As everyone knows the Albies are back in town. These fish are known to be selective feeders and often a more difficult fish to catch unless you land that perfect cast into the blitz. The hardest part about fishing for these torpedoes is selecting the right lure to give you the best chance of receiving a bite. This year I have been lucky enough to be a part of the Game On! LLC team which creates the most effective false albacore lure on the market. The EXO Jig is the go-to lure for any Albie occurrence, with its sleek design, great color patterns, and durable polymer finish, these jigs perfectly imitate baitfish in the area. Things heated up quickly this year, with the hardtails moving into Rhode Island weeks before September.
With this information, there was constant hope of finding pods of Albies at their normal locations throughout Newport and the West Wall. August 28th my dad and I went in hopes of finding some last big stripers before the fall run officially started. We heard the reports about possible hardtails, so we dedicated two rods to have the EXO Jigs on them just in case we got the chance. On one of the rods, we had 0.75 oz pink EXO Jig and on the other, we had the 1 oz white EXO Jig. The morning was spent looking for bait and following birds until we finally stumbled upon a group of decent-sized stripers blitzing on baitfish. There were thousands of silversides in the water, getting moved around and pushed into the rock walls by big packs of stripers and eventually bluefish. We made a quick change and immediately tied on a 1 oz silver EXO Jig and started reeling in stripers left and right. After a handful of stripers each, we both ended up losing our jigs to the jaws of the beloved bluefish. At this time it was time for lunch and to retie anyway.
We tied on our two original EXO Jigs, the pink and white, and sat down looking for birds or busting. Within no time dad spots a group of fish that are busting more aggressively and streaking through the packs of baitfish. We mosey our way over and land two perfect casts into the blitz, my dad (using the 0.75 oz pink EXO Jig) gets slammed on top of the water as he is peeling his lure back to the boat. The fish was fighting differently but wasn't pulling drag like an Albie, after an unusual fight we started to see color and identified the bonito. This was a great sign for us and gave a boost of energy on the boat, the hardtails were around, it was only a matter of finding them. We stuck in that area for another 15 minutes before another blitz started, this time I grabbed the rod with the pink Exo Jig and landed my cast right on the outside of the blitz. I started reeling as fast as I could and about 50 feet outside the blitz I got slammed. This was an Albie... Immediately line started peeling, dad and I looked at each other with the biggest grins as I started to run around the boat, keeping the line out of the propellor and trying to stay out of the way for dad to cast. This was a quick bust only 20-30 seconds long, so by the time I got my fish even near the boat the busting had stopped for a couple of minutes.
With high hopes we stuck around for another two hours, sending blind casts and trying to figure out where they went. We changed from pink to white after a while and had no luck. We had been on the water now for 8 hours, the tides were changing, and it was time to start heading back to the boat ramp. On our way back, we spotted two birds hovering over some fish near the shore, so we went over with the expectations that they were schoolie stripers. As we got closer, an albacore porpoises out of the water and Dad and I both grabbed rods immediately. Both rigged with the 1 oz Game On! EXO Jig we send casts into the blitzing pack of fish. Within seconds both of us were tight with drag screaming from our reels, we were doubled up on Albies with no boats around us. After some pictures and proper releases, we were ready for a couple more. The fish were locked in on a pack of bait and were pushing them down the shoreline, we jockeyed the boat for some better positioning and got right back after it. Over the next 30 minutes, we caught three more Albies, all on the 1 oz white EXO Jig. The pack eventually died down and went into some deeper water and dad and I decided that it was time to head home.