I was a little disappointed for the last full week of the open Tautog season only getting away from the docks a few times but the fishing remained good right up until the end and as far as the fishing in general goes, the decent weather brought out the best week of inshore fishing so far this year. Flounder, Trout, Stripers and Drumfish as well as a few Bluefish and of course the Tog were frequently hitting the fish cleaning tables all week long!
It was a very good week for fishing in our area whether you were fishing from a big boat, a small boat, in the surf, or just sitting on a dock along the canal or standing on the pier. Good weather and the warming water temperatures seemed to turn fishing on anywhere you went. The Lewes Rehoboth canal was alive with Flounders for those drifting around in the small boats or even sitting on the town dock tossing a few minnows. There has already been several Flanders in the neighborhood of four to six pounds landed from our canal that I am personally aware of. Many of the guys drifting in the small boats were able to bag their limit of nice flatties and in some cases in a pretty short time. I have also seen some of the nicest Sea Trout brought in from around the inlet and the rocks and the state park pier that I have seen in a while proving that the water temperature has reached that magical 60 degrees that seems to make these Trout want to bite a jig. Along with the Flounder and the Trout being caught there has also been several reports of Stripers biting along the Atlantic coastline along with some Snapper sized Bluefish mixed in with them. There has even been several Croakers that have taken anglers hooks already this year. I don't believe I have ever heard of Croakers being landed in any numbers so early in the season in so many different locations, I'm going to have these take this as a good sign for what we may expect as the season progresses.
Back at the wharf we were just trying to get through what we knew was going to be the last week being able to fish for the Blackfish and knowing that the following week was going to be much different and likely slow trying to get away from the docks without the Tog to catch. The Tog cooperated for us right up until the very end, even though we didn't see some of the fast and furious action that I had seen just the week prior, we still did fairly well with the Tog each trip despite battling some hard running currents and some choppy seas and difficult anchoring conditions at times. Once again limits were common around the boat and we weighed in a few more citation sized fish over 7 pounds. The Tog are safe now with the season closed and I wish them a safe and happy spawning season and hope they provide as much pleasure for us in the fall as they have for us this spring season. Bring on the Sea Bass!!
So far this week around the docks instead of worrying about fresh clams, how many crabs are left in the barrel or "just how many fish are in that groups cooler anyway?" Its been all about the paint and epoxy and the grinders trying to get the finishing touch's done on the boats before the season really kicks in gear. Thanks a bunch NOAA your really helping us out with your closures and your regulations once again. I do hope to get away from the docks later in the week and it is likely that we will be fishing for the Flounder after some of the reports I've been getting and after actually catching a few of them over the weekend while we were fishing for the tog. I think we stand a good chance of catching a few nice Flounder before we make the switch once Sea Bass season opens on Sunday.
On Sunday morning we will be rip roaring and ready to get in on some fishing that we would normally have been seeing for a couple of weeks now. The Sea Bass season opens up and I can say with a fair amount of certainty that we will have some good success catching these fish. The Sea Bass are around and have been around for a while and they should be more than ready for some baited hooks. On opening day Sunday May 19th we will be running two trips for the Bass, Capt. H.D. will be running a special 10-hour trip and I will be running the regular Full-Day trip. Both trips are scheduled to depart the docks at 7:00 a.m. and if the weather cooperates I would suggest being early if you want to get in on the action. I will continue sailing daily at 7:00 a.m. fishing for the Bass for hopefully several more weeks before we switch over to primarily fishing for Flounder later in June. For the most part we will be anchor fishing over shipwrecks and artificial reefs or rocks while we target the Bass and we will be providing clams and squid for bait.
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 a special trip please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV