How-To: Albie Mastery Series #303

In this Albie Mastery Series, Capt. Mike walks through everything you need to know when it comes to fishing for false albacore. From top lure choices and retrieves, to proper outfits and rigging, this series will give you the knowledge to master finding and catching the elusive funny fish!

Part 1

In part one of this seven part series, Capt. Mike Hogan walks us through and reviews his two favorite outfit set ups for false albacore fishing. These outfits are both interchangeable between schoolie striper fishing and the heat of albie season on Cape Cod.

Capt. Mike has two rods that he really loves for albie fishing.

Outfit #1:st croix legend

Used also for light tackle striper fishing.
Rod: 7′ Fast Action Lightweight Rod (St. Croix Legend Extreme) capable of casting lures from .75 oz. to 1.25oz.
Reel: Saragosa 4000
Line: 30lb. test braid
Leader: 12lb. test fluorocarbon leader
Lures: Hogy Epoxy Jig Lure, metals and some smaller plugs

Outfit #2:st croix avid

Works well in windier conditions with heavier lures for long range and accuracy.
Rod: 7.5′
Reel: Saragosa 4000
Line: 30lb. test braid
Leader: 12lb. to 15lb. test fluorocarbon leader.
Lures: Hogy Heavy Minnow Jig up to 2oz

Part 2

In part two of our seven part albie fishing series, Capt. Mike Hogan walks us through his most reliable and heavy duty in-line hooks, replacement hooks and how to rig them while on the water.

Terminal Tackle:

single hook epoxy jigUsing single, inline hooks as opposed to a treble hook.
Step One: Take the stock treble off the Hogy Epoxy Jig, or any metal jig, like taking a key off a chain
TIP: It does not matter which way the hook faces when re-rigging!
Step Two: Open the split ring and thread the eye of the hook on.

Part 3

In part three of our seven part series, Capt. Mike Hogan walks us through the top four lure categories (epoxy jigs, metal jigs, soft plastics + plugs) when targeting false albacores and their most effective uses and imitations.


heavy minnowHistorically speaking, these are the most common style lure to target bonitos and albies. Despite the Expoxy jig being Capt. Mike’s favorite, the metals have a very important role. They are much heavier relative to their size – the extra weight gives the angler much longer range when fishing from the shore or in windy conditions. They imitate very small baitfish that albies and bonitos are often keyed in on. Can be cast far with lighter gear and maintain the small profile. Used most commonly when distance is needed.

Epoxy Jigs:

epoxy jigWithout a doubt Capt. Mike’s favorite lure to use when targeting bonitos and albies. They’re translucent, imitative finish for smaller, thin baitfish. They can be fished at a slower, medium retrieve speed without sinking out of the strike zone, they’re very versatile in the techniques they can endure and they’re very light and can be fished with light tackle.

Soft Plastics:

pro tailThe Hogy Pro Tail Paddle are used best for blind casting. The commotion from the paddle tail when they land and when they’re retrieved can draw fish in. They do not cast as far and are more prone to damage when blues are in the mix. Great go-to bait when albies are being finicky and you have to blind cast.


The Hogy Charter Grade Popper in amber

They’re very noisy and larger than what you would associate with bonitos and albies. The larger size makes them more visible when the albies are scattered providing a greater field of view for fish. When there is so much bait in the water and the profile is smaller, the big noisy profile plugs are good at calling fish in that might be scattered outside of the school. They’re also very easy to cast!

Part 4

In part four of our seven part series, Capt. Mike Hogan walks us through how to use a navigational radar in the fog to look for birds working the surface in a successful attempt at finding schools of false albacore in the waters surrounding Cape Cod.

Funny Fish in the Fog:

This is not an ideal situation, but this is a scenario where you can use your radar to find fish. Manually, reduce your sea clutter and your rain clutter to zero, and increase your grain substantially. A lot of modern units will have a bird setting to locate birds and clusters of boats.

Part 5

In part five of our seven part series, Capt. Michael Hogan walks us through the best way to find your own albies while fishing without a guide or in an unfamiliar area with techniques on searching for false albacores, setting up drifts and improving your technique!



Leave the fishing spot and search for bigger feeds and more


Drift over where you’ve seen the fish come up the drift

Head Down Tide:

Follow the direction the fish are surfacing and moving.head down tide


Part 6

In part six of our seven part series, Capt. Mike Hogan takes us through one of the most effective methods when targeting false albacores; the walk and gun technique, which is a spin-off of the traditional run and gun technique, a method known to put fish down and ruin pop up feeds.

How To Walk and Gun:

walk and gunThere are a few pods of albies around. They’re coming up for short periods of time, then disappearing semi-frequently.

Idle around at slow speed and when you see albies on the surface, you can idle over to them. When walking and gunning, you can cover ground without changing RPM’s and spooking the fish. When they’re scattered and coming up for short periods of time, try this technique!

Part 7

In the final video of our seven part series, Capt. Michael Hogan takes us through the top three best retrieves to use (skippy retrieve, tip down retrieve and the slow + low retrieve) when fishing for false albacore as well as the best lures to use when matched with any of these situations.

Three Retrieves for Bonito + Albies

epoxy jigSkippy Retrieve: The most fun retrieve. When using the Hogy Epoxy Jig, the fast retrieve speed will simulate a fleeing baitfish. Cast out, collect any extra slack and keep your rod tip high while reeling fast. This retrieve works best when albies are keyed in on dense schools of baitfish. It can help your lure stand out and help draw in reaction strikes. On greasy calm days when you’re fishing for scattered fish, you can draw a lot of commotion to your smaller lure. This technique is best suited for the Hogy Epoxy Jig because the lure is relatively light compared to its size. A lead version of this lure will have a tough time staying on top.
Tip Down Retrieve: This can range in reel retrieve speeds from slow to fast. Cast out, collect any extra slack and keep the tip down while reeling. Impart twitches in line and pause while reeling to create a natural baitfish presentation. This technique works well for small soft plastics, plugs, metals and Epoxy jigs. There is no wrong way to fish this retrieve but if you haven’t cracked the code, try changing the speed.
Slow and Low: Keep the rod at a 45-degree angle and reel slow to medium slow. This will cover ground slowly. Let the lure sink sometimes. The Epoxy jigs have a built-in wobble. Works great with light leaders, finicky fish and blind casting!

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