April Showers were more like April winds over the Holiday weekend making it tough to do what we wanted to do on the fishing scene. With Northeast to North and then finally Northwest winds blowing with way too much force early on over the weekend, even inshore fishing was a bust on Friday and we were forced to scrub the deep drop Tile trip for Saturday with the offshore winds still blowing in excess of 25 knots.
We did get out both Saturday and Sunday fishing inshore for the Tog however production was way down for Saturday's trip with the residual winds, moon tides and currents, along with some very murky water in the mouth of the Bay. I was able to find a little cleaner water mid day on Saturday and we actually had a decent bite with the Tog however the majority of the fish had to be thrown back falling shy of the 16 inch limit. Saturdays trip came home with barely enough keeper fish to feed a sick cat!
Sunday morning was much different. With barely any wind at all when we broke the inlet, the Bay was nearly as flat as a pancake. I ventured out of the Bay out front and into the mouth of the Bay looking for some more of that magic clean water and we finally found some in a depth of about 70 feet of water away from the shoals. Our first anchor was tough due to the wind opposing the strong current but the fish were nibbling a little and before long they started to add up despite the strong current and tough conditions staying in touch with the structure on the bottom. When the tide slacked off the fish seemed to shut down also so we made a move and waited on the change of current. It was obvious that the fish wanted to eat on Sunday the way they were tormenting the crabs we were sending to the bottom. If we could have only caught all the bites we were getting I suspect it could have been an early day! We were getting an equal amount of bites on just about any bait offering to the fish.
After a couple more "little wiggles" we were right where we needed to be over this fairly small structure and the fish cooperated nicely for a change and everyone on board was either feeding or catching nice Tog. Much unlike the bite we encountered on Saturday, this was a nice run of fish with nearly all keepers coming over the rail. We did release several roe laden females to fight another day that were close on the line and I would say that our average fish on Sunday was in the 4 to 6lb. class. Our biggest fish over the weekend was just over 7lbs. We made it home well in time for Easter supper with everyone on board sporting a nice limit of Tog in the cooler! It was a nice day. Monday with Gail force winds in the forecast and only a small handful of willing participants we once again stayed tied to the dock. It was just as well because as promised by the weatherman by early afternoon the winds were indeed howling in excess of 30 knots.
Water temperatures have been fluctuating with the extreme air temperature changes we have been seeing as of late however they continue to be a little warmer than normal given the time of year. The Bay water temperature remained at around 52 degrees on the surface over the last week while surface temps out to 20 miles along the coast dipped back down to just above or just below the 50 degree mark. The Bay seems like it is full of life right now there are Herring and Menhaden marking just about everywhere you go. Striper action has been inconsistent at best up in the Bay and I have not heard any more reports of Drumfish being landed other than caught in the commercial webbing. There has been several large schools of Stripers migrating along the Coast however they have been outside of the three mile line making them safe from legal hook and line effort.
I will continue just about all of my effort anchoring over structures fishing for the Tog until the spring season closes the second week of May with the All-Day trips. While we are officially trying to sail daily I think the four day schedule of Friday through Monday is more realistic unless we can get a stretch of really good weather during the middle of the week and the way this week is shaping up I think our next best shot will be on Friday. Give us a call before you make the journey during the middle of the week and we can give you an idea as to what you may expect. We can catch these fish close to home so I can run with a minimum crowd. Departure time is a 7:00 a.m. and the bait provided is fresh Sea Clams and live Green Crabs. Feel free to bring along the white leg crabs, shrimp or hermits they all have had some success but we normally don't carry these for bait.
If you would like anymore 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