list fish for the surf and I have been out all week looking for them.

Outdoors column logo by . Once you find them in the surf it is best to try to get ahead of them and cast to them. I have seen them jump out of the water 4 feet into the air right in front of me, not 10 feet from shore. They are chasing the small bluefish schools in the surf.

If you are going to target false albacore make sure your gear is up to par because these fish will peel your drag and strip a spool of line in no time.

Other fish

The other crazy catch in the surf are giant stargazers. For some reason, every fall very large stargazers move into the surf and hit baits constantly.

You can’t really target these fish. They bury themselves in the sand and unless you hit them on the head with your rig you won’t catch one. They are fun to catch and tend to freak out anglers that haven’t seen one before. They can shock you with an organ that is located between their eyes. It is for protection and to stun prey.

Greg Baum caught a 23-inch″ 7.1-pound stargazer at 3RS on Saturday while surf fishing. (Submitted photo)

Greg Baum caught a 23-inch″ 7.1-pound stargazer at 3RS on Saturday while surf fishing. (Submitted photo)

The main fish everyone is concerned with of course is the fall striped bass run. Everyone wants to know when they can get out and catch striped bass. Right now you can catch schooling striped bass that are feeding heavily for the fall run.

Black sea bass fishing starts Saturday. The season will last until Dec. 31.

You can keep fish longer than 12½ inches with 15 per day allowed per angler. Make sure you measure the shout to the farthest point on the tail excluding the filament.

I know a lot of anglers that are excited sea bass season is open again.

On land

Hunters have been doing well for muzzle-loader season, even the bow hunters did well. There have been some decent harvests of deer so far this season.

Bow season, of course, is still going on, and the next shotgun season starts Nov. 11.

I know many a hunter who would love to get rid of squirrels. When a squirrel season overlaps with a deer firearms season, squirrel hunters must wear 400 square inches of hunter orange displayed on the head, chest and back.

Those little gray creatures sure sound like a herd of deer when they are running around the woods. Maybe the squirrels should wear the orange so we can see them coming.

Rich King’s column is published Thursdays in the Delaware State News.

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