Despite too many day's to count in a row of the persistent southerly winds that have plagued our region we have continued to have good success with our fish catching action here at the Wharf. The Flounders continue to add up nicely on the Full-Day trips and on the Half-Day trips they have seen some of the best fishing for the Croakers so far this year during some of their excursions in just the last seven days.
I have complained about the weather and the winds constantly blowing in far too many of my reports so far this year and I can only hope that Mother Nature will at some point give us a break from the southerlies and the accompanying swells we have had to endure. Fortunately the fishing has been good enough that we haven't had to worry about the weather so much we just buckle up getting out of the mouth of the Bay when it's been at its worse and hope the Flounder continue to please when we arrive at the grounds where we have been seeing our best fish catching action. We have had some pretty tough rides coming and going on several days but for the most part when we arrive on the grounds the boat has been drifting nicely and the swells have been no where near as bad as what we encounter in the mouth of the Bay during our travels.
Flounder fishing has been pretty typical in the manner you would expect. We have had some fabulous bites and we have had some painfully slow periods. On any given day I would be able to ask two different anglers how their day went and the replies can vary from "best trip ever" to "it was a horrible day." For the guy or gal that gets a limit or a personal best fish, it's usually a positive reply, for the ones unlucky enough to have not caught any keepers or to have lost their favorite rig... well not so much. All in all I would have to say though with certainty that our Flounder fishing has been overall pretty good especially when you throw in some of the drifting conditions we have had. Even at times where we have had to use 12 ounces of lead or more to stay on the bottom we still continued to pick away at the fish on several of our drifts. Over the last three days we battled some of the worst flounder conditions you could possibly imagine with the wind against the current for the better part of the day and yet we still ended up with some decent action and a bunch of nice fish around the boat each day. Just about every trip we see pool fish in the four to six pound class and there have been multiple limit catches on occasion. Jigging continues to be the best method for catching the most fish however just dragging pretty baits on some sort of fluke killer or squid rig has also proven to put a lot of keepers in the box. We have been adjusting the rigs according to the conditions.
Back up in the Delaware Bay anglers fishing on the Half-Day trips or some of the private charters are enjoying some good mixed bag panfish action and they have not had to put up with the swells that we have seen on the Ocean. Croakers are still seemingly everywhere and when they turn on it has not been uncommon for Jr. anglers to land 15 or 20 fish during a Half-Day trip. Capt. Mike also reports still catching quite a few Kingfish, plenty of small Trout and even a few Flounder and Triggerfish on a couple of his trips. Croakers however are usually the primary target and what he tries the hardest to find for the fisherman for the steady action. The Croakers for the most part have still been on the small side with the bigger ones measuring at about a foot long or a little nicer. This action with the Croakers should only continue to get better and the size a bit bigger as the summer progresses.
Water temperatures had been pretty stable the last couple weeks pretty much staying right around that 70 degree mark out in the Ocean on the old grounds and have been up around 75 degrees or more on the surface in the Delaware Bay. With the swells returning the last few days the temperatures out front have again started to fluctuate with the cooler bottom water being pushed to the surface. Two days ago I saw surface temps off of Rehoboth Beach up around 76 degrees during my ride home but the following morning the surface temp was down to 68. Boats out of Jersey reported similar readings along their beach and some divers reported bottom temperatures as low as 43 degrees off of Ocean City Maryland just a couple days ago. We still have a ways to go before the whole column warms up I guess.
Offshore fishing is also heating up now. Tuna have now turned on strong along the edges of the Canyons as well as the inshore lumps. Both Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna have been biting good recently on the troll and on the chunk so if you were thinking about a charter for these brutes now is the time to get serious while the fish are here and are close. Capt. H.D. ran a 12 hour trip for Sea Bass last weekend and with a light crowd had a real nice trip with coolers full of Sea Bass and Red Hake. This weekend he will be doing an 18 hour trip departing Friday night and fishing all day Saturday. I spoke with H.D. yesterday and he said the weather looked good and that he was hoping for a mixed catch with Sea Bass and Tilefish on this trip. The next 12 hour Sea Bass trip will be the following Saturday 7/20. Reservations are required in advance for the 18 hour long range trips.
My Full-Day trips depart the docks at 7:00 a.m. and for the next several weeks I will be primarily targeting the Flounder fishing structure bottoms of the "old grounds" we have only been seeing a few Sea Bass. We provide the Squid and the fresh cut meat and if you have any secret weapons be sure to bring them along with you. We have been getting away with anywhere from a 3 oz. bucktail when the conditions warrant to as much as 12 ounces of lead when the wind blows hard against the tide. Anything you could possibly need to catch these fish we have right on board.
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 check us out and like us on facebook for more updates and pictures from recent trips and check out Groupon for special deals sailing out of the Wharf this summer while they last.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV