Capt. Ray Stakalac from Castafly charters put his client on a HUGE albie the other day.... They estimataed the fish to be about 18+ lbs. There have been some hefty fish caught this year! We have seen fish for the first time over the 30" mark - It's just a matter of playing the numbers until you hook into the one!
Or just go to the Shrimp Boats in Florida and throw the kitchen sink at'm - They'll eat it if you throw it! The Albies down in warmer waters do not offer the same fly fishing challenge as their counterparts in the North East. They hang close to food sources, like commercial boats that are discharging by-catch and are curious to anything that hits the water. The fish in the North East have green backs (vs blue back down south) and are smaller by comparison. Hanging in shallower depths, also makes them more exciting as they take calculated runs in search of deep water. The tropical Albies are rarely found in water depths less than 60-80'. So their fight is more of a classic tuna bout with long deep runs and sounding tactics when you get them close. The unique challenge to the bigger fish down south, is the urgency to land them quickly. They are constantly pursued by opportunistic sharks and barracuda's waiting to have a struggling Albie swim by. Both are extremely fun to catch and I can't think of a better pound for pound fight on a fly rod.