There is a lot I can say about our fishing here at the Wharf over the past week however much of what I have to say may not quite be suitable for print. Winds, strong running currents with the back side of the moon, and a very temperamental Tautog bite is pretty much all I have to report for my regular Full-Day trips. Fortunately the Sea Bass cooperated very nicely for the 10-hour trips allowing the fish cleaning station to get a good workout. It certainly wasn't from the Tautog recently.
We had been on a pretty good roll after the struggle from the full moon earlier in October. The Tog were cooperating very nicely and we were starting to see some true quality Blackfish coming over the rail as well. That fishing took a drastic turn for the worse late last week starting with a strong southerly wind event just before the weekend. We missed Friday with near gale force winds and were back at it hard on Saturday however the fish just didn't seem to care. It was certainly a good weekend to be a Tautog and this week so far has been unfortunately much of the same. Tog have been pretty much safe from all angling efforts in our area lately. We barely avoided the skunk flag flying high on Saturdays trip and it hasn't been much better in the days to follow. We have barely landed enough fish to feed a sick cat fishing over the wrecks and artificial reefs in the Bay and the mouth of the Bay and down the beachfront and we have just barely avoided that dreaded skunk flag on more than just the one occasion since last Friday.
Over the years I have accumulated quite the "Fisherman's Excuse Handbook" for times like this, however recently I have had to dig pretty deep into that book to come up with a plausible explanation for the way these Tog have been treating us of late. It has been very frustrating to say the least. Even the breakwaters and the lighthouses which normally would continue to produce Blackfish in less than favorable conditions have been less than consistent for the guys that exclusively fish the rocks for the Tog these past few days. Once the wind and the strong tides give us a break hopefully we will be back to a normal bite with these fish, I have seen enough in the past few weeks to know that when everything clicks just right we can rack up some good numbers. Unfortunately this has been hard to prove for me lately.
Capt. H.D. kicked off the Sea Bass opening on Saturday with a pretty impressive catch of fish. The season opened last Friday on the first of the month however Mother Nature had a different plan keeping everyone tied fast to the docks with the 30 plus knots of wind. The weather broke late Friday evening and off they went chasing the Sea Bass Saturday morning while I was left chasing Pepe' Le Pew much closer to home. While fisherman aboard the Bass trip were busy winding in Sea Bass from the deeper water and filling up their coolers, we were experiencing fishing that resembled watching paint dry or grass grow trying to entice a Tog to bite a piece of crab in the hard running muddy current. This same scenario is playing out again today 11/06 in what was forecasted to be the nicest day of the week; there we sat once again waiting for the Tog to begin to bite while Capt. H and his group of eager anglers were offshore beaming up the Bass two and three at a time and once again catching limits and filling up the coolers with the tasty Sea Bass.
Water temperatures have actually not dropped too much recently, surface temperatures out front in the Ocean are still teetering around the 60 degree mark just above or just below. Up in the Delaware Bay the water on the surface has remained steady between 56 and 58 degrees while the bottom temperature is right around 50. Rumor has it the coastal Striper migration has begun several miles north of us along the Ocean front and in the Bay the Stripers that have spent the summer in the creeks and other tributaries leading to the Delaware Bay seem to now be dumping out into the deeper waters along the shores and the shoals of the Bay. There has been some good action with the Linesiders this past week mostly chunking fresh bunker in the upper reaches the Bay. There have been a few true slobs landed, however so far many of the fish that have been chunked up have been smaller sized fish. It shouldn't be long before we begin to see these fish along the rips in the mouth of the Delaware Bay the first ones from this area have already hit the weigh in station caught on live bait and this fishery should only improve as the water cools down. Bait fish are on the move now and the Stripers will be right on their tail in the upcoming weeks.
We will continue to have a host of trips sailing out of the Wharf targeting the Tog, the Stripers, and the Sea Bass. Tog trips will sail daily with our regular All-Day trips at 7:00 a.m. until November 17th when we drop back to just Thursday through Sundays. We will also be running Striper trips that are scheduled to depart the docks at 8:00 a.m. also sailing on Thursday through Sundays from here on until the end of the season. Sea Bass trips are subject to change due to weather and the days are posted on the trip calendar from the home page at fishlewes.com I strongly suggest that you always call in advance at this time of the year so we can give you a good idea of what to expect with the weather. 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