The summer heat continues and along with this heat the fishing has also remained pretty hot with good Flounder action at times on my all day trips, more of that red hot Tuna action for the private and the charter boat fleet fishing offshore, and another successful long range bottom fishing trip catching Sea Bass and Tilefish this past weekend for Capt. H.D.
With my all day trips this past week we have enjoyed more good Flounder fishing in somewhat of a private charter like atmosphere, with the exception of Saturdays trip we have been running with more like a bare minimum crowd giving everyone lots of room at the rail and lots of comfort, and we have even seen some biting fish from time to time! While I can't boast some of the bigger number catches of keepers that I could just a couple of weeks ago, when everything falls into place we have still been enjoying some very good Flounder catching action and we have had our best week so far with some of our biggest fish of the season to date. We have actually weighed in several fish over five pounds just this past week including a couple of citation sized fish tipping the springs at over seven pounds and we do still see limit or near limit catches almost daily for a few of the lucky ones.
I have pretty much been exclusively fishing over the rocky ledges and the coral bottoms of the "old grounds" and while it is sometimes tough to prove depending on our fishing conditions on any given day, there appears to be a good abundance of these flat fish around right now. When we have our best action it seems as though the majority of our fish will fall shy of the minimum required size but they bite aggressively and it can be quite fun weeding through the shorts waiting for the big one to pop up. When the bite is on it is not uncommon for the average angler to land ten or twenty flounders on an all-day trip and possibly even more on some days. I can truly say our pool winning fish has been over five pounds every day this past week and we have seen a lot of three and four pound flatties mixed in with the little guys.
Jigging continues to be our best method for catching these structured bottom fish on a daily basis; the traditional long leaders will score some fish but these Flounder are definitely jumping up after the jigging rigs and somewhat staying clear of the long leader fluke killers just being dragged through the rocks. While it is certainly true that we have had a few setbacks in our Fluke fishing with some slow days, I attribute some of those slower tough days primarily to the conditions that we had to work with. I have only been up in the Bay once in the past few weeks but it sounds as though there may be a few fish starting to bunch up along the channel and it is certainly possible that I may turn that way in the right situation. The outlook for Flounder fishing is what I would have to call great for the next several weeks and we will be in hot pursuit of them!
While I wasn't around to see them when they got in, all reports from the long-range trip sounded good. Capt. H.D. told me the weather forecast that he had been updated with was wrong and actually worked out in his favor. With a slick flat calm ocean and very little breeze, drifting conditions in the deep water were ideal, if anything the drift may have been a little too slow. After stopping in several different locations and depths the fish started to add up for many of the anglers and it sounded like they had a really good trip with mostly Sea Bass and Blue Line Tilefish. Capt. H also reported a variety with Cod, Ling, Flounder, a lost Tuna, and even a Snowy Grouper in the catch! The next scheduled long range trip is in two weeks.
The offshore scene on the Tuna fish is still red hot. Yellowfin Tuna are being landed along the edges of the canyons on just about a daily basis. I have heard many seasoned skipper say that they haven't seen Tuna Fishing quite like this in a long time. Many boats are coming in with limit catches of these rod benders for everyone on board and the fish are ranging in size from 30 to 60 pounds making them the perfect size for the anglers. The majority of these fish have been caught on the troll but I have had a few reports of some fish being caught on Jigs. Inshore a ways Bluefin Tuna are still hanging around the lumps along with some Mahi, Kings, and False Albacore providing great action for boats that don't want to push all the way out to the canyons. This offshore fishing can really be described as phenomenal at this time and it is anybodies guess as to how
long it will last but for the time being, the bite is on!
We are still in the full summer swing here at the Wharf with Half-Day fishing, All- Day fishing and Whale and Dolphin watching trips running daily. I will continue Drift fishing for these Flounder daily departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. daily with the all-day trips, we usually get in just after 4:00. 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 running 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