Good weather has water temperatures rising and along with it the fishing has been heating up too. It's been a good week for fishing here in Lewes, the Flounder are starting to bite in the canal and in the shallow waters of the Rehoboth and Delaware Bays, there have been Stripers and Bluefish landed in the inlets and along the surf, the Tautog have been biting good and there are more and more reports of a few Drumfish taking a bait.
Water temperatures have been as warm as 57 degrees up in the Bay and have been running around 55 degrees out front along the coastal waters of the Atlantic. Good weather has the water warming up rather nicely and fish have been on the move, we have even seen several big schools of Dolphins feeding around the Mouth of the Bay. The only fishery that really hit a stumbling block over this past week were the Stripers and depending who you talked to and where you fished even that is arguable. They certainly aren't where they were along the channel up in Bay for several weeks however they have been popping up in a lot of other places and some really big ones too.
Here at the Wharf we managed another weekend fishing three of our scheduled four trips and the fishing for me was great. Tog continue to be at the top of the menu and will continue to be so until the Closure on May 11th. Much of my fishing was fairly close to home this weekend catching Tog in depths from 45 to 90 feet of water in and around the mouth of the bay. I have to admit they were biting really good at times this past weekend and with the warmer water they have been biting an assortment of baits.
While the crowds are still light we did have close to two dozen Tog assassins assembled for Fridays trip and I don't think anyone was disappointed. We had a fairly steady bite the majority of the day even in some swift running currents. If anything it seemed as though the fish bit a little better with the hard running tide. Maybe not typical for these fish but certainly not out of the ordinary either. Everyone onboard landed their limit by the end of the day, many decent females heavy with eggs were released and it would ultimately be one of the nicest runs in size we have seen this spring. Many fish tolled Friday would weigh in over six pounds with the pool winning fish right around ten! It was a good day.
Saturday Was similar. With a few less patrons than the previous day equally equipped to do battle with the Tog, we saw a good bite right out of the gate! Once again several fish approaching double digits in size were popping up to be netted. From early on it seemed like this day would be a great one and yet again many fish were caught and released to fight another day. By mid day the bite turned to a much less frantic pick than we had witnessed early on but again everyone onboard had their limit of very nice Tog and we even got in to the dock a little early!
Sunday's forecast was not too promising. Rain, some wind and even a small craft advisory was in place. You just can't trust that weatherman! With a minimal crowd we ventured out into nearly slick calm seas with just a little swell and some light intermittent misty rain. While the weather turned into a great day on the water even seeing a brief appearance of the sun, the Tog made it a little frustrating. We caught plenty of fish and we even had several limits with fish up to seven pounds but just when I had expected an easy day with a handful of people the fish reminded me that they were still in charge! Anchoring became tough with the changing tide and we had to work for every fish we caught! They just weren't biting the way they had the two prior days and a lot of the fish we caught fell short of the required size. Not a bad trip just not as good as Friday and Saturday. I had hoped for more good action on Monday but I guess the weatherman scared away anyone that that wanted to go, so we shucked out more Clams!
We only have two more weeks to take advantage of these Tog, after May 11th the spring season for 2010 will come to an end. I fully anticipate some more good days with these fish but after the eleventh we will be in pursuit of other species. I will start running daily this Friday and will continue with the seven day a week schedule until November when we will drop back to a shorter schedule again. Our Sea Bass Season will open up on Saturday May 22nd and not to repeat myself but I anticipate excellent action on these fish right from day one! It is still up in the air as to the exact closure this year on the Bass but I doubt anyone will be happy with the date when it is finally determined. Along with our regular all day trips for the Sea Bass we will also be running several Special Long-Range trips targeting Jumbo Bass as well as Tilefish. There is a complete list of dates for these trips on the special trip link from the home page. Remember reservations are a must for these special trips.
We are shaping up nice for a good remainder of our fishing season. The new Flounder regulation is official and it looks like we finally won a small battle within the war. We will have a minimum size of 18 1/2 inches this year with a creel limit of four fish. Along with this we will have a closure on Fluke around the middle of October until the end of the year. It will be nice to have a little smaller fish during the summer months sacrificing a short period when most of these fish have already moved on late in the fall. It was truly the best option and my thanks go out to all that supported this choice. We will take advantage of it a couple of short months!
I will be sailing every day starting this Friday April 30th and we will be anchoring over wrecks and reefs targeting the Tog. Crabs and Clams are provided and we sail at 7:00 a.m. these trips generally return to the docks around 4:00 p.m. no reservations are required. If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to reserve space on one of the Long-Range trips or book a private charter please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV