After nearly a full two month grind of sailing each and every day fishing for Flounders here at the Wharf, today is the first day we have laid at the docks with the All-Day trip in over fifty days. We had just a little too much northeast wind and not quite enough passengers to sail coupled with a worn down Captain also not willing to brave the winds and the waves for what we could expect with the day we had to work with. Our Flounder fishing however has been very good for the better part of the summer and since my last report this fishing has continued to be very good and at times even excellent as far as I'm concerned, it just wasn't to be today.
There is no doubt that these flatties are fattening up now for the journey offshore later in the year for their spawn. In the past seven days we have seen some of the most consistent fishing and some of the most fast paced action that we have seen all season and not always in the most ideal of conditions to be catching them either. There are times when we have found these fish bunched up and biting almost like school trout they were biting so fast and furious. It is very refreshing to land on or drift over a school of Flounder and see better than half the anglers on the boat hooked up with fish at the same time and the impending mayhem that follows when they all come to the surface at once with everyone hollering "fish on" or "net!" It's not always that way but when they come boy do they ever come and there is enough big fish in the mix that the excitement level has been high on several occasions.
We have literally landed hundreds and hundreds if not over a thousand of these Flounders just this past week. While the throwback ratio overall is much higher than I believe we have seen all summer the keeper fish and the quality fish continue to pop up and the mere action and end results have made for some really fun days on the water. Multiple limits have been common just about every day and our pool fish continues to be in the four to six pound range on each and every trip. I don't even know how many fish I have seen weigh in at over five and six pounds these past few weeks but I assure you it's been quite a few. I said last week that these fish have been on the move and they continue to move almost daily it seems. There are fish being caught in places where they haven't been all summer long and there are fish turning up again over certain well known pieces of bottom or parts of the artificial reef that had already been "fished out." Hopefully with no serious weather events this action will continue on for a couple more weeks allowing us to take advantage of them while they are still around.
Water temperatures have remained fairly steady for a few weeks. Surface temps on the grounds we have been fishing have read anywhere from 72 to 74 degrees depending on the sun for what seems like forever now. I would expect that this may be the peak and they may even start to go the other way if we continue to have more cooler nights. The clarity of the water has still been inconsistent; one day we may be able to see thirty or so feet down yet other days it is much less. I am still looking for that crystal clear water that we see at times however just when you think it cleans up it clouds up again. Bottom temperatures are also fluctuating in a lot of areas, I suspect that this is due to southwest winds that have more than prevailed for the duration of the summer.
Our outlook for fishing is very promising, just about everything that we catch in our area is available and biting right now. This is one of my favorite times of the year to fish with the prospects of so many fish on the move and never really knowing what you might expect to catch as the fish migrate. With the All-Day trips I will continue to take advantage of these Flounders as long as we continue to have the good success we have been enjoying with them. As the season progresses we will begin to see more Sea Bass in the mix as well as some Snapper Blues, Porgies, Triggerfish and possibly even some Croakers or Trout on some days. We will primarily be targeting just the Flounder and then just the Sea Bass as the Flounder begin to thin out. I would look to start anchoring over wrecks and reefs within the next two to three weeks especially if it becomes too windy to effectively drift.
We will continue sailing daily with the All-Day trips throughout September and October at which time we will likely drop back to a four day a week schedule sometime in November. Trips depart the docks at 7:00 a.m. and it is rare that we return before 4:00 p.m. Half-Day trips will be dropping back to a four day a week schedule after this weekend sailing just Friday through Mondays for the remainder of September. We will start a Striper boat as soon as the water cools down enough to be able to catch them. There is also a host of special trips on the schedule this weekend Capt. H.D. will be running a 12hr. Trip for the Sea Bass and Ling. there are also several more Tilefish trips in the weeks ahead.
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.
Until Next Time Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV