Albacore 2020?

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
I was out last Thursday NW of Depoe Bay. Hit fish immediately and had 4 in the box in 30mins (2 troll, 2 jigs and a few lost ones on jigs). First school came up to my chum, but nobody ate. Then it died completely until almost 1pm when it all happened again. 2 more in the box (and 2 lost) and done. I don't think I've ever had a trip I"ve lost more than 1 or 2.

Headed back to the barn at 2pm due to wind picking up and glad I did. All fish were between 20-35lb. Just big ol donkeys. But another day where the 12wt didn't get dirty.

Had an interesting season overall. Never got in to numbers (best trip was 14 fish). Worst trip was 2 fish, which was also the only trip I had live bait to toss out there. Never got a wide open bite going like Nick's boat makes happen on the regular, but managed to make that happen in 2019 a few times.

Already can't wait til next year..
 

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Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
I will add one caveat to the fly fishing thing as I've been its biggest critic here: the boat makes a huge difference. A boat like Nick's has much more room to use a fly rod. On my boat, the only way to use one is off the bow, so only one person can do it. I had a few guys come with me this year excited to try the fly, but quickly realized it wasn't particularly feasible on that boat. That, and you need a program like Nick has where they have no problem getting a wide open bait stop going.
 

Matt B

...
WFF Supporter
I will add one caveat to the fly fishing thing as I've been its biggest critic here: the boat makes a huge difference. A boat like Nick's has much more room to use a fly rod. On my boat, the only way to use one is off the bow, so only one person can do it. I had a few guys come with me this year excited to try the fly, but quickly realized it wasn't particularly feasible on that boat. That, and you need a program like Nick has where they have no problem getting a wide open bait stop going.
Well it is still fishing and they’re still fish. My sole albacore trip for this year was on Nick’s boat. We caught fish (9) but there was never a wide open bait stop. That day, we’d hit one or two on the troll, stop, and maybe pick up one or two more. So, from my perspective I’m not sure anyone can say they never have a problem getting a wide open bait stop going. Some days they just don’t bite that well.
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
Well it is still fishing and they’re still fish. My sole albacore trip for this year was on Nick’s boat. We caught fish (9) but there was never a wide open bait stop. That day, we’d hit one or two on the troll, stop, and maybe pick up one or two more. So, from my perspective I’m not sure anyone can say they never have a problem getting a wide open bait stop going. Some days they just don’t bite that well.
Absolutely. every day is a bit different. My 4-5 trips a year are a very small sample size. That, and going with someone like Nick who is out there every day is going to give you a huge advantage vs the DIY fleet that are out there on the few calm days their boat can get out and work will allow. I actually think the days that are a bit too rough on the ocean for a boat like mine are better days to fish. The super calm days have been a bit tougher to get fish up in my experience.

Just trying to communicate that my criticisms and pessimism are more based on my circumstances more than anything. With the right boat and a good captain, the fly can slay. I love my swimbaits and jigs enough that I'm not particularly motivated to sacrifice fish on my few trips out unless we're already almost plugged.
 
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Matt B

...
WFF Supporter
Fair enough. FWIW, when we trolled, we were usually dragging three flies and one cedar plug. That day, the plug never got bit. And on stops, I jigged some, and Nick jigged plenty while others were casting flies. Nothing on jigs. It‘s cool to enjoy many techniques but I’m just not sure we can say that proficient (maybe adequate in my case) fly fishing techniques are less effective. It just depends on a lot of things as you’ve pointed out.

I like casting off the bow. I can really bomb it out from up there. But maybe I will remember next year that hookups come more readily when I cast into the chum slick, which generally seems to be off the stern. It took me a while to re-realize that and I think that’s part of why I was “low rod” that day.
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
Fair enough. FWIW, when we trolled, we were usually dragging three flies and one cedar plug. That day, the plug never got bit. And on stops, I jigged some, and Nick jigged plenty while others were casting flies. Nothing on jigs. It‘s cool to enjoy many techniques but I’m just not sure we can say that proficient (maybe adequate in my case) fly fishing techniques are less effective. It just depends on a lot of things as you’ve pointed out.

