After a long week of either sitting at the dock or going Drum fishing our Sea Bass season finally opened on Sunday and it was almost like we were back in business for a change!
I didn't have a whole lot to talk about last week and with my loving daughter having a graduation right about the time I would have posted a fresh report I just blew it off and waited until now to post an updated report. I apologize . There has certainly been a lot happening on the fishing scene since my last report and I will try to catch you up. Drum fishing has been consistent, Flounder fishing has been interesting to say the least and Striper Fishing has been unprecedented for our area, and now I can finally say that we are fishing for, and catching Sea Bass!
Before the opening of Sea Bass we really didn't have too many options. The Flounder were being caught mostly in the skinny waters of back Bays and canals, and the Tog were closed for the spring spawn. This scenario pretty much left us with nothing to try and catch but the Drum. We did have a few successful daytime Drum trips but getting passengers proved to be a real problem. I have to admit I pretty much felt like a Maytag repairman for the better part of a week just hoping to see enough willing anglers that wanted to go out and fish for these Delaware Bay Dinosaurs during the daylight hours.
We only got out a few times for the Drum but each trip was met with some success with Drumfish up to about 40 pounds. The night Drum trip actually tallied a beast that would tip the scales at over seventy pounds just this past Friday night! I guess everyone was getting in on the Striper blitz that was occurring from the surf from Cape Henlopen to Indian River because they certainly weren't trying to go out on the head boat with me. Striper veterans from the beach had never before witnessed the action that was seen for well over a week catching fish that were nearly all keepers and in some cases reaching over 40 pounds!
I am guessing that everyone was waiting for the big opener of the Sea Bass on Sunday. The long awaited day finally arrived and we were ready. We had two boats baited and ready to get in on the action Sunday morning and the docks in Lewes almost reminded me of the old days with fishermen everywhere! It was a pleasant ray of hope seeing lots of fisherman around in what seems to now be a struggling industry. I filled the boat up with eager anglers by 6:15 and departed the dock while Capt. H.D. was loading up with the second boat after I had departed. We had high hopes of some phenomenal Sea Bass
fishing and we were on our way. What we found was as far as I'm concerned, less than spectacular. We did catch Bass and some folks actually had a pretty nice day of it, but this fishing wasn't easy and there were way too many gaps around the rail for my liking. While top hooks had as many as 20 or more nice Sea Bass there were way too many that struggled just to get to double digits or teens and in some cases even less. I for one was very disappointed, I had hoped for a much easier day.
I was back out on Monday and Mother Nature basically kicked us in the teeth making it difficult to even stand at the rail and fish. Top hooks again would be in the mid to upper teens with some very nice Bass but there were some anglers that would not fare nearly as well. These fish were not committing suicide and there were some that barely scraped up supper, even if.
I was out again today and thankfully the Ocean was much kinder than it was for us on Monday. The fishing was what I would honestly have to call pretty good. With very few patrons at the rail and a fairly level playing field to work with we saw very steady action all day as well as a good number of keepers for just about everyone on board. I can't boast of limit catches, but again today top hooks were in the mid to upper teens or more with Bass and there was some very nice fish spread all around the boat. I was personally able to get a line in today for a while and managed to catch 14 keeper Bass and a 30 lb. Monkfish as a nice bonus. I had a blast and I didn't even fish all day!
I really can't tell you what the prognosis is on these Bass only time will tell. Yes I would like to see it easier than what I have seen so far but I have also seen it much worse at this time of the year. Remember it's only day three. Bear in mind, normally we would have been catching Sea Bass for a few weeks on this date, now we have all of these regulations and these closures that have been imposed upon us changing our normal fish catching patterns at this time of year. If I had to guess I would say your best bet if you want Sea Bass is to not wait too long, what's left of this spring run could be over quick if its anything like it was last year. I do however expect to be able to catch them for at least a few more weeks in good numbers. I can't promise limits or anything like that but we will certainly see some good fishing and there will be some nice sized fish!
I will be sailing daily departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. and we will be strictly anchoring over wrecks, rocks and reefs targeting these Bass. This will be the program for at least a few more weeks before we start drifting for both the Bass and some Flounder. We generally return to the docks around 4:00 p.m. Drum trips will now be just on Friday and Saturday nights 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