You have often heard me say that Mother Nature can do a much better job at conserving her fisheries than any management plan developed ever could, well that has never been more obvious than it has been this past week with our Flounder fishing here at the Wharf.
Anyone that fishes for Flounder knows that conditions are always key. The winds, the tide, the drift, everything has to fall into place to see those great days with catching Flounder. Well I'm still waiting! Even though we have been racking up some modest numbers with keeper flatties and we have actually seen a few limits around the rail so far this year, our fishing, especially this past week has been painfully slow. There have been a few times where I thought the catching was halfway decent, even good at times, but other times these fish had me scratching my head and pulling out what's left of my hair just trying to figure out what I should try next. We have without doubt been seeing a few quality fish; several over three and four pounds and our biggest Founder to date was just about seven pounds, but there just hasn't been enough of them for my liking, no consistency, and everyone on board has not been getting in on the keeper action.
We continue to fish the rocky coral deep water ledges of the Old Grounds and jigging has by far been our best method of catching these fish, but my book of excuses for why the fishing has been so slow at times is starting to seem like a quick read. There have been times that you just couldn't seem to get your bait down fast enough because the fish were biting so good yet there have been times that watching grass grow could possibly be more interesting! I just have had no viable excuse for why the fishing hasn't been a little better some of the time. Mother Nature is the best answer I can really come up with. Water temperatures in the Ocean had definitely taken a nose dive earlier this month by as much as ten degrees in some areas and perhaps this has played at least some significant role in our lack of production, but the surface temperatures have been creeping back up recently to more normal readings. Bottom temperatures however are still are on the cool side in fact one day this past week when I had to anchor over a wreck due to the drifting conditions we landed several very nice Codfish like we had been seeing earlier this year in the colder water. This is certainly out of character for this area at this time of the year. These fish were nice to see, but we should have been catching more Bass than Cod on that wreck. The water on the bottom was cold and the big numbers of Bass just weren't there.
As much as my fishing has been frustrating and I wish were a little better at times, we continue to have the best game in town compared to what else is available right now. The Delaware Bay has finally started to show some better action of late but Bay fishing so far this year has really not been too much, keepers up in the Bay have been hard to come by. Some of the shallow areas however are now starting to turn on as well as some spots along the shipping channel and in the anchorage but the numbers of fish we are seeing out front continue to be better than the fishing that has been available up in the Bay.
We are definitely starting to see some of those dog days of summer lately with temperatures on land reaching the mid nineties, however with surface water temperatures still in the sixties on the Ocean, on those days with a little breeze it has been almost chilly on the water at times and we have also been seeing more than a fair share of fog blocking out the hot sun. I am sticking to my guns though that things are going to break loose soon, offshore fishing has been really good the last couple of weeks with Tuna, Mahi, and even a few Billfish now showing up. Croakers have started to show up in the Bay and all fish seem to be on the move again. The outlook is very promising to see some great fishing in the upcoming weeks.
I will continue drift fishing with my all day trips sailing seven days a week and our primary target will be the Flounder. We will also see a few Sea Bass scattered around on these trips. As I stated earlier our best fishing has been in the Ocean but it is certainly possible that we could spend some time up in the Bay if it turns on up there.
We are also sailing three trips a day now with our Half-Day trips. Half day trips have been pretty slow so far this year but with the Croakers showing up and the Flounder biting a little better close to home their fishing will only improve as the Summer progresses. Half-Day trips have also been seeing a little variety with Kingfish, Blowfish, and a lot of Sharks to keep the kids entertained . Our Half-Day trips will sail at 8:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. and then again at 6:00 p.m. For the evening run.
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out if the Wharf or you would like to book a private charter either inshore or offshore please give us a call at (303) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing !
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV