We have all heard the chit-chat about glamour fish at your local tackle store, marinas, and just about anyplace where folks talk about fishing.
You know a slam of this, or a slam of that, and mind you, I’m not knocking anyone who can catch three highly prized game fish in one outing either on the flats, backcountry, or offshore. That’s quite an accomplishment, in any one's book.
Living in South Florida is quite a blessing in many ways, and one of the fishing benefits is that here in Jupiter it’s not uncommon to catch six or more species of fish on any given summer day. Sure it super hot and the afternoon thunderstorms can be problematic. However, some excellent fly fishing opportunities exist.
One particular specie of fish that’s not all that glamorous is the bonito, albie - football, hardhead,or bombers - are a few nick names. It’s sort of like the Rodney Danderfield of fish, until recently, “ it got no respect”.
But that all changed when fly fishermen discovered that this cousin of the tunas can be chummed close to a boat and caught in good numbers. They hit like you hooked a car going 30-miles per hour, not once, but they can go on as many as four long runs. When an angler hooks an albie for the first time they are in for a real treat. You almost always believe that you have a larger fish on the line since the fish seem to have incredible strength. They really run for their lives when other fish like wahoo, marlin, cuda, sharks, and goliath grouper try and make a meal of the hooked fighting fish.
Fishermen that are targeting other fish can consider albies annoying since they are pound for pound one of the best fighting fish in any body of water anywhere.
Bonito are not very selective or picky about what they eat. Just about anything that is either fast moving, stripped intermediately, or smelling good, will suffice. Flashy flies, plastics, dead or live bait.
Without the bonito the entire food chain would suffer terribly. Almost anything that eats fish will take a small live bonito, or “one way fish” given that name because you can put them out for bait, but they won’t be back in without a hit. Big bonito are used for strip bait, for bill fish, wahoo, and a variety of others.
Bonito are not very good table fare, I know I have eaten them and I eat things that most westen people won’t. The meat is bloody red and very strong tasting even when bled and properly aced and cooked.
If you know a way to make them palatable please let me know. Japanese folks use bonito flakes as a spice as we use salt, I am told.
During the months of May, June, July and August when the small baitfish are plentiful in the Jupiter area the albies won’t be far behind. This year is unusual since the albies are here on into the late fall .
Mixed in with the albies out in the ocean depths, it’s not uncommon to catch a cornucopia of other fish such as rainbow runners, blue runners, dolphin, jack, sails, marlin, sharks, cobia, tripletail and kingfish to name a few.
Now, I’ve taken people fishing from other areas that have never caught a bonito and they sure are surprised when they discover that I was not exaggerating about the hard fighting qualities of these fish.
When properly chummed, albies explode on the surface, and it’s really exciting when you cast your fly into the melee and strip set the hook.
Hold on tight, make sure your line is clear of anything that it will snag on, get it on the reel quick or be assured that Murphy’s law will kick in. That is, what ever can go wrong will go wrong.
High sticking a fly-rod with an albie on the other end is a big problem - if you have ever done it you know why - they break 12 and 14 weight rods as if they were pretzel sticks. A 15-pound fish can dump a couple of hundred yards of line in a flash, so get your act together quickly.
Albie fishing is a type of fishing that will change the way you think about fly-fishing. It’s amazing that a fish that weighs under 20-pounds will be your new standard of excellence. I love them.
I prefer a large arbor big game 10-13 wt reel loaded with gel-spun backing attached to either Tarpon wonder line 3, or clear sink tip fly line. Then it’s important to use Trikfish Fluorocarbon 15 or 20 # leader material since albies are very leader shy at times. A Cowen Silverside or a Blados Crease Fly is a good fly choice so are some Puglisi patterns.
On a final thought, unless you are using the caught albies for something special, I encourage you to practice catch and release. That way these beautiful game fish can live to fight again. Please be gentle on the fish and remember they tend to behave when you turn them belly up when decoking or use a de-hooker as I do. Bonito do have teeth so be aware.
Also, since bonito are fast moving fish it’s important to launch them head first into the water to get them breathing again.
Greetings fellow fishing fans!
Cooler morning temperatures and less afternoon showers. October is a transition month to bring in the winter fish such as tarpon, blues ,jack, mackerel, spinner-sharks, and ribbon-fish that are starting to grace us with their presence. Feeding on the finger mullet that are still migrating from the north to the south. Some of those fish will continue migrating with the mullet while others will stay with us.
Even though we still are enjoying some summer species like albies, snook, goliath grouper, skipjack and blackfin tunas, sailfish, wahoo and kings. As the weather cools off most of the summer fish will leave us.
Light tackle and fly fishing for snook, and jack.
Light tackle and fly fishing the mullet schools for the above predators.
Snook and tarpon.
Goliath grouper, cuda, amber jack, snapper, grouper and some cobia.
Dolphin, sails, shark, tunas, wahoo.
Keep in mind that everyday is different, and prevailing conditions dictate
our plan of action.
Randy of Washington DC
Dr Randy from Washington D.C., along with his nephew Sebastian, despite his cold and flu symptoms, did some night snook fishing with light tackle and live bait. The team caught 22 snooks including 4-slot sized keepers that were all revived and released.
Good catching guys ,thanks for being so conservation-minded.
Lts. Bill and Steve
Fire rescue lieutenants Bill and Steve scored their limit of slot-sized snook,3 tunas, and some albies on a flat calm day of inshore and offshore fishing.
Bill and Bill Jr.
Bill and Bill Jr of PA caught and released 8 snooks of up to 22-pounds inshore.Then offshore, they caught Bonitas and lost a goliath grouper.
Good day fishing fans,
Welcome to this site!
July may be my favorite month of the year to fish. Both small and big baits are usually plentiful, which makes it fun to live-chum the fish into a feeding frenzy. That way they tend to let down their guard and bite our hooked fly and bait.
Some days we are fortunate enough to catch 8-species of fish or more in a day, all quality fish. Inshore it's possible to catch multiple world class size snook on spin, plug, and fly tackle. Cubera snapper are mixed in and so are jack, and cuda.
We also get tarpon along the beaches, as well as cobia ,and bonito again on spin and fly. Out in a little deeper water are grouper and snapper, as well as giant sharks.
The Gulfstream fishing can bring opportunities of catching tuna, wahoo, marlin, sailfish, dolphin,and tripletail.
No bull this is prime time.
Sure it's hot , and yes some days we get some nasty squalls, but it can be worth it to a true fishing aficionado.
Retired Navy Veteran James from FL., and son Chris from Colorado teamed up to catch 13 snook weighing up to 22 lbs. on light tackle.
They also lost a jumbo snook estimated at close to 30 lbs.
Great catching guys!
Robb, Paul and Roc with Paul's first Wahoo
Robb, Paul, and Roc all from Florida teamed up to catch double and triple header bonito on fly rods and spinners near shore.
Robb and Roc Albies on fly
Then we headed offshore and had a double header hook-up of sailfish, and wahoo Paul’s first, we did lose the sail though.
Paul had the lucky rod today.
Donna's biggest snook ever!
Donna from Juno, FL caught a bunch of blue runners and then lost snappers to the big goliath grouper a few times.
So we went inshore where she caught her biggest snook a 30-incher.
Good work Donna,