Here we are into the third week of August and I can finally report that we have hands down had the best week of fishing here at the Wharf out of any week so far for our summer fishing season. Our Flounder fishing has been the best that we have seen so far this year with some true quality fish, and the Croaker fishing up in the Delaware Bay has been outstanding also!
Since my last report our Flounder fishing has barely missed a beat, we have been enjoying some of our best days of the year with total landings of Flounder both with the short action and lots and lots of beautiful keepers. I have seen several days this past week with multiple limit catches spread around the boat from my happy anglers on board, and I was also fortunate enough to witness one of the quickest caught limit catches of Flounder I may have ever seen with Max jigging up a limit of four big flatties just two days ago on my very first drift. We didn't have to measure one of them we just stacked them in the box! I could have almost predicted our success, you could just tell that the fishing was getting seemingly better day by day and that there was some nice fish spread around in several different locations as well as tons of short fish. Everything finally clicked and it was most definitely a bad week to be a Flounder swimming around underneath of the Thelma Dale IV. We put a hurting on them in the last seven days!
There could be a lot of contributing factors to our success but I think it was mainly some perfect drifting conditions and the simple fact that the fish seem to be feeding a little more aggressively here of late. I have been able to catch them in several different locations actually fishing miles apart in the varying conditions that we have seen from day to day. When we have had a good drift there were days I was able to literally drift for the better part of a nautical mile or more catching flatties the whole time while fishing the "old grounds" there were also a couple of days that when the drift was almost non existent, we put up some good numbers making short drifts grinding over little coral heads and even seeing good fishing at the offshore artificial reef on a couple of days. I actually had one miserable day with a whole lot of southerly wind and rain in the forecast and with just a few folks on board we were able to catch some decent Flounder up in the Delaware Bay. That particular day was certainly not one of our better days but in conditions like we had to work with we were fortunate to be able to get any and we made a pretty decent showing.
Water temperatures have soared, I have seen surface temperatures up over 80 degrees with a flat calm ocean coupled with the afternoon sun. For the most part surface temps have been pretty much in the mid to upper seventies on a daily basis. I haven't had any dive reports lately but I suspect bottom temperatures are much warmer now also. We have also been enjoying a lot of that crystal clear water where you can see your fish or your jigs as far as forty or more feet from the surface and at times looking at massive schools of baitfish well beneath the surface swimming around underneath the boat. There has even been schools of Giant Bluefin Tuna within five miles of the beach cruising around and smashing up the big schools of menhaden in this clean warm water. I have seen many schools of Bluefins close to the beach before but never the true giants the likes of the ones that were around last weekend.
Back up in the Delaware Bay Capt. Mike reported the best Croaker action that he has seen in a couple of years. These scrappy bottom feeders came on in a big way just about every trip for the Half-Day Boat and for the inshore charters fishing the Bay last week. Croakers from about 10 inches long up to about 16 inches were pleasing Jr. and senior anglers alike oftentimes hanging around the rail like grapes on a vine, with everyone on board pulling up double headers as fast as they could get their baits to the bottom! These fish really just showed up over the past couple of weeks but they are here in a big way now. It has not been uncommon for anglers to catch 20 or 30 or more fair sized Croaks on just a Half-Day excursion and I have personally seen the decent sized coolers and the bags full of them when Capt. Mike has been getting in from his afternoon run. Capt. Mike says the outlook is good to continue seeing action like this for the remainder of the summer and into the fall season with the Half-Day trips. There are good numbers of these fish in several different locations in the Bay now and they have been fishing fairly shallow water making it easy on those that are targeting these fish.
This is the time of year that you would certainly expect to see some of the best fishing and lately we have not been disappointed. It had certainly been a struggle at times this year especially for the boats fishing strictly in the Bay. With any luck we should continue to see good action with the Flounder for several more weeks and I fully anticipate more of a variety of fish with my all-day trips as the season wears on. We do still see a few Sea Bass regularly, some days more than others and never really a lot, just a few. I don't think I have seen a Snapper Blue this past week but when I am fishing the old grounds we continue to see a lot of Ling in the mix. We do still see Mahi frequently zipping around and chasing our baits in the clear water but regrettably we have yet to land one so far this year.
I will continue sailing daily for the Flounder departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. with the All-Day trips and for a ten dollar off coupon check out the archives for my August 4th report and print out the top page. Half-Day trips will be sailing for Croakers Daily at 8:00 a.m. and then again at 1:00 p.m. evening half day trips sail just Friday and Saturday nights now departing the docks at 6:00 p.m. Capt. H.D. also will have a long range trip this Saturday check with the dock to see if there is any space left available. This is an 18 hour trip and reservations in advance are required.
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to book a private charter please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV