We managed to get out four times this past week fishing for the Tautog and our results were anywhere from as good as it gets with limits for everyone on-board to just a mangy pick with some hard running currents that would accompany the full moon tides just in time for the weekend.
The Tog fishing has been very good to us so far this year, prior to this past weekend just about every trip that we had made to date had met with limit or near limit catches for the entire boat with some very nice fish. Our first trip out last week was on Wednesday and this trip actually turned out to be one of the best we have seen all year. The fish bit for us right out of the gate and we made a quick easy day with a limit of nice fat tog returning to the dock way ahead of schedule. This would end up being the easiest day we had for the rest of the week.
As the weekend approached so did the full moon. The weather really couldn't have been any nicer although we did stay tied to the docks on Thursday with near gale force winds out of the Northwest which blew for the better part of the day. Weekend weather was forecasted to be absolutely gorgeous and while I was preparing for a rare three days off and road trip up to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy with my son in preparation for his further education, Capt. H.D. was preparing for the weekend ahead and carrying on the All-Day torch with the catching of the Tautog.
One of the first messages I got from Capt. H on Friday pretty much said "boy you sure know when to get out of town" not only was the water real dirty from all the wind on Thursday but now the ranges of tides were at their peak and the currents were running extremely hard as these this tides cycled through with the moon. Needless to say Fridays trip lacked the luster of some of the fishing we have been seeing recently and I think was ultimately about the worst Tog landing for our regular full day trips since we started this year. Perhaps I really did know when to leave town!
Saturday was redemption day. The good weather brought about the nicest group of anglers the Wharf had seen so far this year and once again the weather couldn't have been much nicer. While the currents were still running about as strong as you will ever see in our area, the fishing, while slow was much better than the prior day. Not super fishing but those that fought the tidal conditions and persisted at the rail were rewarded with a good catch of Tog. There were several limits catches around the boat with decent sized fish and when the tide became too brutal Capt. H got away from the mouth of the Bay and the swift moving currents and finished the day offshore a ways with a few more Tog and several Red Hake to throw in the mix.
Sunday was another brutal day with the strong running current. At times anglers were pressing up with nearly a pound of lead to try and stay in touch with the bottom. The fish did bite but much like the last couple days they seemed to bite the best near the changes of the tide with just a grubby pick during the strengths of the currents. By the end of the day however the fish did add up pretty good with several limits again around the rail and some happy faces when they returned to the docks. I got back from my trip just in time to clean a bunch of fish as they got off the boat.
We have seen this countless times fishing for the Tog around the full moon, rarely will it not effect the catch with these picky bottom dwellers. By the sounds of things Tog fishing was pretty tough all over the entire weekend with some guys in private boats actually returning to the docks empty handed. As the ranges of tides subside and the currents slack off again we will be right back to normal with these fish with a more predictable feeding pattern. Water temperatures are perfect right now and the outlook is very good to have continued success with these fish right up until the closure on the 11th of May. Time is running out if you want to get in on the Tog action this spring, we have only this coming weekend and then next week with the last day on Saturday 5/11 when the closure takes effect. New Jersey closes their spring Tog season after today.
We also made our first Drum trip of the year this past Saturday night. Capt. Mike reported hearing the Drum mostly all night, catching countless Sharks and was also very pleased to report that his son had landed the first Drumfish for the 2013 season! The Drum have been turning on a little over the past week or so with several fish now being reported from the traditional areas as well as from the surf. This fishery will only improve over the next few weeks. Drum trips sail every Friday and Saturday evening now at 6:00 p.m. All-Day trips are now running daily departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. we are fishing over the wrecks and reefs primarily for the Tog. We also have plenty of open dates available for private charter if you are interested.
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to reserve space on an upcoming special trip or book a private charter please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA. Also don't forget to check us out on facebook for further updates as well as more pictures. The facebook link is on the home page at fishlewes.com
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV