As the summer season comes to a close and switches to the fall season we continue to see daily changes here at the Wharf with our fishing and our fishing efforts. The Flounders seem to finally be pushing offshore, water temperatures are starting to take a slight dip with the shorter days and cooler nights, and the bait fish have been schooling up and making there mass departure from the back bays and canals migrating away from shore and along the coastline in a typical fall fashion.
I waited a little longer to put out this report because I wanted to see just how things were going to shake out over the past few days. In the 10 days since my last report we continued to see some really good Flounder fishing, at times even as good as we have seen it all summer, however we have definitely hit our first real stumbling block with our drift fishing for these nice flatties. We had our first significant wind event early last week with northeast winds generating eight to nine foot waves on our fishing grounds and this coupled with the full moon tides that we saw this past weekend seemed to mark the beginning of the end for the good flounder fishing that we have been enjoying now for so long. Now it seems that there are fewer nice fish spread around the old grounds and the remaining fish seem to be much more sensitive to any adverse conditions that we may encounter on any given day fishing for them with less willing hungry fish around to bite in any of these difficult conditions.
There is still an awful lot of Flounder in our area right now this fishery is far from over just yet however we have been running further from home to catch them in any real numbers lately and the throwback ratio on the open bottom is higher now than we have seen with them all season long. As a result we will be adapting with the changes and I expect to start seeing a few less Flounder and more of a variety catch of fish with Sea Bass, Snapper sized Bluefish, possibly some Croakers and Trout and maybe even some Triggerfish and Porgies on some days with my full-day trips. Our drifting will likely turn into primarily anchoring over ship wrecks, rocks and artificial reefs within the next couple weeks as the windy days hamper the drift and what we can ultimately catch while we are actually drifting.
We do have a lot to look forward to in the next several weeks after all it is called fabulous fall fishing for a reason. The Tautog season will reopen soon, Sea Bass should be becoming more and more plentiful over the next several weeks until the split in October, and there will undoubtedly still be some nice Flounders lurking around the structures that we will be fishing. We will have a lot of options as to what we will be able to do on any given day and we shouldn't have to travel as far as we have been every day recently for the Fluke to see some decent fish catching action. The outlook is very promising in my opinion and unlike the past few years the water temperatures are more in the "normal" ranges that we would generally see as we roll into our fall season. Surface temperatures right now are right around the seventy degree mark give or take a degree or two depending on the sun. We have also been enjoying some of the cleanest water clarity that we have seen all summer long over the grounds we have been fishing. Just since the northeast blow we have had clarity at around forty to fifty feet below the surface of the water.
What to expect if you make the trip in the immediate future? I would anticipate drift fishing when the conditions are ideal and we will be dropping the anchor in any conditions that are not conducive for the drift. There are still plenty of fish spread out over the open bottoms however the number of Flounder will ultimately be on the decline. I'm not really sure just how good we will do on the Sea Bass once we start to target them specifically, limit catches of Bass will likely be like finding the Holy Grail unless it is an extended trip, there just hasn't been that many around all year unless you traveled to the much deeper waters than we generally fish with just the All-Day trips. I do expect to see some decent numbers with the Bass as well as many other species of fish in the mix and if it's anything like the past several years the number of keeper Bass will only become more abundant as the split season draws nearer. We should see a nice mix of fish however until we switch over just for the Tautog when the Sea Bass season closes in mid October. When the Sea Bass season reopens on November 1st I would anticipate mostly special trips of ten or twelve hours targeting just the Bass to give us the time needed to get you over the best fishing.
I will continue to sail daily with the Full-Day trips departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. and returning around 4:00 p.m. We will be targeting Sea Bass, Flounder, and whatever else may be willing to bite our hooks on any given day. We supply the bait and we will have a selection of baits for the variety of fish that we expect to see including cut bait, Squid and Clams. Your welcome to bring anything else that you think may work, the Gulp just about always seems to catch anything down there at times but we don't supply that!
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 Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV