Sweltering summer heat has dominated our region over the past week and along with this hot summer weather we have seen surface water temperatures soar, some fairly consistent Flounder fishing, the first significant catches of Croakers for the year, and offshore sports fishermen enjoying great action with Tuna, Marlin and Mahi and even a few Wahoo.
This certainly is the time of the year that you would expect to see some good fishing here in Lewes and I would be lying if I said that I have not seen or heard of some great fish catching action as of late. I would also be lying if I told you that we are loading up with fish! That just isn't the case. First off, regulations no longer allow you to "load up" with fish. Second off this is 2010 and our standards are not quite what they were just a few short years ago! If someone says they are loading up with fish now a days they are more than likely filling up a little playmate cooler! It really hasn't been too bad a week of fishing here at the Wharf, there has actually been a few very bright spots. Croakers which were non heard of just a week ago are now pleasing all fisherman targeting this species up in the Delaware Bay including our Half-Day trips and some of the private charters that are looking to get in on the fast action. Flounder fishing has been pretty much like it's been for the majority of the year, hit and miss on those great days, and consistent with good action and a fair number of good sized keepers when everything falls into place.
My numbers of Flounder for the past seven days were actually more than our previous week and the amount of keepers has remained fairly steady with just under a hundred keepers caught this past week for literally several hundred flatties landed. We have done a lot more measuring of fish lately but there has been plenty of times when these Flounder were flipping in over the rail making for some pretty steady fish catching action.
If I were to survey my customers that I have had recently on their experience Flounder fishing with me over the past few weeks I would definitely have a broad spectrum of feelings that would likely range from "It was my best day ever" to, "Oh my God what was I thinking!" And either one of those answers could have come on the very same outing! That's the way it has been. I have absolutely seen a couple of my worst days number wise with keepers and I have also seen a few of the biggest fish of the year landed just this past week including one doormat just shy of eleven pounds and another that tipped the scales just under eight pounds! You could easily be on either side of that spectrum whether you are the worlds greatest fisherman or you are a lucky first timer! I certainly can't call it bad fishing but I personally would not call it good. Fortunately for me and my crew the vast majority of our patrons have had a lot more fun fishing for these fish than we have had at trying to locate or at helping these folks at trying to catch them.
Mother Nature continues to hold the upper hand on having those stellar days with the Fluke. Conditions seem to get us at some point in the day on nearly every trip we have made, and if the conditions don't get us sometimes these fish just quit biting when you fully expect them to be chewing away. I have been putting in some long days fishing for these Flounder this year trying to make them add up and it hasn't always worked out the way I wanted. However, we have continued to see some decent fish catching action at some point on just about every trip. We have just not always had the great numbers of keepers. There really does seem to be a good number of flatties around right now and they are in a lot of different areas, it's just that everything has to fall into place just right to see them add up in the coolers the way that everyone hopes to see.
I do expect a lot more good days with the Flounder on the All- Day trips for several more weeks, the outlook is actually very good. I will be sailing for these fish at 7:00 a.m. daily and we have been getting back to the docks at around 4:00 p.m. All bait is furnished including Squid and any fresh meat that we can get our sharp knives on. While I have seen many a fish taken on the traditional Fluke Killer rigs, I have to admit that the majority of our action has still been on Jigging style rigs. We continue to see our best action fishing the "old grounds" out in the Ocean but we have also seen a few decent trips around the mouth of the Delaware Bay. Most of our action has been in about 80 feet of water on the rocky bottoms when out front and anywhere from 20 to 60 feet when we have been in the shallows Bay.
Our Half-Day trips will be sailing for the Croakers now every day sailing three times a day. Capt. Mike has reported hands down the best action that he has seen so far this year with his Half-Day trips catching these bottom scrappers and this fishing should only get better in the upcoming weeks. Croaker fishing in the Delaware Bay is traditionally good throughout the summer months and this year should be no different. Half-Day trips sail at 8:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. and then again at 6:00 p.m.
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to make reservations for a special trip or book a private charter please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV