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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Bob, Terry and I arrived at Harkers last Sun to strong winds. The title says it all. We had to run many miles to find fish that would take a fly and battled the elements all week (particularly wind). Monday we landed 15 albies on the fly with two triples. Tues it blew a gale and snowed horizontally--we did not go out. Wed it was still blowing but we went out in the afternoon and caught four. Thurs was our best day with five albies in the Hook and 20 more offshore, with two triples again. Fri we saw albies splashing in the rear of the Hook but they did not seem to want a fly. It blew 40 kts, so we quit at 9:30. The ride up that snaky channel was sporty. Sat it was blowing 20 kts and bitter cold. We managed four fish late in the day on the East Side, as conditions calmed some.

This was our eleventh year and by far the worst weather ever. The albies are there in good numbers, but the weather prevented good fishing. The fish we caught were not the magnum NC variety but were from 7 to 10 pounds. We caught a better grade of fish in Montauk in Sept.

Even though the elements were against us and we missed some time fishing, we had a great time. Met a fisherman with a 23 JB named Smoot. Exchanged some interesting hunting and fishing tales.

Donnie Jones gave us a personal tour of Jones Bros boats during our shore day on Tues. He was a gracious host and really explained the vacuum foam process for forming the deck and transom. They are great fly fishing boats.

We will try to return to Harkers next year but are not renting a house in advance. We talked to the realtor and he is certain he can find us a house and slip on short notice. We will check the ten day forecast before committing to a rental. Took very few pics. Was too busy battling the elements.

 

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Bill,

Thanks for the report... sorry I missed your calls. While everyone at Harkers had to contend with the wind in November, I was glad to be sitting near a heat source last week. Those were some "February cold" temps!

We may try waiting on the rental next year as well. Hope you decide to make the trip in 2009.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi John-

The fly was removed from that fish before the pic. Most of the fish were caught on pink and chartreuse Clousers. One was on a pearl necklace.

I dredged deep over a wreck with a very full seven inch pink and white Clouser to try for the AJ's that were chasing our hooked albies but caught more albies. At times albies will take a large fly.

Mike-

It was a very tough and challenging week. Fishing should not be that hard. We will shake the dice with a better weather report next year.
 

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Bill,
It was a pleasure to finally meet you. Glad you got 'em.
Conditions were tough before you got there too; Joe and I only had 1 hook up in 3 1/2 days of fishing.
Dave
 

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Hey Bill


Thanks for the report and pics. Sounds windy:eek: But at least you managed to get a few days of catching in:thumbup:

Brandon
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey Dave-

It was nice meeting a fellow pike fisherman. After the water temps go below 70 degrees I think the albies are there. Weather is everything when albie fishing. Hopefully this year will be the worst Nov for strong winds almost every day and not typical. It is hard to think that this will happen again in coming years. We never encountered wind sustained every day like this year. Most guides I talked to said the same thing. They never saw a Nov so ugly.
 

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Large pink & white clouser for the AJ's ... would have been my choice too.

Donkeys big enough to chase hooked albies, Whoa !!

I'm sure you weren't using that Tibor Everglades for that.

Yep, I have caught albies on large synthetic "Eat Me" flies before.
 

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Thanks for the report Bill. Definitely sounds like it's been rough year down there from the reports I've seen. I'm glad we got one good day in down there in October.

Were you getting those fish on sinking lines or intermediates?

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi David-

I carried four rigged rods--floating, intermediate, 250 sink and a Custom Tip Express deep sink. All lines caught fish. The 250 was used when the fish are near the top but there is a strong wind. The deep sink is used for dredging over wrecks or whenever we need to go deep.

We caught a total of 48 fish and the greatest numbers were on intermediate lines. In the eleven years we have fished Harkers, this is the fewest fish we have caught. I thought last year was bad with 59 fish. In years past we had days where we landed 90 fish on the fly in one day. Hope to see those kinds of days again. I do not think there is a shortage of fish. I just think the weather has a great influence on what we can do relatively close to shore. Our best two days we were out ten or more miles from shore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Very observant Harry. They say that albies have very keen vision so I was testing out a totally invisible fly line.:D:D

Actually the fly tore off on the prop earlier and I wound the line up on the reel. That albie was caught on a fly rod but not the one in the pic.

None of us took anything but fly rods to NC this trip. Catching albies on a spinning rod does not interest us. They are a perfect fly rod fish.

The only time I may have wished I had a conventional rod was over a wreck when the AJ's were chasing our hooked albies. I tried and tried to get them to take a big pink and white Clouser and they totally ignored it. I talked to both Brian Horsley and Down East George about the AJ's and they said the fish are very difficult to hook on a fly when they are chasing albies but that they may take a jig. They also said the AJ's are really smart and have been beaten up all summer. Next year I will take one jigging rod capable of handling them.

Are you catching fish at the bridge yet?
 
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