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Much like the false albacore (AKA albies, fat alberts, little tuny) the bonito are a very sought after fish and a thrill to see and catch with fly fishing gear.
These pelagic fish swim in numbers, they are built for speed and have very keen eyesight. They are well known for making a blitzing appearance much like bluefish or stripers, but they tend to be up and down much more frequently. It is not uncommon to see a pod of bonito smash bait on the surface right next to the boat. Then, just as quickly as they came "up" they go "down".
When the bonito make their appearance, success is dependant on certain level of teamwork between the angler and the captain. The key to "dialing into" bonito resides in the captains ability to read the tide and feeding patterns and position the boat in the area that the bonito will most likely "come up" next. The mark of a good bonito captain is his ability to position the boat with the angler on the bow and intercept the bonito as they move with amazing speed from one spot to the next. To the angler, it can seem as though the bonito just "luckily" keep appearing off the bow of the boat within reasonable casting range.
Bonito are relatively picky. They are certainly not known for "just
taking anything." Matching the hatch is key and fly selection is often
the difference between catching and not catching bonito.
Capt. Ernie French
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