Along with the summer heat we have started to see a definite trend in the warming of the waters and I can honestly say that I have had the best week of Flounder fishing since we started dragging baits a few weeks back.
The numbers don't lie, despite a couple of very long days with not much to show recently, we have landed more Flounders over these past seven days than any week so far since we have been drift fishing and targeting primarily the Flatties. In just this past week alone we have landed several hundred Flounder keeping nearly a hundred and forty! I actually saw a few occasions where these fish had really turned on and where biting the way you think they are supposed to be biting at this time of year.
Don't get me wrong this is still not great fishing its just normal fluking; some days are definitely way better than others, its just that on a few occasions they have added up nicely and the short action at times has been fast and furious creating lots of fish catching action around the rail for nearly everyone onboard. We have also seen more limit catches this past week and several folks that were just one fish away from a limit with three nice keepers at the end of the day. The bulk of our keeper fish have been between 19 to 21 inches with many of these fish over three and four pounds and our biggest Flounder landed this past week was just over seven pounds again. I have seen a definite improvement over the last couple weeks and I think flounder season might have officially begun!
Some of the colder pockets of water we were seeing a couple of weeks ago finally seem to be giving way to the consistent warmer air temperatures that we have had to endure of late. We have seen several days now where the air temperatures on land have soared up into the mid and upper nineties and these stifling days have forced a very helpful impact on the surface water temperatures. Even after a hard southerly earlier this week surface temps along the coast are still hanging around 72 degrees and still a little higher just a few more miles off the beach. The last time we had a hard southerly like the one we had on Monday, surface temps had dropped several degrees up and down the coast and around the mouth of the Delaware Bay from the churning of the cooler water close to the bottom. It appears the whole water column is starting to warm up now.
The warming water along with the passing of the latest full moon and it's associated hard running tides are no doubt responsible for some more consistent fish catching action. Fish do seem to be on the move. I have caught Flounder in several areas over the past few days that just a couple of weeks ago there were none and they do seem to be biting a little better when you think they should be biting. For a couple of weeks when the Fluke would hit the bait it seemed as though you would get only one shot at them and they would be gone. Recently it's been more of a typical bite and they are following the baits more often giving anglers a few chances at getting a hook in the right spot before they leave the bait.
Jigging continues to be one of the best methods for catching these fish and all of my effort has been on the various rocky coral ledges of the "old grounds" For the most part we have been fishing between 70 to 90 feet and the braided lines have certainly prevailed. It never ceases to amaze me though how a rented rod with nothing more than mono along with the appropriate rig at the end of the line will continue to have the pro's scratching their heads! I find it so much more fun to be lucky than good!
The outlook is good for continued success with these Flatties on the old grounds for the next several weeks. There has also been a more consistent bite further up in the Bay and it seems as though the inshore fishing in the skinny waters of the back Bay's and sounds have become a little less consistent than they had been. I think a lot of these fish from the canals and back bays are now moving out into some of the deeper areas in search of the abundance of baitfish that are now around. There seems to be a lot of fish around in a lot of different areas which can only add up in our favor in the upcoming weeks.
Offshore fishing continues to be good also. Way better than the way it started out last year. There has already been some phenomenal action with both the Yellowfin and Bluefin Tuna and some good numbers of Mahi taken from the local canyons and the lumps inside of these deeper waters. Billfish have also been making an appearance in the deep. If you are interested in getting in on the offshore action now is the time to think about booking your trip. Capt. Bennett has several open days with the Lewestown Lady and is looking foreword to getting in on this action in the upcoming weeks.
Summer is upon us now and we are in the full fishing mode here at the Wharf we will have boats running daily for everyone's needs . I will continue to be running my All-Day trips sailing daily at 7:00 a.m. fishing primarily for Flounder and a mix with a few Sea Bass. All day trips get back to the docks around 4:00 p.m. We will also be running Half-Day trips three times a day departing the docks at 8:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. and then again at 6:00 p.m. for the evening trip. Half-Day trips are targeting a variety of inshore fish including Croakers, Flounder, Kingfish and Blowfish. For those interested in just a boat ride we have several Dolphin and Nature Cruises running daily also.
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