We have had some pretty chilly weather and some fairly calm seas since my last report and as a result the water temperatures have been on the decline and the Tautog have started to turn on with some of the best fishing we have seen on these fish since the spring season.
We managed to get away from the docks for just about every scheduled trip since my last report and I can honestly say that we have been seeing some pretty decent Tog fishing when everything falls into place. Water temperatures have fallen below 60 degrees now in the Delaware Bay and out in the mouth of the Bay. Current surface readings have been around 58 degrees and in some cases a little cooler. These cooler water temperatures along with some favorable tides have made for a few really good Tog trips since my last report. While I would still for the most part just call this pick fishing they have added up for us very nicely on most of our trips and we have landed somewhere in the neighborhood of about 200 keeper sized Tog just this past week as well as a countless throwbacks! Many of the fish we have been seeing are measurable but we continue to see several quality fish in the four to six pound class and we have seen a couple more citation sized fish that weighed in at over seven pounds just this past week. It has been a much more consistent bite lately and the fish have been a lot more predictable than they were during the week around the full moon. At least for the time being they have been biting at some point during both phases of the tide for us every day.
As the water temperatures continue to dive with the shorter days and the cool nights fish have most definitely been on the move. I have heard reports of several Flounders being landed recently down around Ocean City Maryland near the inlet and in the back bay and the Bluefish are now starting to migrate along the beach chasing baitfish. There have been a few scattered reports of some Stripers being landed however any efforts with live bait or trolling around the rips between the two capes recently by any of the local heavy hitters that I know have come up empty handed. It should just be a matter of time though before we start to see some of these Stripers showing up along the rips in the mouth of the Bay. We will most likely be giving the Stripers a shot this coming weekend with an open boat that sails a 8:00 a.m. if we get some willing participants.
Sea Bass season is scheduled to reopen On November 1st and if the forecast that I'm seeing holds true it will be another one of those times that Mother Nature does a better job protecting her fish than any management plan ever does or ever will. Forecaster are showing a good bit of southerly wind for Fridays Bass opener however the weekend is looking pretty good. We do have Sea Bass trips scheduled to sail both Friday and Saturday but as it stands right now Saturday is looking like the much better day. If you are planning on Friday make sure that you give us a call Thursday evening so we can give you the latest weather updates. We will continue to run special trips for the Sea Bass for the remainder of the year check out our trip calendar from the home page for the dates. Most of the Sea Bass fishing from here on out will be in a minimum of 90 ft of water to as much as about 150 feet or a little deeper. Provided that we are allowed to fish for the Bass after the beginning of the New Year that will be the time to anticipate fishing the much deeper water in the 190 to 350 foot range.
I have been pretty happy with the Tog fishing that we have enjoyed recently but in my book there is still room for improvement. You have to remember the weekend that we didn't even have a fish until very late in the day with a large group of anglers. There really was only one way to go after that day and that was up. I think we are past that stage of the game now, it does seem like there is more Blackfish around now then when we started and they are also in several different locations which should give us more options when conditions turn tough. Generally speaking these fish become much more active as the water temperatures chill down and I think this is exactly what we are seeing now. For several years now it seems to me that our best Tog Fishing has been from November on and through the winter and hopefully this will be the case again this year. There are Tog biting both in the Bay and in the Ocean now and the breakwaters have also been producing some good numbers of these fish. As long as Mother Nature doesn't throw a monkey wrench at us the outlook is really good to continue to see action similar to what we have seen this past week and even better. We still have not seen much in the line of a variety catch other than the Oyster Crackers when we are up in the Bay and from time to time we will see a few Triggers or small Bass. Once the Sea Bass season reopens it is possible that we may see a few keeper Sea Bass in the mix on the regular full day trips depending on the location we fish, however the Tautog will remain our primary target. I plan to continue sailing seven days a week until Sunday November 17th at which time we drop back to our four day a week schedule sailing Thursday's through Sunday's until we break in December. Trips depart at 7:00 a.m. and we return around 4:00 p.m. All bait is furnished.
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to book a private charter for the Tog or Stripers or reserve space on one of the upcoming special trips please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Time Happy Fishing !
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV