Since my last report we have seen some of the finest and we have seen some of the toughest Flounder fishing that we have encountered since we started with the drift fishing program just a few short weeks ago, and even on the toughest of days we managed to see a few quality fish at the rail along with some decent throwback action at times.
For the better part of my last seven days, Fluke landings were pretty impressive in my book. All tolled nearly 200 keepers in less than a weeks time! When conditions were right we were able to see plenty of action catching flatties and the keepers were adding up nicely on many of the trips that we made. Until the wind took over earlier this week we were actually seeing multiple limit catches daily with Flounder on the average of three to four pounds with several fish actually tipping the scales closer to five and six pounds. We peaked out on Sunday with one of the nicest days of catching Flounder that you are likely to ever see and by Monday we were back to reality with less than ideal conditions including shifting winds, strong thunder storms and at times some very uncomfortable hard rain. We only managed single digits with keepers on Monday but Mother Nature had given us a sharp blow to the knees and she was just getting started.
Tuesday morning the winds were howling at every bit of twenty-five knots and I tried my hardest to talk the couple of handfuls of fisherman that showed up holding their hats in their hands to try for another day. They really wanted no part of staying at the docks so we ventured off to where we were seeing our best action only to find the crumb snatching little guys biting the best, while needing nearly a pound of weight at times just to touch the bottom with the swift wind pushed drift. It seemed as though the big flatties were hunkered down with the weather and between the rough seas and the presentation of the baits with the wind against the tide for the better part of the day, it was just not to be. We did manage to catch plenty of Flounder and a good number of Bass on this trip, but we brought very little back to the docks with us as they mostly all fell short of the minimum size required.
The forecast wasn't much better for yesterday the wind was still to be blowing out of the northwest apposing the tide once again for the better part of the day and prospects for a big day were running low. The Ocean was surprisingly gentle for us with a very pleasant but unexpected moderation, the fishing however still left a lot to be desired. With the changing conditions we went from twelve ounces of lead to hold bottom early in the morning to virtually no drift as the day progressed while the ocean was turning flat calm before our very eyes. The fishing even though much better than the last couple adventures, still left a lot to be desired. At times we had pretty steady action with the shorts but once again the keepers just didn't add up to what we had been seeing before the wind.
When you do this every day these setbacks are to be expected but it doesn't make a tough trip any easier to swallow when conditions like we endured take over. We have truly seen some very good Flounder fishing recently and the outlook is very promising to see more of this type of action when the conditions improve. I anticipate nearly all of our efforts to be fishing over the rocky ledges and the hard coral bottoms of the old grounds, this is where we have seen the best of it. It is also possible that we may at times be fishing some of the artificial reef structures when the timing is right. Most of our fishing has been with the jigging style rigs fishing these hard bottoms and at times tackle loss can be a little frustrating so be prepared to lighten up your tackle box. It is also entirely possible that if any amount of Flounders turn up inside the Delaware Bay that we may spend some time up there however the way it seems right now we are in the right location. Flounder action in the Bay right now has been frustrating to say the least.
Capt. Mike has spent most of his time on the lower end of the Delaware Bay with his Half-Day trips and he has been seeing a nice variety catch with the usual assortment of Junkfish along with a few keeper Flounders, Trout and Kingfish. Mike reports that the action has been fairly steady at times but they still have not been able to bring much back to the docks yet. Capt. Mike has also reported that he is starting to see a few more Croakers daily on his adventures and hopes that the masses will be making a showing as the water temperatures continue to soar and holiday week approaches.
Capt. H.D. had another very successful Long-Rang deep drop trip over the weekend before the weather took it's turn for the worse. Many Anglers on this trip scored well into double digits with both the Blueline (grey) and the Golden Tilefish. Many of the Golden's were well in the Twenty pound range with the biggest weighing in at over forty pounds. His next trip will be sailing this weekend departing midnight and fishing all day Saturday June 30th. There are still a few open spaces but remember advanced reservations are a must and these trips will fish a minimum depth of 350 feet and most likely will be as deep as 700 feet of water.
If you didn't already know we have a full compliment of trips sailing out of the Wharf now including Full-Day, Half-Day as well as Whale and Dolphin watch sight seeing cruises. My Full-Day trips depart the docks at 7:00 a.m. and I generally return to the dock at around 4:00 p.m. Half-Day trips sail at 8:00 and then again at 1:00 through the week and they have an evening trip that sails at 6:00 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday evenings. The All-Day trips will be focused on catching the Flounders and Sea Bass and Half-Day trips will continue to cater to the Jr. anglers concentrating on any and all rod bending action until the Croakers show up in force. We will also have several more special Long-Range trips on the schedule.
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to book a private charter or make a reservation for a special trip please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing !
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV