We had some really decent weather over the past weekend and along with this nice weather we saw some pretty good Tog fishing too!
With the decent weather I was able to get away from the docks and get out fishing on Friday, Saturday, and on Sunday, we did however miss Monday's trip when not enough sponsors showed up on what ultimately turned out being one of the nicest weather days of the year. Fishing all weekend was what I would have call pretty good by my standards, at least during some part or the better part of each trip that we made, the fish cooperated for us rather nicely! Limit catches were common for most anglers over the weekend and we even came close to a full boat limit including the crew on one trip and I'm pretty certain just about everyone ended up with a fresh fish supper each outing.
The Tog have actually seemed to be pretty hungry my last several trips and it was almost like we started to see a pattern in when the best action would be with the bite by the end of the week. These fish were biting best on a hard running current and often times aggressively swallowing the bait down deep which is not something you will always see with these temperamental crafty feeders. We fed them a lot of bait! Along with the Tog we also saw a smattering of decent sized Red Hake mixed in our catch, we may have possibly caught the last Boston Mackerel off the Delaware coast, and we caught plenty of Spiny Dogfish Sharks each trip around the shipwrecks and reefs that we fished. A few times around tide changes with the slack water these Sharks actually became quite a nuisance on some of the smaller structures we were over top of.
While I can't boast of any real monster sized fish we really had a pretty decent size run on these Tog with the average weight of keeper fish in the four to five pound class and the keepers far outnumbering the throwbacks for a change. Our biggest fish again this weekend was just over seven pounds. The females are starting to get pretty heavy in row right now and we have been trying to release any that have been close on the line without question. It's much easier to let some females live to spawn and fight another day when you already have a couple keepers in the box and we were fortunate enough to see just that scenario this past week.
Water temperatures have climbed a little since my last report and with the weather we have been seeing since Sunday they are definitely on the rise right now in a big way. Bay temperatures have well exceeded the mid fifties on the surface in just these last two days in the mouth of the Bay while the surface temperature just 20 miles off the beach at the Delaware Light Buoy in the Ocean was nearly 55 degrees this morning. With water temperatures this warm so early in the year there is no telling how this fishing season is going to shake out things could change as rapidly as the water temperature. Striper action up in the
Bay was for some unknown reason just about non existent through the latter part of last week and through the weekend, the bait seems to be around but none of the heavy hitters that target these fish this time of the year have had much luck locating any numbers of these fish for several days now. Sea Bass are here in decent numbers now but unfortunately we are unable to take advantage of this fishery with the present regulations in place. We can not legally target Bass until the third week in May. Hopefully these fish will stick around on the structures long enough for us to get at least a little crack on them before they move inshore and spread out over the open bottoms to spawn, it sucks not being able to target them when we know there is a good number of them around. It is likely the way things seem to be going that we will have Fluke in good numbers by June.
We are trying to sail on a daily schedule as of now and we can sail with a minimum crowd while we are fishing for these Tog as we can catch them fairly close to home. Our Tog Season will remain open until May 11th and right now our regulations are 3 fish at 16 inches. After the 11th we will target Flounder or Drumfish until the Sea Bass season opens. Check the weather and give us a call before you come some we can give you an idea of what to expect.
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 a special trip please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV