2023 Albie Shootout Week 2
This was the week we’ve all been waiting for since the albies left last season! Heavy concentrations of fish populating multiple key areas: Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Sound, Eastern Rhode Island including Aquidneck Island, South County, Fishers Island, eastern Long Island Sound and Montauk as well. The latest reports we’re hearing have them charging more than 50 miles into Long Island Sound, showing up on Stratford Shoal as of a few days ago. The excitement is palpable and throngs of rabid anglers have been scoring fish from shore, boat and kayak.
With all that said, it does seem like a lot of our registered participants are forgetting to take their photos, because we only have a precious few fish entered thus far in the Shootout. If this were a numbers game, the Boat Division would be all wrapped up because Patrick Hay has been on the fish and sending in way more photos than we can use to qualify him! Suffice it to say, the guy is on fire! Charles Talbot is his only competition so far in the Boat Division and his bingo card is almost filled out as well, he’s only lacking the Bonito Bonus to be locked in a dead heat with Patrick.
The Kayak Division is seeing a little more action; Chris Neves and Todd Treonze came roaring onto the scene this week with three albies apiece and Neves also notched a bonus bonito for an extra point. Aaron Nickerson, who logged our first kayak division entry last week has been quiet in Week 2; look for a counterpunch from him next week. Something else cool that’s come out of the Kayak Division is the news of some exotic species very close to shore. Chris Neves sent us photographic proof of a bunch of chicken mahi he caught around a floating log a mere 100 yards from shore and a lesser amberjack (a cousin of the banded rudderfish) on the same trip—all of these fish came from hyper-local waters.
They say ‘nice guys finish last’ and so far the Shore Division is a two horse race and the two guys duking it out on the rocks are two of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet, Sean Hughes and Kyle Lyons. Kyle holds a slight edge over Sean with his three albies to Sean’s two and both have already notched the bonito bonus. And by most accounts from shore casters in our immediate area, the bite has been good, but not epic and there have been several ‘off days’ woven in between the good ones.
Of course, just as the season is starting to find a rhythm, we have to deal with the close approach of a hurricane which will batter most of New England’s ‘albie waters’ with hulking seas and some strong winds. This is unquestionably going to drop the water temps and it’s going to move some fish around. The consensus among the most experienced albie fishermen is that this storm is coming too early in the season to kill the bite for good, but we’re likely to experience a dry spell. Sometimes though, we will see schools of albies push into the salt ponds on the Cape and Vineyard or up into Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island to escape dirty waters, one year they went as far north as Providence. So don’t give up completely, be vigilant and think outside the box—you may be rewarded. At the same time, don’t be tempted to push the limits during the height of the swells and wind, no fish is worth ending up on the Qualified Captain social media account or winning a Darwin Award.
Good luck, be safe and we’ll see you next week!