Not a whole lot to report this past week for me on the fishing scene I only managed to get out a couple trips over the weekend with the poor weather we had in our area. I was able to get out on both Friday as well as Saturday but with the Gail force winds in the forecast and the pending rain we secured the ropes Saturday night when we got off the boat.
I can't really complain about the fishing we saw on the last two trips however our keeper ratio of Tog took a drastic turn for the worse. Where last weekend on all of our trips we saw more keepers than throwbacks it was the exact opposite for us this past weekend. It's true you can only catch a keeper once!
Friday I started out in the mouth of the Bay for the change of current and on our first stop in some deeper water we were only able to catch a couple of throwback fish. I moved down the beach to an area that had been treating us very well and we couldn't even buy a bite. There was a slight ground swell and I figured that perhaps this was why the fish weren't feeding so I pushed further off in search of bites. Each stop we made we saw a little better fishing until finally we had a spot where you could get bites every drop. There was just one problem, they nearly all fell short of the required size limit. We also saw a real nice smattering of Sea Bass in the deeper water but they too had to be thrown back. It did become a fun fishing trip but the end results left a lot to be desired for me, just not enough keepers.
On Saturday I decided to stay close to home in hopes that the fishing time would prevail by the end of the day. It did prove to be a good decision we had plenty of action when the fish were biting and many anglers were catching fish or losing baits nearly every drop of the line for over a couple of hours. Once again we were plagued with too many throwbacks, had we been able to keep a fifteen inch fish it would have been a much different day. We ended the day with the wind speeds rising and anchoring conditions falling apart with a strong running current opposing the wind, certainly not the best conditions but at least we had caught some earlier in the day.
Water temperatures continue to rise and fish have been on the move. We have seen surface temperatures in the Bay up and beyond the mid fifties already and out front in the Ocean surface temps have been pretty stable at right around 53 degrees. Commercial fisherman in the Bay have been seeing more Sea Trout over the last couple weeks than they have seen in years. Some of these fish have been upwards of five pounds while others would be measured only in inches. It is good to see so many different year classes of these fish and we can only hope that it's an indication of something good to come. Striper action continues to be real spotty, there are some very nice fish being landed but it is most consistently in the upper reaches of the Bay or around inlets and jetties. We actually landed our first keeper Flounder of the year this past weekend and with the amount of flatties that have already been landed this year so far in all the different locations you have to think that maybe this is going to be a great year for catching Flatfish and it might even start way ahead of schedule. There are also some Drumfish around and I would expect to see a lot more effort put forth trying to catch these Delaware Bay dinosaurs as soon as the winds calm down and more and more boats give them a try.
We are still trying to sail daily with our All-Day trips and the Tautog will be at the top of the menu until May 11th when the first split closes. I am still uncertain as to the start date with the Sea Bass but it looks as though it may be the 22nd of May or possibly if we are lucky on the 19th. We could do well with the Bass right now if we were allowed to fish for them and hopefully enough of them will stick around so we can get a good couple or few weeks on them when it opens. All-Day trips depart the docks at 7:00 a.m. and we generally arrive back to the docks around 4:00. We are strictly anchor fishing over shipwrecks and artificial reefs for these Tog.
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