Like a marathon runner that knows the finish line is just around the bend, our summer fishing season is rapidly coming to an end. We are about to begin the last week of August and unlike the exhausted runner, our fishing scene is far from being over. Water temperatures have started to cool down a bit, migrating fish have taken advantage of the new moon currents and the fishing remains very good with both Flounders in the Ocean and Croakers up in the mouth of the Delaware Bay.
With the exception of a few weather/poor drift related trips our fishing this past week has remained steady with the Flounder. While our total landings of keeper fish was somewhat down from a few of the prior weeks, the number of throwback fish has recently soared providing excellent fish catching action for the patrons at times. We have seen a few trips where it has not been uncommon for an angler to land as many as twenty to thirty flatties in a day's time and in some cases even more than that! The action has been phenomenal at times with what we have dubbed "quality throwback fish." While this action can certainly be a little frustrating trying to get the keepers to add up, it has been anything but boring when these fish turn on. Many of the fish we are seeing now are in the 17" class and let me tell you they are fat. We have thrown many of these fish back that are actually bigger than some of the ones that will measure up to the minimum of 18" just because of the way the fish is built having a girth more than half the size of the fishes length. We do however continue to see a good number of fish in the three to five pound class and our poolfish has been over five pounds every trip.
Along with the Flounder we continue to see a smattering of Sea Bass and some Snapper sized Blues. The Bass are funny they don't always seem to bite, one day we will just see a handful of keeper Bass and another day we may land as many as twenty or thirty or more nice keepers just jigging for the Fluke. Those that have put on the little baits and tried for just the Bass will do fair with them, but the majority of what they land is generally small. It seems as though most of the bigger Bass are falling to the big baits and the Jigs that we have been using to catch the Fluke. Bluefish are here one day and gone the next not many but some and they are usually getting cut up instantly for the fresh meat bait.
Back up in the Delaware Bay Capt. Mike reports steady action with the Croakers now. Some trips are obviously better than others but on a good day Jr. anglers and those that have come just to target these bottom scrappers can land as many as twenty keepable Croakers on a Half-Day trip. The Croakers Mike has been seeing have ranged anywhere in size from very small to as big as foot long to fourteen inches. The Delaware Bay seems to be full of Small Croaker right now which is a very good sign for the future with this fishery. There are also more Trout around now at this time than there has been in several years on both sides of the Bay. The majority of the Trout will also fall short of the minimum size requirement but they will often seen several keepers landed on a particular trip. The recent action on these Half-Day trips has been better the last few weeks than it
has been all summer long. The Long-Range trip finally made it away from the docks this past weekend with a decent weather window in the forecast. Capt. H.D. had all the heavy hitters on this trip and when they got to the fishing grounds they found themselves pressing up with over a couple pounds of weight just trying to find the bottom of the abyss with the swift drift. Conditions did finally improve by the end of the trip making it a little easier for the guys to hold, and by days end they ended up with what Capt. H described as "a tough trip-nothing like we have had the last few times" however I spoke with a few of the anglers that made the trip and they were pretty pleased with the catch of Sea Bass and Blue Line Tiles. Top hooks managed to land double digits with each species and the numbers fell from there. Capt. H.D. also ran three very successful charters last week; two on the Lewestown Lady and one with the big boat where he ran way offshore and saw real good action with the Sea Bass showing an example of what we might expect to see in a few weeks when we start anchor fishing full time.
It's anybodies guess how long this ride with the Fluke will hold on. With very little sign of any big numbers of Flounders up in the Bay to filter out into the rips or onto the old grounds, and with the way we seem to be seeing some of these fish in deeper water already, the question arises if these fish have already started to make their push offshore. Time will tell but for now we are still seeing good action and I will hold on to the hope that we will be able to get a few more decent weeks out of the Flounder run before we have to switch gears and start fishing for the Sea Bass anchoring over wrecks. Even when we do make the switch I expect to see some number of Fluke taken from the structure. The summer season may be coming to a close but I assure you the fishing season is not! I will continue to sail daily with my All-Day trips targeting Flounder until the fish just don't add up and after that we will be anchoring over structures fishing for a variety of fish including Sea Bass, Flounder, Triggers and Bluefish along with whatever else Mother Nature decides to let us catch. This is traditionally one of the best times of the year to catch a nice variety of fish and this year should be no different.
Half-Day trips will continue to run daily also even after the kids have long gone back to school. Half-Day trips will also be targeting a variety of fish with the Croaker at the top of the menu. Half-Day trips sail at 8:00 a.m. and then again at 1:00 p.m. all day trips depart at 7:00 and I generally get back some time after 4:00 p.m. We also have a host of special trips scheduled including Long-Range deep drop as well as some special wreck trips targeting just the Sea Bass. For a complete list of trips check out our trip schedule from the home page of the website.
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 one of the upcoming special trips, please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV