Strategy: How To – Run and Gun for False Albacore #394

Run and Gun for False Albacore

  • Notes: To many people, running and gunning is the name of the game but it is highly disruptive to tuna. Albie and bait fish get very spooked by loud hull noise, engines screaming and changing RPM’s with boats running through schools. Unfortunately, this happens way too often, even when there are plenty of fish. Resist the temptation to charge around if unnecessary. It will be tempting to cover lots of ground but will work to your disadvantage unless you can truly get on top of the fish.
  • When: There is a time and place for running and gunning but great care needs to be taken not to spook fish or disrupt other fisherman. Running and gunning is appropriate in situations where there are widely scattered fish that would otherwise not be accessible without motoring. You’ll want to count how long the fish are staying up feeding for. If they are up for only 3 or 4 seconds, you won’t have a chance unless you are already on scene. The magic number is 10 seconds. If they are up for 10 seconds consistently, it’s time to motor.

  • How: Once you have identified good fish to come up on, be very mindful on how you are doing so.
    • Long hang time: 10 seconds a good rule of thumb. You can make it pretty far in 10 seconds.
    • Play it cool: Charge to close the distance but back off the throttle 100 yards out from the fish. I expect anglers to start casting when fish are about 50-60 yards out. You certainly want consistent RPMs from here on out as you approach the school.
    • Upwind: Ideally you are approaching the school upwind and are able to get ahead of the fish. Upwind will allow you to make longer casts, which will allow you to stay further away from the school, spooking them less.
    • Go around: Take the time to power around to the outside and lead the school from the front. You will spook the fish if you troll or motor across the front or through the school.
    • Golden Rule: Etiquette is always important if you believe in the golden rule but even if you are a true narcissist, you are still better off keeping it classy as too much boat noise will kill the fishing.
    • Wait your turn: Ideally only one boat per feed, maybe two if it works out that a feed popped up in between. Only three boats when it’s a very large feed. Numerous boats flocking to a feed will put the fish down.
    • First come, first serve: The closest boat with clear intentions should get first cast.
    • Trolling: Leave plenty of room if guys are trolling on them, they are limited in their maneuverability and they go slow. A troller may have spotted fish first but takes him longer to get there. For that reason, I give a trolling boat a 60 yard handicap, meaning if we are both 60 yards from the school and the troller plainly got to that spot within 30 seconds of me speeding to that spot, it belongs to the troller.