Fishing Report July 4th, 2014
I may have been a little laxed in my updates recently but we certainly haven't been to relaxed on the fishing scene here at the Wharf. Thanks to Hurricane Arthur this is the first day that I have been on land in well over three weeks. In those three weeks I have seen some good days and some not so good days out on the water. Fortunately over just the past couple of weeks I have started to witness exactly what I had been anticipating since earlier this spring; some really- really decent Flounder fishing!
The month of June was not exactly the best month for me, I battled some less than favorable weather, some much colder than usual water temperatures, and some very unpredictable fish. Couple this with a blown motor and an unexpected boat switch that was like a step back in time making for some very long days on the water, and hopefully you will understand why my reports have not been too "updated". Through all of the obstacles I can proudly say that we have caught a bunch of nice fish and we have prevailed. For now things are a little less crazy for me and I am back to a more normal routine and planning on enjoying a day not on the water.
As most of you know we have been in the full drift mode fishing for Flounders for a solid month now. We started out much better than I could have even hoped for right out of the gate and we had nothing but high hopes for a great Flounder season. We have been able to pick at these flat fish pretty decent since the very first day we started out fishing for them. As spring turned into summer we saw a much more consistent bite with the Flounders and there were times that it showed us moments of greatness with good action and some true quality fish . Conditions, like with most Flounder fishing scenarios continued to be our biggest obstacle, however when everything fell into place we saw some pretty decent days. Unfortunately if you threw a little wind against the tide in the equation or a little more than a favorable wind or a poor drift, things would turn south real fast. Over the past week or so however we have been raising the bar on both the good days as well as the bad. The Flounder have really been on the move over the past couple weeks and now we are starting to be able to rack up some impressive numbers on a lot of nice fish even in some less than favorable conditions.
When we first started catching the Flounder this year it seemed as though our new regulations weren't making that much of a difference, the fish we were seeing were either well over the minimum size required or well under. Recently however as more and more Flounders have started to filter in our region we are finally taking advantage of that 16 inch fish. For years now we would helplessly watch as our neighboring state of New Jersey would box up fish that we would have to return to the Sea. For now the tables are turned and a Delaware boat can legally land a smaller sized fish than a New Jersey Boat fishing in the same waters. I can't even remember the last time that this situation was in play. The run of fish that we have been working on now for over a week or so has allowed us to box up a lot of fish that in years past would have had to have been thrown back. Ultimately we are seeing a lot more Flounder suppers around the rail for the anglers while the Jersey boats watch in frustration. The tables are turned now and believe me I know all too well how it feels to be the one throwing back a nice two pound Flounder. For now we will take full advantage of the 16 inch minimum size limit in Delaware and we will most likely be looking for some new and different Flounder recipes to try over the next couple of months. We are just getting started on this fish and I believe the best is yet to come!
Our water temperatures recently have been on a nice stable incline. Surface temperatures along the coast have been steady in the 73 degree rang or more and surface temps are even warmer up in the Delaware Bay. I have not spoken to any divers in a couple of weeks for an accurate bottom reading but I suspect the bottom readings are starting to creep up as well. Our fish no longer feel cold to the touch and when the Flounders are biting they will now chase after the baits where as a couple of short weeks ago very seldom would you see that happen. I don't see much of an impact from the passing of this storm in the grand scheme of things, Author will have been moving too fast as it passed by to have churned things up too bad. Generally a one or two day Nor'easter in the middle of the summer will actually help push some of the warmer surface water down closer to the bottom and push cleaner water in closer to the beach from offshore.
Up in the Delaware Bay things have changed a little over the past week or so. Seemingly endless Croakers that were covering the bottom have done what fish have a tendency to do, quit biting. Inshore charters and Half-Day trips have struggled this past week with finding any numbers of these scrappy bottom feeders. There are lots of working theories on how and why these fish have pulled a vanishing act and to where they may show up next, but I have a sneaky suspicion that once the cards are shuffled with the passing of this storm the Croaker fishing will be right back to normal. One blessing has come from the vanishing Croaker and that is now there are more and more reports of Flounders being caught up in the Bay. Perhaps it's just that the water has turned enough for these flatties to have emerged from the mud, or now you can actually keep a bait on the bottom longer, but several of the traditional spots have come alive in the Delaware Bay with Flounder just this past week.
We are in our full summer schedule now here at Fisherman's Wharf with both Full and Half-Day trips running daily and several special trips on the schedule as well. I will be running the All-Day trips sailing daily at 7:00 a.m. and seldom returning to the dock before 4:00. Flounder is on the menu and just about 100% of our fishing will be on the "old grounds" drifting the rocky coral ledges. Half-Day trips will also sail daily at 8:00 a.m. and then again at 12:30 p.m. there will be evening Half-Day trips on both Friday and Saturday nights departing the docks at 6:00 p.m. Half-Day trips will be primarily targeting the Croakers but they have also seen a little variety with Kingfish, Trout, and Flounder. Our schedule for the special long range trips can be accessed from the trip calendar from the home page at fishlewes.com
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to book a private Charter or reserve space on an upcoming special trip please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA. Don't forget to "like" us on facebook for more recent updates and to view all of the pictures from our recent trips.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV