Tunoid flyfishing tips [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tunoid flyfishing tips

08-10-2000, 03:59 PM
Juro and others,
I'll be headed to M.V. shortly for vacation. Refresh my mind....any tips on dealing with the possibility of getting my first bonito on the flyrod.
It will be hard to put the spinning rod down...but I figure with two weeks of trying...something has to happen.
How do you guys anticipate where to cast your fly? It's hard enough to get a cast off with a spinning rod when these little speed demons come blowing by. I figure if I have to go to three false casts, I'm screwed! You know....now you see'um,....now you don't!??


Doug B.

08-10-2000, 05:02 PM
Doug! You lucky dog.

It's a huge misconception that one must rip the fly across the water at light speed to entice a tunoid. Obviously speed works to your advantage but it's not completely necessary. I caught my first bonito on a dead drift in the outgoing current at the Herring River mouth (Harwich) and have had far better success using slower presentations than blinding retrieves over the years to follow. This includes the BONECLAVE, where I was fortunate enough to first cast a nice albie using the shock and stop retrieve in the general vicinity of a busting pod.

I've given this advice many many times and those who tried it have all fared well. Some have even converted to sinking head lines like the QD to keep the fly DOWN in the rips. I still use my intermediate to allow the two-handed mega strip option when needed, but won't hesitate to go to a sinking line when the rip current gets too hard to handle.

Basically, I use a very realistic silverside pattern. I worked hard to get it where I was satisfied with it. Where fish are busting, in current seams that arc from shore along river or bay outlets, or simply where you see the emerald footballs strafing the silversides along the beach - I cast the realistic 3"-ish baitfish fly on a clear intermediate line with long leaders, flouro tippet into the vicinity of the busting pods, leading them so the fly reaches 6-10 feet of depth by the time it takes them to reach it. Strip the slack out of the line and yank the line with the stripping hand to shock the fly, then let it sink for a second or two, shock it twice together, rest, then once, erratically, and the ones swimming around looking for a swarm of bait to bust on will snap it up eagerly... if you're lucky!

At river mouths, a dead drift cross current with a teasing strip from 45 degrees down river to your feet has worked for me.

Noticably often, when an incoming tide is running hard and a current seam forms diagonal or arc'ing parallel to the jetty or inlet shore, the tunoids will make an appearance if you hang out. This is true of Wacky, Bass River, Herring River, Parkers (although they tend to sweep the beach channel more often than the jetty), Wianno, Dowses... uncanny but true.

Of course the crazed speed strip does tend to drive them wild... but don't rule out the "shock and stop", the "crippled loner", the "herky jerk" or whatever you want to call it. There are plenty of fish in the pack that are snapping up the ones stunned by the busting antics of the pod.

Good luck!

08-11-2000, 08:06 AM

I cannot beleive that your trip is all ready here ! Here is what has worked for me from the beaches.

* All of the spots I suggested you try have two things in common. They tend to have alot of bait and moving water. Albies/Bones like most other fish from my experience like when the bait is somewhat disoriented. There is another spot I may have forgotten to mention and that is the middle of the "U" or bowl at Lobsterville. On a rising tide and if there is not alot of "stuff" in the water, I have caught many, many fish here both from the boat and beach. I have seen and sight casted to them as they moved down the beach here, also. Mind you, you will spend many hours casting for these fish. The key is always have your fly in the water !! Sounds basic but some overlook the number of falsecasts, etc.....

* I like Juro like the Intermediate lines with Fluorocarbon. I have also used deep sinkers in deeper rips to hook up. I usually start with 20lb. and then go to 15lb tippets if I get refusals.
I have a theroy that if the size of the fly is similar to what the bait is and the fly is predominately white, you will connect. Last year, I caught albies in the double digits off the beach one day on 8 different types of flies. All where similar in size and white was the major color.

* On the beach, if you find a large school of bait, stay with it ! I cannot tell you the number of times I have done this and 90% of the time with a moving tide, the albies/bones show up. They may only come thru once but they did come thru. Also, my experience also tells me that in a bowl or harbor or concave type beach, these fish will travel a route and be somewhat consistent. Many times you will not even see them as they come screaming by. Hence, keep the fly in the water ! Also, If you see some of the schools of bunker (peanut bunker,etc..) coming down the beach, try walking down the beach with it and casting around and on the backside as you walk. I have caught quite a few doing this as sometimes, fish will shadow these schools of bait and dip in for a bite to eat. Again, keep your fly in the water !

* When blind casting, I have seemed to hook more albies/bones with a faster retrieve than normal. That doesn't mean the type you might use for barracuda to induce a strike, just faster than a "normal" strip. But, do not hesitate to try different strips.

* When it comes to blitzes, I cannot agree with Juro more. My feeling and experience tells me that the fish tend to work into the current. When you see a blitz (like with all fish) there are many more below the surface. If the blitz is sustained, you may get away with casting into the mix.......but if not try casting well above the fish so it gets to them below the surface (6 to 10ft). The key here is keep the fly in front of the fish ! Fast retrieves may elicit strikes but it also pulls the fly out of the zone. If they are blitzing on the beach and your first cast fails to connect, do not hesitate to roll-cast the fly right back into the water !

* Do not hesitate to stay back from the beach when casting especially if you see them hugging the trough on the beach. I have seen where the fish have hesitated to blitz the beach until we moved back about 15 feet. This is very critical when the bait is right up on the beach,also.

* Lastly, check your drag before you fish. These fish are unforgiving on drags and if it is too tight......."POP" ...there goes your tippet and if it is not tight enough, you may loose the fish or get a rats nest of line.

Good luck and let us know how you did !!


08-11-2000, 11:10 AM
Juro and John,

Thanks for the info! I'm hoping to somehow manage a "slam" of sorts...on flies, even if it takes the whole two weeks. I'm pretty confident I that I can manage that on spin gear...the fly will take some effort. :)

As luck would have it, just found out someone that I know is coming down the 2nd week (that I'm on the island) with a boat.

And John....you are right....this vacation came up quick. It's been a very fast summer! Here's to hoping the two weeks go by SLOW!....and full of action!

Doug B.

08-11-2000, 11:46 AM

I will be around the Island on the 28th but fishing from a boat. Say, one other trick........if you can get a raft or something, get to the Tashmoo jetties early in the morning before the crowds show up. Take the raft and go across the pond with your gear so that you can get to the other jetty. This will allow you to move around better and not fight the crowds. Incoming Tide is better here but any moving tide will give you a shot. Do not hesitate to use a sinking line and let it drift far out. Keep an eye to your left as there is a little bowl that is about a hundred yards down the beach that Albies/Bones will travel thru occasionally. If you do walk the beaches on that side, do not go above the high water mark. The folks there seem to just wait for folks walking above the mark. By the way, give Larry's Tackle a call when you get to the Island. Tim, Moe or Bucky should be able to point you in the right direction.


08-12-2000, 04:31 AM
Thanks for the tip about Tashmoo. We are renting a cottage just up the hill from the boat ramp at Tashmoo. Will be frequenting the jetties there...family likes the small beach at Tashmoo, as well. I am bringing my kayak...so I will try the other side, as you mentioned. Hey...maybe Diane Sawyer can cook me some breakfast! :)
Good luck on the 28th!!