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Page details False Albacore fishing in onshore waters. Page details where when, and how to catch them during the great "NC False Albacore blitz".

False Albacore Fishing: baits and rigs, and other info

[Flounder] [Bluefish] [Grey/Speckled Trout] [Spanish] [False Albacore] [Drum] [Spot] [Tarpon]
[Panfish] [Largemouth] [Shad] [Atlantic Striper] [Smallmouth] [Trout Fly Fishing] [Catfish Fishing] [Walleye Fishing]
Harkers Island Albacore
Photo by: Greg and Carol Mentzer

False Albacore is a very popular fish for the recreational fisherman. It is under stress, especially in the last few years, meaning that there are rules to the harvest. False Albacore (Albacore), or little tunny, are not tuna and are not a deep water fish. They are often misidentified as tuna or bonito and even sometimes as bluefish. Albacore have black spots around the pectoral fin and the squiggly markings on the back. Atlantic bonito do not have black spots but do have horizontal bands and more prominent teeth.

False Albacore are seasonal because they are highly migratory. Albacore can be caught anytime of the year. They are only available in good number to us in North Carolina starting in early October through to as late as early January. Late October and early November are often the most productive time to catch them. Middle December will usually start the decline and the fishing may last reliably through early January at the latest. Any other time and they will be scarce.Cape Lookout area is perhaps the best false albacore fishery in the world. Fly fishing for (False) Albacore is an especially effective adventure.

Good to Know:

Very Good Guides:
Capt. Gordon Churchill -- Very good guide, has some very productive flies
Crystal Coast Adventures -- Phone:
Cape Lookout Primer -- Very good link on Cape Lookout and on fishing

False Albacore will fight to they die if you do not handle them correctly. Albacore do not know how to give up. You must muscle them in or they will exhaust themselves to death. Get the fish to the boat then quickly unhook them to turn the loose. They are not good to eat. Barb-less hooks will make unhooking them easier. If the fish is out of the water too long it will definitely die. Release Albacore head first from waist high off the water. Don't swim them like you would a bass or a trout. Dropping them head first will give them a quick gulp of water and oxygen and hopefully they swim off quickly.

Good False Albacore Fishing Links
LinksFisheries and Wildlife by State
LinksMore good freshwater, saltwater, and trout fly fishing links
Travel site to your fly fishing destinationFlounder Recipes -- Recipes used often
Travel site to your fly fishing destination - Excellent travel site, the one we use
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