Here we are well into the third week of July and I can finally report that we are starting to experience some summer like weather. Not only is the air and the water temperature starting to warm up but the fishing scene has been turning on with deep water Flounder in the Ocean, Croakers and Kingfish in the Delaware Bay, Tuna along the inshore lumps and the canyons and Tilefish for those that like to drop to the bottom in the deep blue.
Since my last report we have seen just about every imaginable weather scenario on the water with the exception of snow. We have had torrential cold rains, cold rough southerly winds and swells, fog so thick you could barely see the water and finally now for the last few days the hazy slick flat calm water that we were beginning to think we may never see again. Throughout the uncomfortable weather we have still managed to see some of what I would call really decent Flounder fishing with my Full-Day trips and the Half- Day trips have been enjoying good action with the Croakers. Capt. H.D. even had a nice weather window over the weekend for a change allowing a very successful Long-Range deep drop trip for the Tilefish. Hopefully the weather we have seen over the last several days will continue on for the rest of the summer we have certainly paid a price for some good weather so far this season.
For the last several weeks our Fluke fishing has been painfully slow at times but it has also been very consistent, all tolled since the middle of June when we started drifting primarily for the flatties we have landed just over 800 keeper flat fish which I don't think is too shabby considering the weather and some of the conditions that we had to endure. Our fishing has been primarily fishing the hard coral bottoms and ledges of the "old grounds" and jigging continues to be the best method of catching these fish. Bucktails and a teaser when you can get away with it or just a jigging style rig when we have had to press up with the lead to get to the bottom. We have seen numerous fish in the three to five pound class, multiple limit catches on some days, a few citation sized fish over seven pounds and some very good short action from time to time. This fishing hasn't been all peaches and cream however on just about any given trip you will still see a few shutouts at the rail. For the most part however everyone usually at least gets in on the throwback action and manages a fresh Flounder supper or more when the conditions are right. We are still struggling with the Sea Bass there seems to be very few on the open bottom right now so it is almost exclusively Flounder that's at the top of the menu.
Water temperatures have been all over the board, we have witnessed fluctuations as much as ten or more degrees on occasion. The coolest water seems to be closer to the beach now and once we get offshore it seems to be a little more stable. The grounds where we have been fishing took about a six degree drop after the hard southerlies earlier last week but are now reading the warmest we have seen all year with just a few slicky hot days warming the surface of the water. There was a couple times last week while riding through the cooler water you actually needed long sleeves to feel comfortable but that hasn't been the case these last few days. The only relief we got from the heat was when we were running back on the drift or traveling to create a breeze.
Capt. H was able to take advantage of the nice ocean over the weekend and finally had the conditions to get offshore to fish the depths for the Tiles. Saturdays trip will go down in the record books as one of the better ones. Coolers full of both Golden and Blueline (grey) Tilefish pleased everyone on board and there was even a bonus catch of a few Snowy Groupers. Most of the coolers that came off of the boat on this fantastic trip had to be carried by two people. Capt. H was planning on another trip to the deep this weekend however with the forecast as it stands Saturday will be out of the question. As far as the offshore scene goes you will never see any finer Tuna fishing than what the offshore anglers are enjoying at this time. Bluefin, Yellowfin and even good numbers of Bigeye Tuna have been pleasing the offshore guys for a solid few weeks. Every time you think that this fishing can't get much better it does. The inshore lumps as well as the canyons are all producing big numbers of these fish trolling, chunking and even jigging to catch them. There is never going to be a more promising time to plan a Tuna trip than right now.
Back up in the Delaware Bay Capt. Mike reports steady action most of the time with the mighty Croakers on his Half-Day excursions. Pan sized Croakers, Kingfish, Spike Trout and various assortments of other fish have been pleasing anglers on a regular basis providing good fish catching action for the Jr. anglers. The Croakers they have been seeing on the average have been about a foot long and at times as big as about fourteen inches. They have also seen some good numbers of big Spot on some trips. The overall action up in the Bay seems to be turning on with the summer heat, there are also more and more reports of nice Flounder being landed on both sides of the Bay and the Croakers and Kingfish and the small Trout are seemingly everywhere.
The outlook for fishing in the upcoming weeks is extremely promising no matter what your target of choice may be. All fronts inshore, offshore as well as from the surf and the jetties report good fish catching action. It should come as no surprise though this is after all what we have come to expect in our region. As long as Mother Nature allows we should continue to see good fishing for several more weeks with all species of fish that we target. We have a host of trips departing the Wharf for whatever your pleasure might be. The All-Day trips sail daily departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. I rarely return before 4:00. These trips will be targeting primarily the Flounder. Half-Day trips depart at 8:00 a.m. and then again at 1:00 p.m. We run evening trips on both Friday and Saturday nights departing the dock at 6:00 p.m. The Lewestown Lady is available for the offshore trips for private charter as well as inshore fishing for full or half day trips. Capt. H also has several more long-range trips on the schedule advanced reservations are required for these trips.
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. Don't forget to like us on facebook for further updates as well as more pictures from our recent fishing trips and check out groupon for some special deals on fishing trips here at Fisherman's Wharf.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV