I think I can give you a much better report this week as far as our Flounder fishing goes; with the exception of a couple of really bum days our Flounder landings for the past seven days have been much better than that of the last couple weeks, landing well over 100 keepers for just this past week including the two days with just a small handful of keepers on the boat for our entire day. Croakers have also started to make a fare showing now up in the Delaware Bay and Capt. H.D. has had another great long-range trip over the weekend catching Tilefish and Sea Bass on the offshore grounds.
This week was much more of a typical week for Flounder fishing as far as I'm concerned. When we had any type of favorable conditions we were able to pick away at the Flounder almost the way you would expect to see them at this time of the year. While the vast majority of the Flounders that we have been catching are falling shy of the required size limit, we continue to see some quality fish regularly. The action has been good and we have been doing lots of measuring and throwing back fish that are nice fat heartbreakers. I can still by no means say that our Flounder fishing is good but it has been very interesting and at times actually exciting and it has certainly been fun fishing for them especially when everything has fallen into place!
Conditions are key! When we get the right drift we have had plenty of action for the most part with these Flatties. This is typical even during the best of Flounder seasons, poor conditions can, and will kill even the best of bites. This has by no means been considered a good Flounder season but the same holds true regardless. Tough conditions were never more the case than that of the conditions we encountered on Sunday when for the entire trip, we never drifted more than one or two tenths of a knot. To put that in perspective imagine parking the boat over an edge and thirty minutes later still sitting just a hundred or two feet from where you had originally parked the boat. Not much ground being covered when these fish you are targeting are spread out around miles of open bottom. Sunday was just one of those days, a good day to be a Flounder but a tough day to be fishing for them.
We were back hard at it on Monday morning and with favorable conditions we saw more fish in the first fifteen minutes of fishing than we had seen the entire previous day. We had a great pick of flatties for the better part of the day and even managed a couple of limit catches along with several fish over four pounds including one doormat that tipped the scales at eight and a half pounds! It felt good to get back at the fish after what they put us through the prior day! That's more or less the way it has been for us lately not too consistent but a little easier to figure out why it's not working out on any given day. We know there are some fish around, maybe not like some years but a lot of fish in a lot of different locations. With a little luck from Mother Nature we have even been able to prove it from time to time.
Water temperatures have been soaring with the hot summer days we have had, I have seen surface temperatures in the mid to upper seventies on some days with the afternoon sun. For the most part surface temps have been at least seventy degrees anywhere we have been except right along the beach. Surf temperatures have been a little cooler; in the low and mid sixties along the beachfront providing some cool Ocean breezes near land. We have also been enjoying some crystal clear water on the fishing grounds at times being able to see our fish or our jigs nearly forty feet from the surface. Along with the clean clear water we have also seen and had several botched attempts at landing a few Mahi. Those that have dropped a bait in front of a willing fish have found out very quickly just how fast these fish can swim and how a drag that is too tight will ruin the experience quickly with a snapped line!
Our fishing over the past week has been I guess what I would just have to call fair. We have seen the action at times with mass quantities of short Fluke along with a few keepers and we have seen several fish that have been in the four and five pound class and even bigger. We still see an abundance of small to medium sized Ling Cod and we are seeing just a few Sea Bass and Snapper sized Blues for some variety in the catch. Some days are most certainly better than others but for the most part we have been coming home with a few nice fish suppers for most anglers. I would anticipate this type of fishing for several more weeks and likely for our fishing to even get better as these fish begin to bunch up later in the summer.
Capt. H.D. had another good trip this past Saturday out in the deep. With somewhat of an iffy start with the wind and the fast drift, by mid day, conditions moderated and they were able to rack up some decent numbers with both Blue Line Tilefish and some very nice Sea Bass. Most anglers were in double digit catches with both the Sea Bass as well as the Tilefish. There were also several opportunities with Mahi that were shadowing the boat and even a Mahi revenge match with Max where he came out a winner! By all accounts this turned out to be an outstanding trip especially after the way they had started out in the morning not being able to stay in touch with the bottom. In typical Wharf fashion Capt. H made one more drift on the biting fish and they came home late with coolers filled up rather nicely. The next Long-Range trip will be fishing on Saturday August 20th departing at 12:00 midnight. This is a limited space trip for 18 hours and advanced reservations are required. Capt. H is also planning a two day offshore trip fishing for Tuna, Mahi, and Golden Tile. I will post the date as soon as it becomes available.
Back up in the Delaware Bay Capt. Mike is proud to report that he is finally bending the rods with a few Croakers. He has been seeing almost a daily increase in the numbers of these tasty little bottom scrappers for about a week now and with any luck this is just the beginning of good things to come. For whatever reason these Croakers have been late arriving in the Delaware Bay for the last couple years but are a very welcome site now for the inshore bottom bouncers bound to the Bay. Capt. Mike also reports he is seeing a variety with some Spot, Flounder, Blowfish, and Kingfish on many of his trips. Half-Day trips will continue to run two trips daily sailing at 8:00 a.m. and then again at 1:00 p.m. Half night trips sail only on Friday and Saturday nights departing the dock at 6:00 p.m.
At the top of the report I posted an offer for $10.00 off the price on my All-Day trips. Here's the deal; for the remainder of the month of August those reporting to the ticket booth with a printed page of this offer is entitled to ten dollars off of our regular Full-Day price. This offer will be good any day with the exception of Saturday's and can't be used with an inflation fighter ticket. We will punch the yellow card though, so it will still count for the free trip when you fill out the yellow card. Just print out the top page of this report and it will be good for the rest of this month! Printouts are only good for one customer at a time so if you are coming with a group be sure everyone has their own. Full-Day trips depart the dock at 7:00 a.m. and generally return shortly after 4:00 p.m. We will be targeting mostly Flounder but we are also seeing a few Ling, Bass and Blues.
The outlook for catching fish is very promising in the upcoming weeks and passengers are still enjoying very light crowds nearly every day. This is a great time to plan a trip and get fishing before September rolls around and the kids get back to school. 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