All in all it's been another pretty good week of fishing here at the Wharf. The Flounder continue to add up nicely when the conditions are right, There are more Croakers around now than there has been all summer, and the offshore action continues to be good off in the deep waters well off of the beach.
I definitely have had a couple of really tough days since my last report however when I added up the totals of what we caught for the last seven days we were right on par for my last several weeks landings including a high catch with over 60 keeper flatties on one day - and a low catch with just one lonely keeper for an agonizingly long and painfully slow day. We have seen some strange weather patterns this summer with easterly and southeasterly winds plaguing us on several different occasions. Through one of these spells the winds and the tide were somewhat together and the fishing was surprisingly good even with all of the wind. This last little wind event however was the opposite with mostly ebb tides and easterly winds for three days in a row and our catch was a direct result of the conditions we were given to work with the winds directly against the current. Not only could we not get a decent drift going but the presentation of the baits was all wrong too with our baits being pulled across their backs instead of in front of their mouths! It makes a difference, all part of good Flounder fishing- hoping for that perfect drift.
As the week progressed and the weekend approached the easterlies finally subsided and we were back in the game by Thursday with a slick flat Ocean and a natural pokey drift. It worked and we once again saw decent action with some very nice Flounder coming aboard along with a few big Sea Bass. Friday was a little tougher and instead of no drift we were now drifting at a knot plus most of the morning with the current and there was enough of wind that once the tide began to go the other way against the drift it was very difficult to stay in touch with the bottom but the fish continued to bite. While some sharp sticks were still able to jig with six ounces of lead constantly working their baits hard, others were using up to as much as a pound of weight just to keep it down on the bottom. Had the fish not kept biting this would have been a horrific scenario however the action remained steady and it was worth the effort and using all the lead for the pretty fish that were popping up around the boat.
The forecast was similar for Saturday and with fears of not being able to hold bottom, I opted a little different direction of travel so we would be closer to some shallower bottoms had the drift become too tough for us to deal with. I was pleasantly surprised that the wind held off until much later in the day and we were able to fish the depth that I wanted to fish and we once again racked up some real good numbers of nice Flatties with multiple limit catches around the boat. We also had several decent Bass and some Snapper Blues in the mix. Sunday was just what we expected; the weathermen had promised 25 to 30 knot winds and we got just that. With drift speed in excess of 2 knots, anchoring became my only option getting situated over various different parts of the reef and hoping for the best. Fishing was less than spectacular on Sunday and I think everyone (self included) was happy to hit the dock on time with just a couple of handfuls of keeper fish.
So far this week the fishing has remained steady with good short action and keepers adding up nicely. I missed Monday's trip with a lack of sponsors but with the residual swell from the prior day it did not hurt my feelings to send a few folks back home in the morning with hopes of a better day ahead, it was still pretty snappy out in the Ocean with wave heights in the mouth of the Bay exceeding four and five feet. Tuesday's fishing was a little slow but the fish finally added up by the end of the day for some folks with plenty of fresh fish suppers to go around. As I write this report today 8/8, so far the action has been good but finding any numbers of keepers has been tough for us so far. We are really starting to see some quality heartbreaking throwbacks over seventeen inches. Very nice healthy fish but just not quite long enough to make the grade. Hopefully by the end of the day they will start to add up for us like they normally do.
Back up in the Delaware Bay they have finally gotten some relief with some biting fish. Croakers have finally shown up in decent numbers making for some fun fishing with the inshore trips. Capt. Mike has reported that on some of his Half-Day trips anglers have been able to take home a dozen or two Croakers that are measuring up to about a foot long. There are often times where the action has been fast and furious however many of the Croakers are still on the small side often having to be measured to be able to keep. There has also been several Spike sized Trout and some Snapper Blues in the mix and on one trip this past week Capt. Mike had one angler land three nice Flounder while jigging structure during a slack tide period of the tide. The Croakers do seem to be showing up in good numbers finally and they seem to be in a lot of different areas, we even saw a few of them last week during the easterlies covering some of the bottoms on the old grounds. Barring any major weather events they should be providing some good rod bending action for several weeks to come.
On the Offshore scene this week pretty much all eyes will be on the weighing station in Ocean City Maryland for the annual White Marlin Open where hundreds of the most prestigious offshore anglers will compete for the $$$. Last week anglers saw some of the best White Marlin action of the year so far with most boats coming to the docks with both outriggers filled up with release flags, anticipation is at an all time high. Monday was a blowout for just about all the boats and I heard the action was slow yesterday with nothing really standing out for the big money but this is bound to be another close tournament this year with lots of impressive fish hitting the weigh in station at Harbor Island Marina every day for the rest of this week.
On the Offshore bottom fishing scene Capt. H.D. hasn't been off to the deep in three weeks. He has a deep drop trip on the schedule for both this upcoming weekend and then again on the following weekend in hopes of getting back on the Tilefish. These trips have been a huge success so far this year when he has been able to get the weather to get out with both the Golden and the Blue Line Tiles and on one trip lots of nice Sea Bass in the mix along with the Tiles. At this point the weather is looking a little iffy for this weekend but Capt. H won't make the final decision until Friday. These trips are reservations only trips with limited space so be sure to call in advance to save your space. There is a complete list of dates for these special trips on the trip schedule of the website at fishlewes.com
Things are shaping up nicely to continue to see more good fishing action for the remainder of the summer and beyond. I will continue to sail for Flounder and Sea Bass with my All-Day trips departing the docks daily at 7:00 a.m. we rarely get in before 4:30. Half-Day trips sail daily at 8:00 a.m. and then again at 1:00 p.m. These trips are targeting a variety of fish and concentrating on catching the Croakers. There are also evening Half-Day trips sailing on Friday and Saturday nights 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 or reserve space on an upcoming special trip, please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV