The month of August is rolling right along. The days are getting a little shorter and it's much darker in the morning when the alarm goes off making it a little tougher to rise and shine but the fishing action continues to be good both out in the Ocean for the Fluke as well as up in the Delaware Bay now with some of the best Croaker action of the year so far and even a few Flounder taken from the rubble bottom as well.
It's hard to believe that the summer has zipped by us the way it seems to have done this year but with the daily grind and fortunate fishing we have enjoyed I guess it shouldn't surprise me. Some of our summer help has already packed up in preparation for heading back to college which is a sure sign of the summer season coming to a close. With the exception of a couple of weather related days I have hands down seen some of my best Flounder catching action for the 2012 season over the past seven or eight days . We have enjoyed pretty much constant action with these flatties on just about every trip. Tons of short fish from time to time biting almost like school Trout, and often times racking up the keepers in a fashion that they are hard to keep track of when they come in so fast. Limit catches around the rail are pretty frequent and we continue to see fish over five pounds just about daily. As with typical Flounder fishing you never really know who's going to excel on any given day it may be the young kid with the rented rod first to limit out and it could be they guy who spent all of his money on the best bucktails you can buy! The bottom line is Flounder fishing has continued to be pretty good in my book - I just hope it holds on for a while longer.
We had a little shake up in the weather last weekend with a hard southerly, it forced the long range trip to be scrubbed and it made me fish up in the Delaware Bay for the very first time this summer. Winds kicked up late last week just in time for Saturday and we saw wave heights exceeding five to six feet every few seconds out on the fishing grounds for the better part of Saturday forcing us to stick close to home and try to grind out a few fish in the Bay. I have often said that there is nothing worse than a hard southwest wind in our area and this proved to be true early on in the weekend. Cancelling the long-range trip was a no brainer and my decision to fish in the Bay with my all-day trip on Saturday proved to be a good one. We didn't see near the action that we had been seeing out front but we fished comfortably and actually managed to land a few nice Flounder by the end of the trip. We just didn't see the action that is available on the grounds where we have spent so much time this summer.
Sunday was a new day and the forecast was much better. I ventured back out front to the old grounds and was pleasantly surprised at how flat the Ocean was after the prior day. While we were very apprehensive as to whether the fish would be biting in the residual swell, our fears were put to rest with biting fish. The Flounder turned on in a good way and we once again saw some of the action that has been bringing anglers back again and again this summer. The bite was on and the keepers added up nicely despite the swell. Every fish that we caught seemed to have a bulging belly and it was clear that these fish were feeding after the blow! The following days we saw similar action depending on the conditions and there were a couple of trips that we saw some of our best numbers of keepers to date. The hard southerly that we saw over the weekend had seemed to have churned up some of the cooler bottom water up towards the surface and perhaps this turned the fish on I don't really know. At one point last week surface temperatures had been as high as 80 degrees in all directions and after the blow surface readings have been as low as 68 degrees in the mouth of the Delaware Bay and just off shore of Cape May. These temps have since stabilized on the surface to around 74 to 76 degrees on the fishing grounds however something has changed. Now the fish that we pull from the depths actually feel cool to the touch where as for the last several weeks they have felt as if they had been cuddled into a nice warm blanket.
With the shifts in water temperatures fish have been on the move. There are massive schools of Menhaden all up and down the Coast and there are Croakers now spread up and down the beach from Ocean City Maryland to up off the coast of New Jersey. There has also been several Whales spotted in the Mouth of the Delaware Bay and a little further off the beach lurking around all the schools of baitfish. Many of these Croakers have been in the lower end of the Delaware Bay providing some great rod bending action on the Half-Day trips. Capt. Mike has reported hands down the best action that he has seen so far this summer and that the fish are finally starting to get a little bigger. It has not been uncommon this past week for anglers to land twenty plus Croakers on a half day excursion with some fish in the foot long to fifteen inch range. Mike seems to think that they are still moving in as he has seen some large piles of fish most definitely on the move. I have also seen several large schools of bottom fish in my travels to and from the old grounds. It could be shaping up for a nice late summer into fall fishery with the Croaks.
This is the time of the year that things can change over night for better or for worse. We are keeping our fingers crossed that there are no named storms in our future to shuffle the deck prematurely. There are most definitely a lot of fish around at this time and we have been proving it more often than not. It is just a matter of time before the Flounders begin their offshore jaunt, I can only hope that they will be sticking around for several more weeks and I have no reason to believe that they wont. I look to continue Flounder fishing daily with my All-Day trips for at least a few more weeks before we switch gears and start anchor fishing regularly and even then I would expect to continue seeing some Flounder. I am expecting to start seeing more of a variety in our catch with Sea Bass and Blues as these fish start to migrate. I will be sailing daily at 7:00 a.m. with the All-Day trips and our Half-Day trips sail at 8:00 and 1:00 for the Croakers.
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