For the most part the fishing has not changed much from my last report. Flounders continue to be the mainstay with the Full-Day trips, Croakers are the main target for all Half-Day trips as well as most of the private inshore charters, and the Offshore scene continues to show good numbers with Mahi, Marlin, and Tuna.
Scorching summer heat continued through our area most of last week causing water temperatures to climb and showing us little relief even out on the water while air temperatures stayed in the mid to upper nineties and close to triple digits on land. Even though it usually felt much better out on the water than it did on the beach there were times when you just wanted to start the boat up and move around just to cool off! With very little breeze at times and the bright sun reflecting on the water it was tough to get a break from the sweltering heat.
Along with the heat wave I have to say that I had my best numbers of keeper Flounder for any week so far this year and in the midst of these fish we also had a couple long tough days with very few numbers of keepers in the column. I guess this means that the better days are actually a little better now. We did have a few trips over the past week where we had well over thirty keepers tolled up by days end and unfortunately we also had a day with only nine keepers for all of our effort by the end of the day. Each and every trip however we have at some point during the day picked away at the Flatties both big and little, doing lots of measuring and hoping that the keepers begin to add up while the conditions are right. I have also seen more limit and near limit catches by anglers this past week than I have been seeing all year but regrettably I am still seeing several folks around the rail that are still waiting to see one measure up for the box! These fish are NOT committing suicide you need to fish for them and even then you may not get lucky.
I have continued to fish almost exclusively over the "old grounds" out in the Ocean this past week this is where the best action has been for me, however there are still reports way up in the Delaware Bay of some big numbers of Flounder showing up along the channel and around some of the deeper edges near the anchorage. These fish are likely moving out of the shallows chasing food and are beginning to filter down the Bay getting fattened up for the big fall migration. There are also some decent landings of Fluke coming from the artificial reef sites, the Cape May channel and from some of the rips in the mouth of the Bay.
There certainly does not seem to be a shortage of Flounder around right now it's just that these fish are spread out over literally miles of open bottom. There are times when we can get on a nice sized patch of these fish and grind away at a decent catch but there are other times that we just cant drift and without covering the bottom it's tough to make anything add up. While we continue to see some decent size fish nearly every day we have also been doing much more measuring as of late. There has been an abundance of heavy seventeen to eighteen inch fish breaking the hearts of fishermen on a daily basis. Our biggest fish this past week was once again just over seven pounds and our daily pool fish is just about always over four or five pounds. It's been painfully slow fishing at times but we have had a lot of fun and I certainly can't call this fishing bad. I just can't call it great, that statement is reserved for the lucky anglers that land a limit or win the pool!
I will continue fishing for these Flounder every day with my All-Day Trips departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. and returning around 4:00. The outlook is actually very good to have continued success with these nice Flatties for several more weeks to come. With the amount of fish that are around right now I can assure you that they will be bunched up at times and we will be on top of them when they are. As I stated earlier most of our fishing has been out front fishing the rocky ledges and coral bottoms of the "old grounds" Jigging continues to be one of the best methods for catching these fish especially when the drift is slow. We have been fishing depths mostly from 70 to 90 feet deep and it does seem like the braided lines prevail.
Back up in the Bay Capt. Mike reports some more of the best Croaker action so far this year with his Half-Day adventures. While these fish have not cooperated with him the way he would like there have still been several trips where anglers have been able to fill a nice sized cooler with these pan sized fish. Mike is running three trips a day for the croakers and has also been seeing a little variety with Kingfish, Blowfish, small Trout and the occasional Flounder. This is the perfect trip for first time junior anglers or those with plans that cant make the full day trip. Half Day trips depart at 8:00, 1:00 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 book a private charter please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV