Tactics for Exotics? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tactics for Exotics?

08-19-2003, 12:07 PM
What are the best tactics for fishing for exotics? What lines and flies seem to be best? As far as boating tactics go, how should the boat be used to best get the bite? What I mean is, should you do drifts, runs, anchor, etc? Should you try and take a parallell
course to busting fish and cast to them?

What seems to work the best in peoples experiences?

Dble Haul
08-19-2003, 12:34 PM
There have been entire books written that address your many questions. One of them is Tom Gilmore's False Albacore. Although it deals mainly with tunas, I've been told that many of the methodologies can also be applied to spanish macks and mahi-mahi.

08-19-2003, 12:42 PM
My limited experience has taught me to find the general area they are in. Then try and figure out the greneral direction they are moving. Now put your boat in the estimated path and kill the motor and wait. This gets you away from the run and gun pack and gives you a quiet shot at them. They will surface for a short period and dissapear only to pop up 100 yards in another direction. Also you can troll up and down a rip at 6 knots. Or you can anchor just above a rip if possible and cast into it. If they aren't there pick another part of the rip.


08-19-2003, 12:43 PM
I'd like to hear some tactics too. I was planning on using 20 or 30lb flouro but have heard a lighter tippet might get more hits.

I was talking to the guys at old salt and one thing that came up was run and gun vs. observe and wait patiently at the ready. I'll try both methods but the lay in wait drift sounds logical.
I remember paddling like a mad man after them in a cove ~1mile wide last year, albies were present in a big way. Every time I got to them they were no longer feeding but porpoising and on the move. In hindsight there was a pattern to this, they moved in a triangle and if I used my head I my have hooked up or at least gotten a few more near misses. They seemed to come to the top in more or less the same 3 areas each time the action errupted.

Can't wait for the clave.:cool:

08-19-2003, 05:19 PM
What did we do last year??? I don't remember exactly the whole trip but I think we got into Albies didn't we?? Best to get close and then drift into them or close to them. Sometimes you have to take the run and gun approach as the other boats will force you to, but if you are alone you can pretty much just drift. I always 95% of the time use a 300 gr. sinking line, occassionally I will use an inter. or a floater with a crease fly, but usually it's the sinker that gets the nod. If you are using flouro leader the diam./test should not matter ......right??? I never understood going lighter when you are already using invisible line???

Mike Mayo

P.S. I have not experienced any difference when I have tried to go lighter on the tippet just more breakoffs.

08-19-2003, 07:31 PM
Thanks for the pointers Mike.

I hear there are some Spanish Macks about. Can I get away with 30lb Flouro or is wire required for those. I like to keep it simple so if heavy magic mono covers all the bases that's what I'll use.

08-19-2003, 08:33 PM

During the last boneclave I attended the Spanish macks were out in full force. I was using light spinning gear with 8 lb test line and a 20 lb fluoro leader. I got bit off a few times but landed plenty.

Don't forget -- bonito have teeth too!


08-19-2003, 11:47 PM
There`s a reason the record Bone in the 16# class is only 7.4 lb., anything heavier is to easy to see. Got some Orifice 9.5 floro just for that reason. On the other hand, if you can get them to hit on 16 you have a shot at a IGFA record!

08-20-2003, 09:00 AM
Terry Nugent aka Riptide said they were using 20 lb fluoro the other day and caught plenty of Spanish using it. I have always used 20 lb. fluoro for my hardtail fishing and it seems to be the best way to go in my opinion. Like I stated previously I don't see any advantage to going lighter with the tippet as long as you are using fluorocarbon. If it is invisible than it should not matter. I try and keep it simple to a fault and don't over think things when I am fishing it seems to work well looking at things this way. I think we can get caught up in all of the craziness of equipment and lose sight of the main goal and that is hooking up. Unless things get real frustrating I don't change up what I am doing to often. I key on presentation and accuracy as my two main things to focus on.

Mike Mayo

08-20-2003, 11:26 AM
Here is the official technique as practiced by the majority of people who pursue them here: See the birds, run as fast as hell to where they are, see the fish, run your boat right into them so one person can drop a fly into the middle and then spook the rest of the fish. Look around smugly at the people who were trying to keep the school going as your angler fights his only hook up of the day and every other boat in the area silently curses you out. The people who do this know who they are and many other people know who they are too. I am NOT doing false albacore charters anymore. I got pretty tired of the bravado and garbage associated with it and got really tired of the crowds. If a school happens to be in the inlet when I am going through with my flats boat and there is nobody else around then I will try for them, otherwise I will stick to reds and trout this fall.

08-20-2003, 04:35 PM
The key is to resist the temptation to run and gun. I am far from an expert , but what I have observed is if people would have boat disicpline and wait for the fish to come to them the catch rate goes way up. Easier sadi than done because for my money these are some of the most exciting fish that one can fish for.

08-20-2003, 06:49 PM
If flouro is invisible why does it come in some many different diameters. So if it is it wouldn't, if it didn't it shouldn't. Trilene is cheap:D

08-20-2003, 07:46 PM
The thick diameter does dampen the action but I've found 30lb and a loop knot works well when blues are mixed with the bass. I don't know about those big eyeballs on tuna though I don't think much gets past them.

08-21-2003, 06:41 AM
Ah, I see the spanish mac questions now...I use 40 lb fluoro, used to use 30 lb mono, but with the advent of the fluro I use the heavier stuff. It's all about diameter. Tie a loop knot. Strip your fly through them as fast as you can, then go a little bit faster.

Dble Haul
08-21-2003, 07:59 AM
Why does fluoro come in different diameters? Well, there's the different breaking strengths.

So if fluoro is invisible, then why not just rig up with 60lb fluoro and virtually guarantee no breakoffs with these fish? Because very heavy tippets make for poor fly turnover, and poor fly action (even with loop knots).

Mike, I really like your theme of not over-complicating things. I'm pretty linear that way. :)