Location: Montauk, New York
Capt. Tim’s overall season runs from the beginning of May to the beginning of December, depending on the weather. His guide service is primarily fly fishing and light tackle but if something is going on off of Montauk, like a good Mahi or Tuna run, he’ll go offshore. He’s found that the best fishing for false albacore is right in front of Montauk point, anywhere from the lighthouse within a few miles.
Tides: The tides don’t seem to matter during this area. The fishing is very situational. For example, if there’s a flood in one area or an eddy in another, he’ll fish specific points. You just have to work the tide accordingly and move around the area you’re fishing. Certain rips are better on certain tides around Montauk.
Approach: The first indicator is always birds but there are always a lot of birds hanging around on the surface. One way to determine if these birds are predatory is to approach them. If they seem annoyed but come back to their spot, this could indicate that something has just happened and they are waiting for it to happen again. If they simply fly off, write them off.
A lot of the times, Capt. Tim will go to a rip, see the false albies on the surface and drift with the tide, casting always with light spinning tackle. He notes to shut the engine off and drift over the rip while casting into it.
Rigging/Lure Selection: Epoxy Jig Lures in 5/8oz or the 7/8oz
Why This Bait? This lure works for everything and Capt. Tim says there is no better lure for false albacore. Due to it’s versatility, it’s his favorite lure and not only does it cast well, but the fish love it. When albies are keyed in on bay anchovies, which is the common baitfish of this area, the small baits (like the 5/8 and the 7/8) work really well.
Colors: Silverside, electric chicken, pink, bay anchovy and gold
Retrieve: There are a few methods that will work in these situations. You can cast it out, let it sink for a few seconds and slowly retrieve it or you can cast it out, quickly retrieve it and make it skip across the surface for a deadly skippy retrieve. You can also slowly jig and pop it just under the surface.
Rod: All of Capt. Tim’s rods are custom made light spinning gear, set up for anything from 5/8oz Epoxy Jigs to 2oz bucktails.
Reel: Shimano Stradic 4000. Can handle stripers up to 40lbs.
Line: 10lb – 15lb PowerPro Braided Line
Leader: 16lb – 20lb PowerPro Monofilament