The dog days of summer continue here in Lewes and the fishing scene has barely missed a beat. I am continuing with some decent Flounder fishing mostly in the Ocean on the All-Day trips, Half Day trips are spending just about all of their time in the lower end of the Delaware Bay catching a variety of fish, and the offshore scene has still been red hot with Tuna, Marlin and Mahi.
Over the past seven days I have seen the good, the bad, and the "I'd just rather not talk about it" with my all day Fluke trips. Just this past week we have seen a couple of the finest Flounder drifts of the season as well as a couple of the worst and we have also landed the biggest Flounder to date so far for the 2011 season with a whopper doormat that tipped the scale at exactly nine pounds! We continue to see some pretty decent fishing almost on a daily basis at least during some point of the day, but we have still been struggling with getting the keepers to add up to any big numbers. When the fish are biting it has not been uncommon for sharp anglers to land ten or twenty or even more Flounder during the course of the day. We have seen a few limit catches but they have been few and far between. We have found ourselves doing an awful lot of measuring here of late and there has been a heartbreaking number of nice fat fish that have fallen just shy of the required size limit. The fishing however for the most part has been a lot of fun.
We had a little weather shake up late last week with some moderate Northeast winds which churned up some of the colder bottom water leaving us with some of that crystal clear surface water for about three days in a row, but this clear water has since mucked up a little since the weekend. For a while we could see our baits and our fish coming up from the depths as far as thirty feet down but nearly over night we are back to normal conditions of only being able to see ten or more feet below the surface, back to the way its been for us for a few weeks. Surface temperatures have been all over the place ranging from 63 to 70 plus degrees in our travels with cold pockets of water showing up just about everywhere. Bottom temperatures still remain unseasonably cool according to the divers on the reef.
I would have to describe our fishing as basically fair at best. While we certainly see some terrific action at times with these flatties, I have to admit I am a little disappointed with what we have been able to bring home with us. We do still see a little variety catch with some Ling and just a few Sea Bass and we also seen a few Blues in the bag. The Flounder have been making up the bulk of the catch and some of them are true quality fish but I have certainly seen bigger numbers of keeper fish for this time of the year than what we are seeing now. There is a lot of fish around including some very nice fish but they don't always cooperate and it seems when they do we are throwing just too many back for my liking. Couple the throw backs with the tackle loss at times fishing over the rocky coral bottoms it can be a little frustrating for some inexperienced fishermen. Fishing over these hard bottoms at certain drift speeds can be very tough on the tackle loss with rigs getting hung in the rocks and sea trees.
Fishing up in the Delaware Bay has remained very spotty. There is a variety of fish available with Flounder, Trout and a few Croakers starting to show but again many of these just don't make the grade of the required size limits. There has been a few nice Flounder showing up in the anchorage and along the shipping channel but conditions have to be ideal for these fish to snap. While there is certainly some Flounder moving around in the Bay at this time they just don't seem to be bunched up in any particular location right now and you have to spend a good deal of time trying to locate them. Capt. Mike reports that his Half-Day trips are going a little better than just a couple of weeks ago with a nice variety of fish but if its a fish supper you are looking for your best bet is still to go on a Full Day trip. The Croakers have just not shown up in force yet and they have not been bringing a lot of fish back to the dock. The action at times has been good and the fishing has been fun for the Jr. anglers but the size has been short and keeper few.
Offshore anglers have still been enjoying some fabulous blue water fishing out in the canyons. Yellowfin Tuna along with a good number of Mahi and Billfish have been trolled, chunked, and jigged up in good numbers nearly every day for the anglers that are making their way to the deep. This fishing has been good for several weeks now and should continue strong for the remainder of the summer. More and more Billfish have been showing up recently just in time for the big money tournaments. Capt. H.D. told me his next long range deep drop trip will be leaving Friday July 29th departing the docks midnight and fishing all day Saturday. His plans depending on the weather and conditions are to fish between 350 ft to as deep as 800 feet of water in search of Tilefish. He will also be in the area where most of the offshore action is taking place so anything is possible on this adventure. There are a few open spots left on this trip but space is limited and reservations are required in advance for this trip.
I will continue Flounder fishing daily with the All-Day trips fishing mostly in the ocean over the rocky ledges of the "old grounds" we depart the docks at 7:00 a.m. and generally return around 4 o'clock. Half-Day trips sail at 8:00 and then again at 1:00 with evening trips now just running on Friday and Saturday nights. Half Day trips will be fishing in the Delaware Bay fishing for a variety of fish until the Croakers show up in force. 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