After many weeks of lobbying and fighting for just a measly three days for an opening day of our Sea Bass season to start on Saturday May19th instead of on the 22nd, late Friday on the 18th we finally got the official word that we would indeed be able to start our 2012 Sea Bass season on Saturday the 19th. Certainly a little late to spread the word to all of the anxious fisherman awaiting word but we would finally be allowed to fish none the less! The only problem was the one thing that we can never control - the weather.
All week long the forecast was great, weathermen had promised a picture perfect weekend; warm temperatures sunny skies and calm seas. By Thursday this forecast would take a turn for the worse and meanwhile we were still uncertain whether or not we would even be able to legally target the Sea Bass come Saturday. When we finally got the word late Friday afternoon we were looking at Northeast and East wind expected to blow 15 to 25 pretty much all weekend, not the best way to start the season. We did make it out on Saturday for the Bass and other than a somewhat miserable Ocean and a disappointing Sea Bass bite in the swells, it was good to be able to get away from the docks and actually land and keep some fish for a change,
we were even happy to release one of the biggest Tautog that I have seen in a long time with an official release of an 18 pound brute on the last stop of the day! When we got back to the docks Saturday afternoon there were a few anglers that had wished they had never left the dock, and there were some hearty anglers that were very pleased with their cooler of nice Bass. I stayed tied to the docks Sunday and I am on land again today 5/21 with the weather and the lack of willing participants. We will certainly be back hard at it tomorrow!
Sitting tied fast to the docks when the weather is ugly is part of this business and is to be expected when the winds and seas kick up.... however, sitting at the dock on absolutely gorgeous days because your not allowed to fish, flat out sucks and it seems like we have had a healthy dose of just that this spring since the Tog season closed and we were unable to target the Sea Bass. Things should be a little different now with the Sea Bass season open. We will be fishing every day now anchoring over shipwrecks, rocks, and reefs and the outlooks is very promising to have at least a few good weeks with these Sea Bass. If things were a little different with the ridiculous regulations we would have been landing Bass for nearly
a solid month right now and we would have absolutely had some great trips. This is certainly a late start with these fish and there is no way of telling just how long they are going to last or just how good the fishing will be but if Sea Bass is your thing there is no better time than now to come and get them for the spring run. We have been forced to start fishing this late in the year for Bass the last two years and what we experienced was a fairly short shot on these fish for just a few weeks before they seemed to spread out over the open bottoms and not gathering around the heavy structures the way they do earlier in the Spring before the big spawn. Time will tell how its all going to shake out but there is definitely some nice fish around right now and we are planning on taking full advantage of them while they are available!
Water temperatures are right on target and maybe even a little warm for this time of the year. My surface temperature gage never went below 60 degrees when I was out on Saturday and just outside of Roosevelt inlet I saw slightly over 65 degrees! There has been a lot of Trout around recently and these fish have been caught tight to the beach both commercially as well as by hook and line fisherman. The Drum bite has been pretty decent on both sides of the Delaware Bay when the weather has cooperated. There have been some real brutes weighing in excess of 80 pounds landed so far this year and the Drum should be around for a few more weeks providing excellent opportunities for those that love these Delaware Bay big game fish.
Flounder fishing from the beach and in the skinny back Bay waters and around the inlets as well as the Lewes Rehoboth canal has also been pretty consistent for those that have been targeting them. It won't be long before we will start seeing Flounders mixed in our catch with the All-Day trips. We have already seen a few this year while we were still fishing heavy structure for the Tog.
On the offshore scene Capt. H.D. finally got a weather break and was able to get out on a deep drop trip fishing for the Golden Tilefish. Anglers on this journey were rewarded for their winding efforts with good numbers of both Grey and Golden Tilefish up to forty pounds! Not only did Mother Nature cooperate on this trip but the fish bit well to boot with average anglers landing double digits or many more with beautiful Tilefish. The next deep drop trip is this coming weekend and it is likely that Capt. H will concentrate his efforts in the mid range depths targeting both Sea Bass as well as Grey or Blueline Tilefish. This is a limited space 18-hour trip and reservations in advance are a must for a spot at the rail.
We have a pretty full schedule here at the Wharf now and with the upcoming Holiday weekend we will have a lot of options for trips sailing. We will be running Full and Half day trips as well as the evening Drum trips and there is a special Long Range trip on the books for Saturday. Half Day trips will likely target Flounder or Drumfish depending on the conditions and I will center all of my efforts anchoring over structure fishing for the Sea Bass on the All-Day trips. All-Day trips will depart at 7:00 a.m. and we generally get back to the docks around 4:00 p.m. Half-Day trips sail at 8 o'clock and again at 1:00 p.m. Evening Drum trips will sail at 6:00 p.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 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