Just a few changes on the fishing scene since my last report; Sea Bass still remain elusive, Flounder action is definitely starting to pick up along the coast and up in the Delaware Bay, Croakers have made an appearance, and the offshore scene is starting to come alive with Sharks and Tuna.
Pockets of cold water are still looming around the mouth of the Delaware Bay making us scratch our heads at time wondering if we can believe the readings. A couple of weeks ago we had started to see surface temps along the beach out to twenty miles that were approaching and hanging around seventy degrees. Recently we have been hard pressed to see surface temps get above 67 and more often than not as cool as 62 degrees or even a little cooler along the coast. Southerly winds have been churning up the colder bottom water to the surface creating this phenomena. It has not been uncommon to see Gannets, Pelicans, and Shearwaters all working the same patch of baitfish on any given day in our travels around the mouth of the Bay! Pretty strange site for the middle of June.
Our fishing has been a lot like the water temperature, unpredictable. Most of my week I have been concentrating on catching Flounder along with a few Sea Bass. Drifting the open bottom rocky ledges and corals bottoms of the old grounds has been our most productive method. Like typical Flounder fishing when the conditions have been right we have been able to put together a decent day with the Fluke. Nothing special or to write home about but not too shabby given the time of year. In the past six days we have landed over two hundred Flounders having been able to keep over sixty of them. Very few of our fish have been measurable, they have been either clearly short or have been in the twenty inch range going right in the box. Several of our keeper fish landed have been in the three to five pound range with our biggest so far weighing in just over six pounds. As the water temperatures become more stable throughout the entire column this fishing will only improve.
It certainly has been a little different spring this year, with the water temperature fluctuations, we have seen masses of baitfish piled up in the Mouth of the Bay yet we have seen no Bluefish feeding on this bait. There has however been two confirmed sightings of Humpback Whales actually up inside the Delaware Bay in the past few days and there have been several spotted along the coast in the last couple of weeks. We have seen plenty of Thresher Sharks near the coast which at this time is normal however there has been several sightings of Ocean Sunfish and Sea Turtles and there have already been a few Triggerfish around. These occurrences would be more normal in July or August. Very strange to say the least. It is very likely that given a little stretch of good weather our fishing is going to break wide open nearly overnight there is definitely a lot of life around right now!
On my All-Day trips I will continue to fish primarily for the Flounder and we will also see a few Sea Bass each day. Drifting remains our best option for catching fish now the way they are spread out and most of our time will be spent doing just that. On days that the drift is just too tough we will be throwing the anchor. Jigging continues to be one of our most productive methods for catching these Flounder, however the traditional Fluke rigs have been working also. It definitely seems that those that have been working the hardest are catching the most fish. They are not committing suicide just yet.
All-Day trips depart the dock at 7:00 a.m. and we have been returning at around 4:00 p.m. Fresh meat and squid will be provided but feel free to bring the exotic baits they work sometimes too. I have seen several fish taken on Gulps, Minnows, and Shiners but we do not provide them. Bucktails in the 2 to 4 oz. range will suffice and just plain skirts for a teaser is all that is necessary. Hot pink, white, and chartreuse green or variations of these colors have been the best. We will be fishing between 70 to 100 feet of water so you may want to think about spooling up with braid, 30 to 40 lb. is strong enough .
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of The Wharf or you would like to book a private Charter please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV