Albies 2021: A Season in Review

Let's take a moment to reflect on the 2021 albie season, and look forward to what's in store for 2022. For the third year in a row, the false albacore came early to Cape Cod. Rumors of sightings began swirling by August 15th, and by August 22nd, Albie Season ’21 was in full swing. They arrived from the south, moving from the edge of the continental shelf to the edge of our beaches, where these perfectly-formed pelagic predators sacrificed the security of the depths for the bounty of vulnerable young-of-the-year baitfish. Peanut bunker were first on the albie’s hitlist. But peanuts grow quickly, and what were quarter-sized morsels in late August became too large for the albie’s taste by mid-September. False albacore favor smaller baitfish. They opt for bite-sized baits that can be digested, and converted into energy, faster, providing fuel for them to keep on growing and swimming, sometimes at speeds approaching 40 miles-per-hour. Anchovies became the next bait of choice, and one that can be much tougher for fishermen to match. By the ides of September, frustrated anglers were complaining about finicky fast-moving albies refusing all but their most perfectly placed casts. By October, the anchovies had moved on, leaving the silversides in the albacores’ crosshairs. A month and a half of feasting had thickened the albies, while the waning season had thinned out the anglers. For the ones who were steadfast in their pursuit of false albacore, the middle weeks of the 10th month were the best of the entire season. The two months that make up albie season fly by, but if we had them around all year, we probably wouldn’t love them as much.