It's been quite a week of fishing here at the Wharf over these past seven days, the lazy hazy dog days of summer continue, the Croaker fishing has finally turned on all over the Delaware Bay and the Flounder continue to both please and frustrate anyone that is trying to catch them on a daily basis!
For me this will have to go down as not being one of my better weeks for targeting the Flatties, even though our numbers of keepers are still fairly good for the amount of fish we have been able to catch, I have not seen the good fishing that I would expect to see at this time of year. All tolled we did have nearly a hundred keepers over the past week for literally hundreds and hundreds of short Fluke including fish up to four or five pounds on just about every trip, however in my opinion this has been a pretty ragged week. At times we have been able to see steady action with
plenty of small fish and a decent number of K's mixed in but other times we have been struggling just to get some bites. While conditions have played the biggest role in our success there appears to be a very fine line between success and failure right now with the fishing that seems to be available. There is definitely a lot of fish around and they seem to be in a lot of different locations but getting the keepers to add up on a daily basis has become a chore especially when the drift goes awry.
I don't want this to sound like a doom and gloom report we really have had some decent trips on the Flounder recently and have made a lot of folks happy on just about every trip but if you are expecting to come down and pack your freezer with fillets you will be better off stopping at the local fish market! The days of "loading up with fish" are not what I have to offer right now. There has been a few bright spots this past week, one day out of the blue we landed over forty keeper Sea Bass including one beast that weighed four pounds on the nose. I can't explain why they bit for us that particular day but just about everywhere we fished we nicked a few nice Bass and they added up a little by the end of the day. This was the most keeper Bass I had seen in the ship in a long time and I have seen a few more nice ones since
that day. Hopefully we will be seeing more trips like that in our future. It makes for a nice day with the mix of some keeper Bass and some Fluke!
We had a few very nice easy days fishing up in the Delaware Bay last week but that fishing fell apart on us, those fish either moved on or we ripped them all out of there. Since then we have been back out on the "old grounds" every trip. Our drifting conditions have varied from little to no drift to not being able to stay in touch with the bottom and sometimes we even saw both extremes during the very same day! We have still had our best success with the jigging style rig especially with a slow drift, however the traditional Fluke Killers have made out just fine, it just seems as though you are more apt to loose rigs with the longer leaders dragging along the rocky bottoms. When we keep our leaders short not only do we loose less rigs but the bites have been more frequent.
Only the fish Gods know how this Flounder season is going to progress as the days start to become a little shorter but my guess is that we will have continued success with the Flatties for several more weeks. Whether or not it turns into a red hot bite with lots of keepers remains to be seen. Even the hot shot Flounder guru's have had their problems at catching keepers at times this year. I will continue to target these fish on a daily basis as long as we keep catching them. I do however see a good chance of more Bass in the mix and eventually some Croakers may move onto the grounds where we are seeing the best Flounder action, they always do. Our baits will not be selective and I will graciously accept any biting fish! For now though it is still mostly Flat fish with a smattering of Sea Bass.
Back up in the Delaware Bay Capt. Mike has enjoyed hands down his best week of fishing yet this summer. The Croakers have moved into the grounds in abundance and have been pleasing Half-Day anglers on a regular basis. While the vast majority of these fish are still just pan fish size of about ten to twelve inches they are starting to see a few larger fish just about every trip with a few in the fifteen inch category taking the pool on occasion. Capt. Mike also reports a variety catch still with Blowfish, Kingfish some small Sea Trout and the occasional throwback or keeper Fluke to keep it interesting. These Croakers have been long anticipated but they are finally here and it has not been uncommon for anglers to fill up a bucket on just a Half-Day trip. We should see Croakers now on the Half-Day trips until long after Labor Day.
Traditionally our best time of the year for catching a variety of fish is during the next several weeks, this year shouldn't be any different. I will continue running my All-Day trips sailing for Flounder we leave at 7:00 a.m. and generally get in around 4:00 or a little later. Flounder will be at the top of the menu but we have been seeing a few more Sea Bass lately. Half-Day trips will continue targeting the Croakers sailing three time a day. 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 please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV