We closed out our spring Tog fishery just yesterday and went out with a bang! If you were planning on coming out fishing this past week to get in on the action before it came to an end and you chose not to come, you made a big mistake!
I have actually been out fishing six of the last seven days which happens to be a record for me so far this year, and our end results were pretty much the same for each and every trip. Limit catches for the entire boat including the crew or darn close to it every day we got out. Now the Tog can finally spawn in peace! The season for Tautog is officially done until later in the year when it reopens providing an opportunity for these fish to finally be getting a well deserved break after all the pressure that has been placed on them.
I'm not sure whether it was a water temperature thing, or tidal conditions or just what it was, but over the past several days we have experienced some of the most aggressive Tog fishing action that I have witnessed for the entire spring season. These fish were biting on both Crabs or Clams sometimes it just didn't seem to matter, all you needed was a little bait on the hook and you were getting bites as soon as you hit the bottom. While the majority of the biting fish were small to measurable we had plenty of decent size fish coming over the rail almost constantly at times providing true Tog fishing fun! We also weighed in several citation sized fish. You know it has been a great day when you witness anglers throwing back some of the biggest fish caught just so they will be able to spawn and fight another day. I was having trouble keeping up with the count of the roe laden females that we released.
Now that the Tog fishing has ended we will be looking for other fishes to pursue. With the Sea Bass closed until the 22nd of May we have the choice of Drumfish and Flounder both of which are viable options right now. Drum fishing has turned on real well over the past week both daytime and at night and may be our better choice when we are able to get out. We can catch them real close to home and can run with a minimal crowd of anglers. The best Flounder fishing now seems to be pretty far up the Delaware Bay or in the skinny waters of the back Bays and all along the canal. I don't expect to see a lot of patrons around so this could be a great opportunity to get in on this daytime Drum action with very few fishermen at the rail. With the right type of conditions I will not hesitate to try drifting for some Flounder either on any given day.
For opening day of the Sea Bass season we have decided to run two open boats on a first come first served basis in case we get slammed with a crowd. We will begin selling tickets at around 5:30 a.m. and as soon as the first boat gets it's load of folks it will depart. These will just be regular All-Day trips running around nine hours from dock to dock. I anticipate some very fine Sea Bass fishing for at least a couple of weeks anchoring over shipwrecks and artificial reefs. If it is anything like it was last year the stellar fishing did seem like it came to a pretty swift end so you may not want to hesitate too long to get in on this action. Sea Bass are around in abundance right now moving inshore and around structures fattening up for the spawn, but as it gets later in the season and the water temperatures rise they will become more spread out over the open bottom structures such as the old grounds and not so much concentrated around the wrecks.
Our schedule is pretty basic right now I will continue sailing every day departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. Drumfish and or Flounder will be at the top of the menu until Sunday May 22nd when we will be back to the wrecks anchoring for the Sea Bass. We will also be Night Fishing for Drum on Friday and Saturday nights throughout May and into June. Night Drum trips will depart the docks at 6:00 p.m. and return around 2:00 a.m.
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to book a private charter or make reservations for a special trip please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV