Finally a little taste of some spring like weather and some good fishing to go along with it! The Easter weekends forecast was less than great for the beginning of the weekend but as Sunday and Monday rolled around we were experiencing some of the best weather and a couple of the nicest days that I have seen on the water all year.
We did manage four days in a row last week starting with Fridays trip in the 20 knot northeast wind. Our fishing was what I would call pretty decent each and every trip we made. While in typical Tog fashion we spent a lot of time waiting out the bites and there were times that you would swear there wasn't a fish within miles of the boat, but by days end with the exception of Saturdays trip, most anglers would have their limit with fish and we also threw back many heavy roe laden females to breed and fight another day!
Water temperatures have soared recently with the warm weather and along with the increase in water temperatures the Tog appear to be feeding a little more aggressively at times. While it seems that we still are seeing the most consistent action on the fresh Clam, we have also seen a lot of fish finally biting on the crab. The one major difference that I noticed over the weekend would have to be the fact that the fish would actually keep attacking the bait, offering more than a single chance to get a hook into one of these crafty fish. For the longest time this spring it seemed as though you would just get one little bite and that was it- the fish was gone.
Not only did we produce decent numbers with fish these past four days but we were consistently seeing more big fish landed. In my last four trips I saw several Tog tipping the scales at over five pounds and we also saw at least nine citation sized fish over seven including three over ten pounds and one nice fat female over eleven that was returned to the reef for another day! We also saw plenty of short fish to keep everyone interested and frustrated while the bite was on. I have to laugh at these fish and their ability to make a grown man cry, even when you think you have them figured out they continue to prove to you that you really don't.
Our weather recently has been very warm with several days in a row now with mercury rising to over 80 degrees. Water temps on the surface are now reading in the mid to upper fifties with the afternoon sun. It was reported over sixty degrees in the shallows on the northeast side of the Bay and Monday afternoon on my way home I saw it as warm as 58 right outside of our inlet. As a result of the warmer water the Striper action has changed. Now it seems that the best Striper fishing other than from the surf is way up the Bay in what we like to call nosebleed territory. The Stripers frustrated most anglers in the Bay over the weekend with the exception of the boats that were willing to make the long run way up the Bay where the best bite was.
The warmer water also has the Drumfish on the move. While there was not a whole lot of effort early in the weekend trying to find these fish, there was several reportedly landed on both sides of the Bay and the commercial fisherman have been seeing more and more each and every day with fish up to about sixty pounds. Normally when the water temperatures near that sixty degree mark these fish will come on strong. We will likely be having evening Drum trips on weekends starting in the next couple of weeks and we are also booking dates for Drum Charters on the Lewestown Lady.
Our outlook is very promising for some good fishing from here on out. Tog will continue to snap and we will be able to fish for them for a couple more weeks before the closure in May. Our Flounder season looks good, there are plenty of them around already in a lot of different locations and we may even be able to catch some keepers in May this year with the new 18 inch size limit. Drum fishing is just starting to turn on and will only get better in the days ahead. We will also be able to fish for Sea Bass starting on May 22nd with the same rules as last year! We have a lot to look foreword to!
I will be running the regular schedule now trying to sail seven days a week departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. Fortunately we are able to fish close to home and will be able to sail with a bare minimum crowd. We will be Tog fishing up until the closure on the 11th of May. After that we will target Flounder and or Drumfish until the Sea Bass Season opens later in the month. 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 V