I like casting off the bow. I can really bomb it out from up there. But maybe I will remember next year that hookups come more readily when I cast into the chum slick, which generally seems to be off the stern. It took me a while to re-realize that and I think that’s part of why I was “low rod” that day.
Yeah even jigs can vary a lot. This year, all but like 2 of the jig fish were on Coltsnipers, which are a slow/flutter sink vs what most people think of which are the flat sides that sink extremely fast, and you do the rapid pump retrieve on. Last year, the flatsides got the job done. Swimbaits and Coltsnipers were the key this year, which would fish closer to a fly presentation as opposed to the vertical speed presentation of a flatside, which is the more common approach.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
I will add one caveat to the fly fishing thing as I've been its biggest critic here: the boat makes a huge difference. A boat like Nick's has much more room to use a fly rod. On my boat, the only way to use one is off the bow, so only one person can do it. I had a few guys come with me this year excited to try the fly, but quickly realized it wasn't particularly feasible on that boat. That, and you need a program like Nick has where they have no problem getting a wide open bait stop going.

A large charter-type boat with a live well does make a huge difference, but you can still get it done on smaller boats. I got my first non-live-bait fly albacore casting from the transom of a 24' Alumaweld at the end of a hot jig bite. Not ideal, and really not something more than one crew member could do at a time without interfering to some degree. The key is using a fast sinking line, so maybe not an appealing option for you. Just saying it can be done.

OTOH, seems like there wouldn't be a huge (or any) disadvantage to small boats doing straight run-and-gun fishing. That could be a fun, if not a boat plugging trip. Two guys taking turns casting from the bow and running the boat to sneak up on busting fish. Too bad there wasn't much of that this year (at least to my knowledge).

Beyond that you and Matt bring up good points about the variability of this fishery. Anyone who thinks this fishery is (consistently) easy, or predictable would be mistaken.
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
I can count the number of times we had fish busting at the surface on one hand. I was always ready and willing to make a cast with the fly, but things never came together this year. Like I said, I'm not one to force the issue because I don't enjoy the fly that much more than my other methods, so my motivation to go out of my way to make it happen isn't really there. But if circumstances align, it'll absolutely happen. I'm just usually the one running the show: driving the boat, throwing bait, gaffing/netting, etc. Too much shit going on!
 

NRC

WFF Supporter
I can count the number of times we had fish busting at the surface on one hand. I was always ready and willing to make a cast with the fly, but things never came together this year. Like I said, I'm not one to force the issue because I don't enjoy the fly that much more than my other methods, so my motivation to go out of my way to make it happen isn't really there. But if circumstances align, it'll absolutely happen. I'm just usually the one running the show: driving the boat, throwing bait, gaffing/netting, etc. Too much shit going on!
Sounds like you’re looking for an assistant. My fishing resume will be on your desk by morning. Don’t let the lack of success or qualifications put you off.
 

cmann886

Active Member
TFO LT blue water and Haiden reel, or Redington behemoth, Ross CLA.
The large capacity reels that I currently own are an Echo ION 10/12, an Allen Kraken XLA, and a Reddington Surge 10/11/12 (not the Behemouth that I thought that it was). Would any of these be sufficient? I am thinking that if I get Hatch backing the XLA would probably work well.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
The large capacity reels that I currently own are an Echo ION 10/12, an Allen Kraken XLA, and a Reddington Surge 10/11/12 (not the Behemouth that I thought that it was). Would any of these be sufficient? I am thinking that if I get Hatch backing the XLA would probably work well.

I have the Surge 10/11/12 and fished that on the hybrid glass rod. No problems with the two tuna on that outfit.
 

Nick Clayton

WFF Supporter
After a week off due to weather, we ran again today. This last week was one of the worst of my life. My grandmother passed away, and on the same day got some life altering bad family news. To say I've been stressed this week is a major understatement.

The cure came today in the form of running Integrity for the first time. That's the incredible 42' beast of a boat that Mark bought over the winter and rebuilt.

Largest boat I've ever driven, and the most amazing boat I've ever driven.

October 15 and it was pretty solid albacore fishing. 23 fish of a major mixed grade. Got em on herring, got em on jigs, got em on swim baits. Pretty dang good fishing for this late in the year.

20201015_112214-01.jpeg _DSC9605-01.jpeg
 

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