As we roll into what's already the middle of September we haven't hardly missed a beat of fishing here at the Wharf, the daily grind continues. Everything that you would expect to catch or hope to catch around here given the time of year has been biting and pleasing anglers all the way from the surf to the edges of the canyons over the past several weeks.
In the Delaware Bay and from the shorelines along the coast anglers have been seeing quite the variety of fish including Croakers, Spot, Trout small Bluefish, Kingfish and even a few Puppy Red Drum. Offshore anglers have been catching Marlin, Tuna, Mahi, and Wahoo on the troll and chunk and the deep drop specialists continue to have huge success with the Tilefish from the deep. A little closer to home in my Full-Day version of the deep, the Flounder bite continues hot and heavy for us fishing the rocky ledges and natural coral bottoms of the "old grounds" actually seeing a few of our best drifts for the entire season and a week with our highest total number of keepers since we started fishing for them back in June! In the days since my last report we have tallied just over 350 keeper flounders impressing even me with some fast action that I thought perhaps was starting to dwindle just a couple of weeks ago. I have no way of telling for certain just how long this decent Fluke fishing will continue but I plan on taking full advantage of them while they are still around. Provided that we can get by without a major storm we may be able to continue seeing decent numbers of Flounders throughout the month or even longer.
For the most part the weather has been good and the water temperatures have remained fairly stable. We continue to be plagued with a little too much wind for my liking but it hasn't really mattered, the fish have continued to add up despite some tough conditions at times. The main ingredient for success seems to be around right now and that is the fish. The Flounders and all the baitfish seem to be staging on the grounds we have been fishing and they haven't had any real reason to move on. As more and more fish migrate away from the inshore spots and the back bays they continue to stop on these ledges where we have been working to fatten up for their final push off to the deep to spawn this winter. A lot of the fish we have been catching have bellies so full they look as if they swallowed a golf ball. They have certainly been feeding. Water temperatures on the surface continue to hover in the low to mid seventies depending on the sun and the bottom temperature does not appear to be abnormal right now we seem to be in kind of a status quo for the time being and the Flounder pounders are liking it. I had the pleasure of fishing for them with a light rail this past week and I can see why some folks are making return trips with me as often as they have been doing. It's pretty fun fishing for these Flounders, we have been seeing lots of action and the number of quality keepers at the end of the day have been adding up nice.
We are now looking at the middle of September and the number of days that we will be able to see the type of Flounder fishing we have recently encountered are certainly numbered. As time progresses these fish will be making their push offshore and the weather patterns will no longer allow the best drifting conditions for us to be able to fish for them the way we have been for so long now anyway. I look to see the drifting giving way to us anchoring over the artificial reefs and the natural bottoms within the next few weeks and concentrating on more of a mixed bag catch with the Sea Bass ultimately becoming our primary target until the closure in the middle of October. The Flounders will be around the structure until the very end of the season just not in the big numbers that we have enjoyed lately. After the Sea Bass season splits we will still be anchoring over structure but the Tautog will become our primary target. This is several weeks away. The Sea Bass season splits in the middle of October and it is highly likely that trips sailing for them once the season reopens in November will be ten or twelve hour trips so we can put you over the best fishing.
The outlook is very good to continue to see good fishing in our region. With the amount of fish up in the Delaware Bay and along the coast, getting bites in the inshore waters should not be a problem over the next few weeks whether your are targeting the Croakers and Trout in the Bay or the Flounders a little further offshore. As the fish bunch up and make their mass exodus a baited hook and some decent fishing conditions are really all that is required to get a fresh fish for supper. This time of year is like Mother Natures refrigerator where you just open up the door and look for what you need. Its there if you can grab it.
I will continue to run All-Day trips daily fishing for the Flounders as long as they last and after that we will be targeting primarily the Sea Bass anchoring over structure. Trips depart the docks at 7:00 a.m. and we generally get back some time after 4:00 p.m. Our Half-Day trips have now dropped back to 4 days a week sailing just Thursday's through Sunday at 8:00 a.m. and then again at 1:00 p.m. Croakers will be the primary target. We also will have an abundance of Special trips sailing in the weeks ahead including several long range overnight trips offshore for Tilefish as well as some 12 hr. trips fishing for the Sea Bass.
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 one of the upcoming special trips please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV