For a change I actually got to fish seven days in a row with the opening of the Sea Bass Season. It is undoubtedly more fun actually being able to get away from the dock and bring home some fish!
While it certainly looks like this is not going to be the epic spring run of Sea Bass like we saw in the early 2000's, we have seen some very good catches with nice Sea Bass weighing in up to just over four pounds over the past week. For the most part folks were able to see steady action most of the time and we had a few spots where it was actually lock-n-load hit the bottom and wind fishing with these Bass.
There were a few limit catches made last week and most anglers had little or no problem landing double digits to mid and upper teens with some quality fish on nearly every trip that we have made so far. That is the good news. Now the bad news... with the water temperatures being as warm as they are right now and with the late start on the Bass again this year due to the current regulations it is likely that we may have just about seen the best of it for the spring run. The Sea Bass don't seem to be moving now and once a particular spot has been picked over it is just not bouncing back the way it would have been in late April or the early part of May when these Bass were really on the move.
Over the weekend we saw surface temperatures in the mid to upper sixties. This is warm for this time of the year. We have also been seeing some crystal clear water where you can see your fish or your baits forty feet from the surface. This resembles some of the water you would expect to be seeing later in June and into July than seeing right now. I n our travels we have also been spotted lots of Turtles and Sunfish on the Surface and we have even caught the first Triggerfish of the year already. This is hands down the earliest I have ever seen a Triggerfish on a wreck at this time of year. While I have not gotten a good bottom temperature reading recently I suspect that it has also warmed up considerably, the sinkers are no longer cold and the Spiny Dogfish Sharks have all but disappeared and have not been bothering us too much.
With the warmer water and the seeming lack of moving Bass around the wrecks, I would guess that within the next couple of weeks I will be able to report some good numbers with Flounder. We have already seen a few nice Flatties while anchored over the heavy structures and after all, it is getting to be that time of year. I plan on giving some Fluke fishing an honest try when the conditions are right in the immediate future, we should be able to see a nice mix bag catch with some Sea Bass and a few nice Flounder while drifting the hard bottoms right now. I have already been tying teasers and ordered the bait and I will be prepared for when we have the right group and Mother Nature allows us to give them a good shot. It will be a lot of fun!
Capt. H.D. had another fairly successful Long-Range Trip over the holiday weekend, while conditions were not necessarily the best for what they were trying to do, they managed a nice variety catch with both Blueline and Golden Tilefish as well as a couple nice Wreckfish, a few Sea Bass and a Bonus Jumbo Grouper for their deep drop efforts. Capt. H is working on the full summer schedule for these excursions and as of now the next Long Range trip is scheduled for Saturday June 9th and then again on Sunday June 29th. These will be 20 hour Tilefish trips and space is limited to 28 anglers so advanced reservations are a must. The trip will depart at roughly midnight. Remember on these trips you will be fishing a minimum of 350 feet of water and it is likely with the right conditions that you could be fishing in excess of 600 to 700 feet of water.
There will be an updated list of trips on the special trip portion of the website as soon as it becomes available.
Up in the Delaware Bay the Drum fishing took a turn for the worse over the weekend. Many of those that were targeting these inshore trophies had good luck right up until the weekend when perhaps the warmer water or the spawn or the boat traffic had these fish dummied up and not biting. Several Captains reported both seeing and hearing the boomers but not too many of them have been landed in the past few days. Trout fishing inshore and from the beach has continued to be decent, it seems like there are really a lot more of them around this year then there has been the past several years and there has also been quite a few Flounder landed in the Delaware Bay as well. Our Half-Day trips made it out over the weekend and saw a variety with quite a few spike sized Trout, a few Kingfish, Flounder, Blowfish and several Sandsharks and Skates
to keep pole bending action interesting for the kids. Not much to keep so far but certainly fun for the Jr. anglers.
With the warmer weather we have been having I would anticipate an earlier than normal summer season especially given the current water temperatures. I truly believe that it is going to be an early year with the Flounder but only time will tell. As for now with my All-Day Trips I expect to continue fishing for the Sea Bass anchoring over wrecks and artificial reefs and when the conditions are right we will undoubtedly be trying some drifting for both the Sea Bass and likely some Flounder, these fish are already spread out over the open bottoms and unless there is a big movement of Bass around the heavy structures, drifting will be our best option anyway when we can get away with it. All-Day Trips depart the docks at 7:00 a.m. and we generally return to the docks around 4:00 p.m. the bait is furnished. We are also Running Half-Day Trips departing the docks at 8:00 a.m. and then again at 1:00 p.m.
Half- Day trips will be fishing the Delaware Bay and the All-Day Trips will be spent mostly in the Ocean for now.
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.
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV