Trip Report CALO Tunnys

Slimy Deck

Active Member
#1
Each fall a migration of Little Tunnys, aka False Albacore show in force at the southern Outer Banks of NC. From mid Oct through Nov Cape Lookout (CALO) is the spot where a fraternity of sportfishers with long sticks rigged for battle ply these waters where Blackbeard won his bounty and met his fate. The sports come to chase the Albies when cool fall nights flush baitfish out of the sounds and past the inlets with the tides. It's seldom for the meek and always an adventure with many miles of ocean needed to be glassed and traversed to find them at times. Or sometimes (gratefully) close-by in the inlet mouths as you motor out, the fish busting and slashing balls of bait on the surface. You're always in sight of the beach and sometimes the Albies are cutting through the breakers as they crash on the beach. Here, where 10 wt rods are most common and 9 wts work, is where 8 wts come to die.

We were at CALO the last few days, with luck on our side having timed a big push of bait and fish perfectly.

The flies
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Sights and sounds abound
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Wild horses on Shackleford Banks a common sight
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The Cape Lookout lighthouse at Barden's Inlet
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And the fishes
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If you have a bucket list, I suggest this one should be on it. Come join us.

Slimy
 

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cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
#7
Great pics, SD. I lived for 9 years in Greenville and fished the eastern half of the state. I have a friend that access to a house on Harker's Island and we headed to Shackleford Banks all the time. In addition to little tunny, you could have a shot at gray or spotted trout, red drum, and bluefish. Great place to visit in the fall, especially after hurricane season has died down.
Steve
 

Slimy Deck

Active Member
#8
"Uncle Kenny" caught a bad case of saltwateritis a few years ago and now owns a sweet inshore center console. And he's a fly fisher.
That boat would get it done SF. Start working "Uncle Kenny" now!

I have a friend that access to a house on Harker's Island and we headed to Shackleford Banks all the time. In addition to little tunny, you could have a shot at gray or spotted trout, red drum, and bluefish.
We generally stay on Harkers and transit through Barden's Inlet, though some years at Atlantic Beach or Beaufort. With the bait exiting the sounds, large schools of old drum in the 30 - 60 lb range follow them. It's a thrill to come upon a school of "pumpkins" while hunting Albies. Early in the season there are King and Spanish mackerel around that can be targeted along with a variety of 5 - 10 ft sharks if that's your thing . We always have our 5-6 wts along for the gray and spotted trout if the weather forces us to stay inside.
 
#9
The coloring on them is fantastic. My only experience is one charter trip out of Monterrey for Albacore, the colors were so vivid they appeared electric or neon. It saddened me to see them fade after death.
 
#10
The coloring on them is fantastic. My only experience is one charter trip out of Monterrey for Albacore, the colors were so vivid they appeared electric or neon. It saddened me to see them fade after death.
Yeah, love lit up fish when freshly boated. In this case, False Albacore aren't eaters so we admire them a moment, send them on their way, and find another to admire......
 

Dylar

Active Member
#11
Love false albies, hate the shitshow that sometimes pops up around that fall Cape Lookout bite. I chase 'em some in the summer in the Low Country out off the beaches, sans the cloud of buzzing boats that the fall brings. The sharks are hard on the poagies in the summer and off the tunnies, so you can ethically pull out the 8wts when you find fish in the right size class. They are definitely cool fish.
 
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#13
Love false albies, hate the shitshow that sometimes pops up around that fall Cape Lookout bite. I chase 'em some in the summer in the Low Country out off the beaches, sans the cloud of buzzing boats that the fall brings. The sharks are hard on the poagies in the summer and if the tunnies, so you can ethically pull out the 8wts when you find fish in the right size class. They are definitely cool fish.
Hi Dylar, I haven't targeted albies in the low country. I've seen them there just 2x, briefly up and down when I've been outside rigged up for and hunting AJ's. Is it an "on purpose" fishery or is it one that you make sure your're ready for just in case?

And yeah, a shitshow does develop at CALO on a couple fall weekends when a bunch of boats show up associated with a couple of internet boards, and when the fleet plays follow the guides. I avoid that and mostly there is plenty of water and fish to do so. Usually everybody plays nice when there's lots of fish/bait, not so much when they're scarce and fish show at the inlet.

Slimy
 

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