Sweltering heat, thick fog, and some refreshingly cool ocean breezes dominated our days this past week here at the Wharf, along with a few nice fish. I would like to be able to give you a better report with our Flounder fishing over the past seven days, however barring a couple really decent trips, these last seven days will have to go down as our slowest week on the keeper sized Flounder since we started with them back in June.
While temperatures on land soared up to around triple digits, I can honestly say that we beat the majority of the scorching heat fishing offshore in the ocean where the air temperatures were at least ten to fifteen degrees cooler than that of the sweltering temperatures on the beach for the majority of the time. The old timers used to always say, (I'm excluding myself I'd like to think I'm still young) that the hotter the summer temperatures became the better the Fluke fishing would become. Well I'm here to tell you that was not so much the case as far as I'm concerned for me over this past week. We had a couple of what I would have to call 2011 good trips, and we also had a couple of what I would have to describe as hands down our worst trips with landing keepers for the entire '11 season fishing for these Flounder.
Fortunately for me the few passengers that I have been taking out on these adventures are continuing to have more fun fishing for, and catching these Flounder than I have had trying to locate them. It always seems that even on what I would call one of my toughest days, someone always comes up and tells me "great trip Capt!" God bless the newer generation of fishermen that doesn't seem to have a problem with today's catch and release fishing program and that are happy just being able to catch some fish and to be able to take home a fresh fish supper or two if they are lucky at the end of the day.
I can't say that the fishing is bad- I really can't, for the most part we still continue to pick at these flatties good during at least some part of our day and I have most definitely seen some terrific Flounder catching action recently, it's just that getting the keepers to add up by the end of the day lately seems to have become a real chore, we have had a couple of days where we have actually struggled just to get into double digits with legal fish. Nowadays when we do get twenty five or thirty keepers, I have to call it a 2011 good day. I can remember not long ago when if we didn't land at least fifty keepers on an all-day trip it was what we called a bum day. It doesn't look like I will be saying that anytime soon right now, I think I would sign a contract on thirty keepers a day at this time.
So what is going on with these fish? I wish I could give you a definitive answer, of course if I could do that, I likely wouldn't be doing this for a living! We do know that the bottom temperatures are still cold, scuba divers reported bottom temperatures just above the fifty degree mark over the past weekend while diving in our area, warmer than that of a couple weeks ago but still rather cool for the end of July. It is entirely possible that this colder water down deep is why we have seen such an inconsistent bite with these Fluke, they certainly seem to bite good at times, just not always, and certainly not a predictable bite like we would normally see at this time of year. Angling pressure has also made a difference, remember you can only catch a keeper once and when you have the pressure on these good pieces of bottom like we see now a days with the hundreds of boats targeting these Flounder, it doesn't take long to fish a certain area out of a keepable fish. Perhaps there is just too much salt water and not enough fish, I have certainly thought that at times!
Despite some long slow days I would still have to say that the outlook on these Flounder is very promising in the upcoming weeks. There are still reports of a lot of quality fish having been landed in the shallower waters and it is just a matter of time before we see what's left of these inshore fish heading out into the deeper water areas where we would generally catch them at this time of year. We will no doubt be seeing some good Fluke fishing in the next several weeks and I expect to start seeing more of a variety of fish in the catch also. We have already seen a little improvement some days with the Sea Bass and we are starting to see a few more Snapper Blues in the mix. Ling also seem to be plentiful now with the colder waters down at the bottom and there should be more Croakers showing up almost daily.
I will continue to sail daily with my all-day trips departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. arrival time back at the docks is roughly around 4:00 p.m. we will be primarily targeting Flounder. All bait is furnished and for the most part we have been trying to jig these fish up with bucktails and or teasers fishing almost exclusively over the rocks and the natural coral bottoms of the old grounds. We also have Half-Day trips sailing daily at 8:00 a.m. and then again at 1:30 p.m. Half- Day trips have been seeing a nice variety of fish keeping it interesting but not very many keepers to bring home .
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