Harkers Island and Cape Lookout, NC


This past weekend I had the opportunity to fish for some False Albacore in a very special fishery. I fished for 3 days with a few guys from the Virginia Coastal Fly Anglers fly fishing club. They rent a house on Harkers Island every year and were kind enough to extend an invite to a few other clubs. I’d like to give a shout out of thanks to Mike, Ed, Jim and Chris. 
The fishing went like this. Friday – chased some albies in a boat with Ed. always too late. caught a few blue fish. and looked for others, then picked up mike at the cape and fished the channel there and caught a bunch of blue fish. Those blues are rough on a bucktail fly! but a lot of fun to pull in. Friday nite we tied flies and went to bed early. The fishing we did was on the end of Shackleford Island. It is a unique place and has wild horses on it. Their dna has been traced back to some of the original horse brought to America by the Spanish. When we pulled up in the boat in the morning we ran into a few of them and we saw them off and on the whole weekend. The island also is a great place to camp. I’d like to go back and try it next fall, after the bugs have left! While we were out looking for fish, we ended up in the middle of a swarm of dolphins, over 50 of them! they were everywhere. I took a video with my little camera.
Saturday we fish the ‘Spit’ which is the end of the hook near the light house. We took a ferry over from Calico Jacks and when we got there early, there were already some fly guys there. These guys were in for two weeks just looking for albies. They would sit and wait for a blitz to come thru the channel. Only one came thru the whole day and only one of them hooked up. We tried to fish and caught needle fish and little flounder. always good to catch fish but…….. those dam needle fish have sharp teeth! Sat night we went to a BBQ on the island with all the guides and any other fishermen in a 30 mile radius at Tom Earnhardt’s house. We had a great dinner and met some talented and nice fishermen. It turns out there were some albies running around but they were mostly only accessible with a boat. So I got up early on Sunday morning and headed out to the Harkers Island Fishing Center to see if there were any guides available. I was hooked up with Teddy and out we went. I was hooked into my first albie in less than an hour!
and WOW! These fish are like being hooked on to the back of a stolen car! I had the reel twisted out of my hand, knuckles busted, sore muscles , down to the last 30 yds of backing. I was standing in the front of the boat and had the rod held with tow hands on the cork and pulling up with all my might and had the tip of the 10 wght, IN the water and the reel singing! I had to stick the rod straight in the water a few times and loosen the drag to help get some line back. I had one fish make 5 runs of over 100 yds each, one took almost all of the backing off the reel, over 200 yds, 230 if you count the fly line too! To find the albies you do two things, you look for the birds or you look for the explosion in the water. See, the albies find a school of baitfish, mostly silversides this time and they just rip through it from the bottom sending all the bait and some of the albies out of the water. it is a crazy scene. Then you just cast into the explosion or out in the front of it and start stripping, when a fish takes the fly, the rod feels like it is going to be ripped out of your hands. All in all I landed 7 albies and only lost one when he ran under another boat ( don’t get me started on those idiots in the other boats! ) and cut the leader on the prop or motor or something. I caught all my fish on this trip with flies I tied myself. 
I am ruined, every November i will have to be fishing for albies and now i got to buy a boat too!
Here are some pix all done with the point and shoot, not the good camera.
The horses on Schakleford Island.
The weather was perfect for the 3 days I was there. Warm and sunny during the day, great sunsets.
Following the birds.
Needle fish.
Little bluefish with what is left of my fly.
This Jelly fish floated by.
This was the scene on the way out of the marina.
Another Albie!
Little flounder.
Albie, again. (bad quality cause it is a still from video)
More Albies! (again from a video)
Mike fishing the surf.

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  1. carole marie says:

    I’ve never seen fish like that before – awesome catches!

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