Bonito & Albies

Pro Talk: Casting to Topwater Albies around the Cape + Islands

Pro Talk: Casting to Topwater Albies around the Cape + Islands
We spent 15 minutes on the phone with Capt. Nicholas Kathmann to discuss casting to topwater albies with the Epoxy Jig Lure off the Cape + Islands, Rhode Island and New York fisheries. Here's what we learned...
 Capt. Nicholas Kathmann
Instagram: @flyfishguide
Facebook: Fly Guy Fish Guide

Targeted Species: Albies + Bonito

Location: Bolton, Massachusetts

Being from Massachusetts, Capt. Nick has a wide variety of fishing grounds to choose from. When it comes to targeting albies and bonitos, he often launches out of the south cape area and heads towards Buzzard’s Bay, the lower cape and around the Islands (Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard). Since he is licensed in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Capt. Nick will also launch out of Rhode Island and chase albies all the way down to the border of New York.

Tides: Capt. Nick has found that these fish are not dependent on the tide but they do need water movement. If the wind is blowing or has blown hard the night before, it often pushes the bait against shore and the albies will come in close after them.

Approach: Capt. Nick has familiar and specific areas that he will head to first before relying on tells and signs of life. Once in these areas, he looks for breaking fish and bait balls. If not fish are immediately breaking on the surface, they’ll stay and hang around the bait balls until fish show up. With albies and bonitos specifically, they are almost always breaking on the surface if they are in the area.

Rigging/Lure Selection: 3/8 – 1.25oz Epoxy Jig Lures with an emphasis on the 5/8oz and the 7/8oz.

Why This Bait? Not only do these baits follow the typical size and profile bait imitations, they are known to cast very well and hold up very well with toothy fish. Ordinarily, if you’re throwing the same size bait as the bait in the area, they will hit it. Albies often get hyper focused on colors and even the simplest shift in coloration can be the difference between off putting and hyper fixation. 

Colors: Pink, Albie Crack, Olive

Retrieve: There are two retrieves that work best for targeting albies.

  1. Begin by casting out, keeping the rod tip high and reeling as quickly as possible. This will produce a “skippy” retrieve that is sure to entice albies with all of the commotion.
  2. Begin by casting out and reel quickly but not as fast as you can. With the high gear ratio of the reels that Capt. Nick uses, they’re quick by nature and will keep the lure a foot below the water column.

Albies are known to swim in circular, oval patterns and by observing and identifying this specific pattern, anglers like Capt. Nick are able to intercept this pattern instead of running and gunning which scares these fish and pushes them down, ruining it for other boaters in the area.


Rod: G Loomis Greenwater, 7.9’, mag medium extra fast rod. This rod will launch lures like the Epoxy Jig Lures extremely far which is perfect for skittish albies. The further the reach, the better for spooky fish.

Reel: Shimano Stradic Ci4 4000 XG

Line: 20lb braid

Leader: Capt. Nick often starts with 20lb fluoro and will downsize to as low as 8lb depending on how skittish the fish are.


Reading next

Pro Talk: Casting to Striped Bass Throughout the Water Column with the Hogy Heavy Minnow Jig off the Cape
Pro Talk: Casting to Spawning Cobia in the Chesapeake Bay Area

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