The fishing grind continues here at the Wharf and after a long holiday weekend it pains me to report that my fishing over the last few days has not been nearly as hot as the weather. I have without doubt seen some very good Flounder fishing over these past seven days including one of my best Flounder drifts of the year just this past weekend, but the numbers of the fish that we have been able to keep have definitely dwindled for me especially during my last three days of fishing.
It really has been a strange season so far with these flatties, we got off to a great start seemingly early in June with good numbers of fish and lots of nice keepers. Typically with Flounder fishing you will see the good and the bad almost on a daily basis depending on conditions, however I have had some of my best trips in what I would call less than ideal circumstances and I have seen some of my worst catches with no plausible excuse to explain why its not working while conditions seemed to be just perfect? Over the years I have compiled quite the list of excuses in my book however there has been a few times this year that the fish won the battle and I just had no explanation as to why.
Water temperatures have still been on the rise as far as the surface is concerned however the bottom temperature appears to be rather cool. While our surface temps have been at least in the low seventies every day with or without the sun, the bottom temperature reported by a dive team just today in my general vicinity was only 47 degrees; unusually cold as far as I am concerned for the first week of July. This could possibly be the cause for the temperamental Fluke bite, a week or so ago they were much more aggressive I thought, and the bottom temp was up in the low fifties. The colder bottom could also be the reason we have been seeing a lot of small Ling recently along with the Flounder we have been catching.
Some of these Ling we have been bringing up have actually been big enough and abundant enough at times to make a meal or two for anglers but the majority of them have been on the small side and have been thrown back to grow up.
I reported last week that I thought the outlook was very good for some great fishing in the upcoming weeks and I have to admit there were a couple of times since that report that I was wishing that I had never posted that statement. I am however going to have to stick with my guns and say I believe that we are still going to have some really good fishing with these flat fish in our immediate future. I have seen enough of fish in several different locations now to know that it is just a matter of time and when everything falls into place we will be catching them. I had one drift over the weekend that we literally drifted for a little over three hours non stop catching Flounder.
We only covered about a half mile of bottom in a zig zag pattern plot line on this drift but the fish just kept coming. Naturally the bulk of these fish fell short of the required size limit but they were there and they were biting and we managed a good number of keepers out of that particular bite. On the flipside of that good drift we had, later in that very same day we couldn't buy a Flounder anywhere we went; they had just shut off . These Flounder will sure keep you guessing!
However slow our fishing has seemed recently I do believe we still have the best thing going as far as scraping up a few fish suppers. Just about every day we have at least been able to pick away at the shorts and there is still some nice keepers popping up frequently. According to my logs we have just in the past seven days alone landed well over a thousand Flounder and kept just over 100 legal sized fish with the keeper ratio working out to a little worse than ten to one.
My crowds at the rail have been a little better than that of the last couple weeks but still pretty light in the grand scheme of things. We did have a few trips in a row last week where we were in the single digits or just barely double digits with keepers but today was a little better with about twenty nice fish spread around in the coolers and even another lucky skillful limit with fish up to six pounds. Certainly not great fishing but not a disaster either, for the most part we have been at least keeping it interesting and still seeing a few very nice fish.
Up in the Delaware Bay the fishing continues to be pretty spotty. The boats bound to Bay have certainly seen a few good days on the Flounder but it has been very inconsistent to say the least. I was actually up in the Bay fishing one day last week and we saw some half decent action with the Flounders along with a plethora of Sand Sharks and other junk fish but every other day I have been fishing the Ocean. There are a few Croakers around up in the Bay now but not enough to say we are catching them to any amount. Capt. Mike reports decent action on his Half-Day trips in the lower end and in the mouth of the Bay but not much to bring home with them.
They have been catching Sharks, Skates, Oyster Crackers, Blowfish and Kingfish along with the occasional Croaker. Capt. Mike is doing the Croaker dance daily on each trip from his upper deck and feels that in the next couple weeks there will be enough of them around to target making his trips go much smoother.
The full summer schedule remains here at the Wharf with Half-Day trips sailing daily at 8:00, 1:00 and then again at 6:00 p.m. with the evening run. They will be targeting anything that will bend a rod until these Croakers show up in force. My All-Day trips we be sailing daily at 7:00 a.m. and I will be targeting primarily the Flounders fishing over the rocky ledges and coral bottoms of the old grounds.
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 one of the special trips please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV