It seems as though the summer season is upon us now. The waters are warming up, fishing is heating up, and inshore and offshore anglers alike are enjoying some great summer fishing for just the middle of June.
With the exception of only Saturday's trip, my head boat has felt more like a private charter boat than a party boat and we have been enjoying some very good Flounder action with a very light crowd on every day. With the Sea Bass all but dried up inshore, I have spent most of my time drift fishing for primarily Flounder and the fishing has been somewhat rewarding on just about every adventure. In the last seven days we have landed literally hundreds of Flatties on my all-day trips and my federal trip reports confirm that we have tallied over 120 keepers!
I have to admit I think we have seen some great Fluke fishing for this time of the year.
I really wasn't certain if we would be able to just stick with the Fluke program when we started off, but I have seen enough now and I have had enough reports from different locations to say that we are officially going to be in the full Flounder catching mode. I would expect to continue fishing for the Flatties for the better part of the summer from here on out. While most of my fishing has been on the "old grounds" in the ocean, we did have one trip fishing up in the Delaware Bay over the weekend with some pretty good results also. For the most part it has been typical Flounder fishing which as most true Flounder fisherman know always seems to teeter on a fine line between success and failure. I have seen both. Conditions are key and when everything lines up just right we have certainly been on the success side of this line. I have already witnessed multiple limit catches around the rail and I was even able to get in on some of this action myself. Both my mate Capt. Alicen and myself were fortunate enough to land our first 2011 limit catches of Flounder on the same trip just last Thursday with only a few customers on board. You know the fish must have been thick on that day! Our short action at times has been fast and furious on these Flounder and a good percentage of nice keepers has also been popping up keeping everyone glued to the rail. The majority of our keepers have been in the twenty inch range and our biggest flat fish to date was just over six pounds.
While I have seen a good number of fish caught using the traditional method of dragging long leader Fluke Killers, the best action continues to be seen by those who have been Jigging. Fresh meat has by far been our best bait and the jiggy rigs have prevailed each and every day.
As far as a variety catch, its been pretty much just Flounders. We have been seeing an occasional Sea Bass, and while I was fishing up in the Bay on Sunday we saw several Spike Trout and a couple Snapper Blues in the mix. As the water gets a little warmer I would expect a little more variety in the catch.
Water temperatures on the surface out to twenty miles in the Ocean now are hovering up past the seventy degree mark mostly, and we have been enjoying some of that crystal clear water where you can see your fish coming up, or your rig going down, as far as thirty feet or more below the surface of the water. Bottom temperatures are still much cooler with readings barely reaching fifty. The fish we have been catching have felt like they have been chilling out in a refrigerator! There has only been a couple of days when I would have called the bite we are seeing aggressive, these Flounder are still just hanging on to the bait and seldom giving you more than one opportunity to set the hook on them. Occasionally they will follow the baits and greed will get the best of them, but its mostly been a one shot deal the way these fish have been biting.
Things are most certainly shaping up for a good summer season of fishing, offshore anglers have already enjoyed Tuna fishing action much better than that of the last few years given the date. Mostly Yellowfin and a few Bluefin have been feeding along the deeper edges from the Washington canyon up past the Wilmington canyon and some great weather has allowed the local charter and private boats to get in on this good action. If you are thinking Tuna you should be thinking Now! There has also been several Mako Sharks and even the first few Billfish landed by these offshore anglers.
Back up in the Delaware Bay the action is also starting to heat up with the weather. The first few Croakers have been landed, Flounder action is improving, and there are still a few Drumfish taking the hooks. Many of the edges and sloughs up in the Bay are also seemingly full of Spike Trout. Hopefully this is a good sign for the future when they grow up. There are also reports of Kingfish and Blowfish in several different locations on both sides of the Bay. Hopefully the Croakers will show up in numbers a little sooner this year than they did last year to take the pressure off of the inshore boats that are bound to fishing the Bay. Last year it was late in July before any real numbers of these scrappy angler pleasers showed up, yet there has been quite a few caught already this spring and I have to take this as a good sign.
As the summer season begins we will be running full time here at the Wharf. I will continue to sail daily with my Full-Day trips departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. we will also be running Half- Day trips three times a day. My Full-Day trips will be targeting mostly Flounder; fishing over the Old Grounds. Half-Day trips will be targeting Flounder, Kingfish, Blowfish or whatever else may want to bite the hook until the Croakers show in force. We also have plenty of dates available with the Lewestown Lady for offshore charter on these Tuna as well as special trips that will be targeting Sea Bass and Tilefish.
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