The false albacore is the muscle car of saltwater game fish. It can do zero-to-60 before you can say "Fish on!" And until the recent boom in saltwater fly-rodding, it was thought to be uncatchable on a fly: too damn fast. Then pioneer East End guides, notably Paul Dixon, began to score when the albacore showed up off Long Island each fall. But good as our local albacore are, they're pipsqueaks compared with the twenty-pound fish caught at Harker's Island on North Carolina's Outer Banks. November is when Dixon and most of the East Coast's fly-rod-action junkies guide clients in the waters off Cape Lookout. It's pretty much an old-timey, franchise-free stretch of the American coastline with great fresh seafood and magnificent vistas. But think greasy food -- the Captain's Choice has great fried clams -- and clean, cheap motels, at best. We like the Harker's Island Fishing Center, a motel with 23 comfortable rooms, many of which offer a view of the Sound.
Details Paul Dixon, 516-324-7979; Harker's Island Fishing Center, 252-728-3907 (rooms start at $45).