There's an awful lot I can say about the fishing at the Wharf over the past week however not really much of it is worth writing home about as far as catching a lot of fish is concerned other than the long-range Tile trip. With summer like weather and some hazy hot and humid days out on the water it seems like our Sea Bass fishing got a little worse everyday instead of better. Flounders seem to have all but left our area now and the water temperatures were actually warming up with the weather we have seen. Sea Bass are just not on the move, and its still a little warm for the Tautog to be biting strong.
There's no doubt that the weather was in our favor as far as having some beautiful days on the water last week. We had the kind of days that we only dreamed about having during much of the summer months with very little wind and the slick flat calm seas that accompany. The ocean resembled more of a farm pond for the better part of the week with a mirror like surface. Unfortunately we were unable to take full advantage of weather like this putting it all together with a large catch of fish. I was able to get out for the Sea Bass for five days in a row and each day met with a little less success than the day prior until finally on Sunday when I threw in the towel and decided to try something different.
Early in the week I saw a ray of hope, with a decent crowd we opted for the Sea Bass and by the end of the trip most people had more than enough for supper and high hooks were in the mid to upper teens with some nice fish. Little did I know at that point that this would be the best trip that we had on the Bass all week. Each day became more and more difficult to put a catch of keepers together of any sort with these scrappy tasty bottom feeders. When we did get over decent action the majority of the fish would fall short of the required size limit. I can honestly say that I have very seldom if ever seen Sea Bass fishing this tough at this time of the year around here. Even when I was fortunate enough to fish over a little piece of private stock it seemed as though we would catch up what fish were there in a matter of a few drops of the lines. There was just no "backbone" on any of the larger structures that we normally do exceptionally well with at this time of the year.
We did find some really decent fish catching action with the Bass on several of our stops fishing over small structures or rocks and coral however other than the initial drop of the lines most of these fish would be too short and all they did was steal our bait and frustrate anglers constantly weeding through them for the ever so occasional keeper. By Saturday the ocean had been slick calm for three days in a row and virtually anything that floated was out on the water or had been out and all reports on the wrecks were very few if any keeper Sea Bass. We drifted the rocky bottoms of the old grounds and found them covered with small Bass, Croakers and Sea Trout giving us some constant rod bending action with a little variety of fish and a decent catch by days end for those that kept the bigger Croakers. We also had easily a couple dozen keeper sized Trout and just a few Bass and snapper Bluefish. Not what I was looking for but at least we had a pretty day on the water and caught a lot of fish.
By Sunday the thought of trying to catch Sea Bass was nauseating for me to say the least and with some good sticks on board and a sack full of live crabs, I opted for the Tautog a little closer to home. While this ultimately was no banner day by any stretch it turned out to be a good move. There apparently was no big movement of Bass overnight and we had a decent day with a real nice variety of fish including a bunch of fat Tautog. We saw constant action with the oyster crackers, had plenty of bites and we landed several very nice Trout, a few Blues, Porgies, Croakers and a nice puppy Black Drum as well as close to 30 keeper Tog up to seven pounds along with a bunch of shorts. Nothing special but given the temperature of the water I was pleased with what we caught and everyone seemed to have fun.
After we got back in on Sunday we put the ropes on the boat, tied everything fast and put all the bait away. The prospects of getting out early on in the week and now as it stands even later this week are not all that good. We had a hard southerly yesterday in excess of 25 miles an hour and now the winds have come around to the northeast and are forecasted to blow for the remainder of the week in excess of 15 to 20 knots with the forming of a coastal low in the mid Atlantic region . This will certainly be a game changer for the rest of the week. We had said that a little blow may help push some Sea Bass around onto the structures but it may not matter now given the fact that the season closes after this weekend and the way the Ocean is churned up right now it is doubtful we will even try until once it settles down. The Sea Bass season does reopen on November 1st and we will be running some extended hour trips for them once it reopens however I'm not certain if we will be able to try for them before the season splits on October 14th. Hopefully it will settle down for us before then.
We are still sailing with our full seven day a week schedule for now departing the dock at 7:00 a.m. and returning at around 4:00 p.m. We will be wreck fishing most likely for Tautog and whatever else may bite our hooks. It was refreshing seeing such a variety of fish the couple times that I targeted the Tog recently but it just shows how warm the water still is seeing some of these species of fish. We will supply the Crabs and we are still carrying Clams and Squid for bait. It is likely that our schedule will drop back to just four days a week early in November.
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