The two U.S. fly rod records on Albacore denote the prominence of this species off San Diego, California, and at Hudson Canyon, 70 miles out from New Jersey. Weighing a respectable 47 pounds, the Canyon fish was taken by Robert Lubarsky in September of 1992.
In theory, the following scenario may work if it hasn’t already: Albacore may be taken by fly fishermen if a Canyon boat trolls its starboard rigs only, 2 artificials on the rigger and 2 flat lines. The left outrigger can be swung up and out of the way.
When a school is contacted, the skipper swings the boat to starboard and slips the engines out of gear– at which time the fly can be rocketed by a shooting head to the schooling fish. With no outrigger or rods in the way, a caster has 1/2 of the cockpit clear. I have seen Albacore pass within 20 feet of the stern on several occasions, so this theory may work. Strip the fly back fast, as you would for barracuda.
Another way to hit Albacore on a fly would be the standard West Coast live-bait broad-casting method. When the tuna are frenzied, as they sometimes get when hitting stunned live anchovies, the fly caster can drop his fly in the confusion.
With only two IGFA fly rod records on the books, U.S. casters are running neck and neck with anglers who have comparable fish taken off South Africa. No matter where caught, the Albacore is a speedster and bulldog– a tough fly rod opponent.