Our nice spring weather continues to elude us but we did manage to get in another two out of our four scheduled fishing trips this past weekend fishing on Saturday and Sunday and tied up on both Friday and Monday again due to questionable weather and too few sponsors to be able to make a go of it.
After about a week of water temperatures pretty much staying the same or in some cases actually cooling, in just the past few days we have finally seen a significant rise with the surface temperatures of both the Delaware Bay and the coastal waters of the Atlantic. With our recent warmer days, Bay temperatures have in some cases climbed well above 50 degrees and surface temps out front have been as warm as 48 and 49 degrees. These readings are a full four to five degrees or more over some of what we saw ten days ago and a good couple degrees up from what we witnessed just this past weekend. Finally maybe a trend! I would like to say that these changes in temperatures turned the fish on like crazy over the weekend but that is not necessarily the case.
I really can't complain too much about the fishing either Saturday or Sunday, we actually had our moments with biting fish, it's just that I'm spoiled I guess to past performances at this time of the year and I really like to see everyone get in on the action. Our Spring limit on the Tog now while these fish are spawning is three fish at a minimum of 15 inches and while I actually saw a good number of skilled or lucky anglers land their limit with ease on both trips. I also saw several skilled anglers and frustrated anglers shaking their heads wondering what they were doing wrong. Even relentless patience and diligence at the rail didn't always prevail this weekend, these fish were difficult to figure out and even harder to catch!
Anyone that enjoys fishing for Tog knows that they are never really the easiest fish to catch even on the grandest of days, I have often said if they bit all the time like an ordinary fish that they would have been over fished and on the endangered species list or all gone a long time ago! I'm not sure if it's the water temperature or the phases of the tides or just what, but recently these fish have really been biting light the majority of the time. We have seen a few times where they bit more typical or aggressive for their nature but they have been very delicate in the way they have been feeding even with the clam, normally they will suck a piece clam down in the colder water but it almost seems like they are just barely touching it and then moving on. It is certainly a challenge!
We did see some fairly decent sized fish over the weekend which I have to take as a very good sign, I think the average size was easily four pounds or more and the biggest fish was over seven and eight pounds on both days. Throwback action was intermittent, at times it seemed like we couldn't find a keeper and other times nearly every fish that came aboard went right in the box not even needing a measurement. Over all the fishing would be best described by me as slow but at a fairly steady pick. I really think it will become much better as these water temperatures continue to climb and eventually stabilize. Our outlook for catching Tog over the next few weeks is certainly good in my opinion.
Striper fishing up in the Bay had it's ups and downs last week also. By mid week these fish had the Hot Shots scratching their noggins wondering what was going on. Rock were very difficult to locate and weren't always biting when you found them. As the week came to an end, the fish turned on again and most of the guys were reporting full boat limits with impressive sized fish by days end on Sunday. The first few Drumfish have also fallen to a hook and line over the past week and I understand they are starting to show up more and more frequently in the gill nets on both sides of the Bay. Drumfish normally start to bite fairly steady once that water temperature climbs above 52 degrees. It won't be long!
I am going to continue with the four day a week schedule for a while longer; at least one more week before we try to sail daily. We will be anchoring over wrecks and artificial reefs fishing primarily for Tautog, clams and crabs will be supplied. We sail at 7:00 a.m. and we will return around 4:00 p.m. We are also booking private charters now for Stripers, Drum or Tog on the Lewestown Lady with plenty of open dates available if you want to get in on this inshore sport fishing option.
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to book a private charter or you would like to 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 V