We spent 15 minutes on the phone with Capt. John Berquist to discuss sight casting to false albacore with the Hogy Epoxy Jig Lure at the Outer Banks. Here's what we found out..
Location: Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks of North Carolina are a fishery that should be on everyone’s bucket list. For Capt. John Berquist, this is basically his back yard.
The false albacore start to make their way south in September, leaving the cooling waters of New England and heading straight for the warmer waters of North Carolina, making for an incredible fall fishing season. Capt. John launches out of Oregon Inlet and, if not much has changed, he will start by heading east, or to where he was the day before, while keeping an eye on the radar for patches of warmer water. Unbeknownst to some anglers, areas of warm water can act as structure and “pen” the bait into one specific area where predators will most likely show up.
Once you start seeing breaking fish, you know you’re in the right area!
Tides: The tides don’t effect this style of fishing (sight casting). If anything, it’s the weather in general, with sunny days being better than cloudy days.
Approach: These fish will be breaking on the surface. Look for birds and warmer water. You ideally want to find a big school of albies busting out of the water, chasing little glass minnows that skip across the surface.
Rigging/Lure Selection: 5/8oz to 1 1/2oz Epoxy Jig Lures. The size depends on how deep the bait balls are. The deeper they are, the heavier the lure.
Why This Bait? They work better than every other lure. There are a lot of baits that look similar to glass minnows in the area but nothing works as well as the epoxy jig. They are clearer than most lures on the market and they shine and sparkle in the sun. Match the hatch!
Colors: There are two colors that work best in these situations; the pink and the menhaden. If the menhaden isn’t available, choose a natural color like olive.
Retrieve: All sight casting. Cast out and as soon as your lure hits the water, reel as fast as you can and skip them across the surface; a retrieve that we refer to as the skippy retrieve.
“If you think you are reeling it too fast, you’re probably not reeling it fast enough,” Capt. John advises.
Rod: 7’5” custom built St. Croix, medium/heavy
Reel: Shimano ST2500HGFK Stradic FK Spinning Reel (upgrade the drag washers on any albie reel)
Line: 12lb J-Braid x8 Daiwa Braided Line
Leader: 15lb Seaguar Fluorocarbon