As all eyes and ears stay focused on the Weather Channel and the NOAA radio concerning updates on Hurricane Irene and her gun sights which seem to be set on the eastern seaboard, we are still enjoying some pretty good fishing here at the Wharf and are preparing for whatever may happen at the end of this week and the beginning of our next week to come.
We have certainly enjoyed another good week of Flounder fishing this past week. Other than a couple of stumbling blocks due to poor drifting conditions, these past seven days we once again saw some of our best landings with the numbers of keeper Fluke for our 2011 season. In case you missed my last weeks report we have been seeing some of the best Flounder action so far this year over just these last few weeks. Countless throwbacks at times and some very impressive fish mixed in including several citation sized fish have been pleasing my full day anglers pretty much on a daily basis. Limit catches of four nice fish have been spread around the rail frequently and just about everyone on board has been getting in on the Flounder catching action and for the most part everyone has been going home with at least a fresh fish supper.
While the Flounder have been the mainstay we have also been seeing just a few Sea Bass and we have had a good smattering of small to medium sized Ling on just about every trip to add to our catch. Those that have taken the Ling home and tried them invariably want more of them the next time they come back, they are a very tasty white fish similar to their big cousin the Cod. We have been seeing an awful lot of these fish this summer we suspected due to the colder bottom temperatures but they seem to have settled in for their spawn now and continue to reek havoc with our Flounder baits almost daily and fill in the gaps in the coolers rather nicely. Our surface water temperatures continue to be on the warm side often well into the seventies with the afternoon sun. The last reported bottom temperature I had from a diver at the artificial reef site was in the mid to upper fifties; close to normal but still on the cool side. We have also continued to enjoy some of that crystal clear water but it has been changing from day to day with the prevailing winds.
Over the weekend we were plagued on Saturday with very little drift. While we did see some action with the flatties it was somewhat of a disappointment compared to some of our production earlier in the week. It is tough to catch fish that are literally spread over miles of open bottom when you can only drift a few hundred feet in a half hour drift. Sunday we were right back to normal and with the right drift the fish added up rather nicely by the end of the day! While we were becalmed on Saturday with very little current and no wind to push us along Capt. H.D. was actually enjoying these conditions with his deep drop trip. The Ocean was ideal for fishing the deep water and Capt. H proved it by once again having a super deep drop trip. Tilefish, Sea Bass, Red Hake and even some rather large Grouper pleased anglers on this trip and once again the coolers were filled up nicely when he got back to the docks well after dark. This was a great trip and there was some beautiful fish weighed in that evening at the Wharf.
Back up in the Delaware Bay ever since last weekend the Croakers have been kind of been giving everybody the slip. They had enjoyed a few great weeks on these fish but over the last several days things have been tough with these Croakers. The fish seem to be on the move and have been difficult to locate and they have not always been biting. Capt. Mike assured me that next week while he is sitting in his classroom resuming his real job that the fish will be back to normal and biting the way they were last week! These fish are still around and they are in several different areas but they just haven't been able to rack up the big numbers they were seeing for a couple of weeks. They still see the fish on the scope they just won't cooperate.
As I write this report, forecasters are still uncertain as to the exact path of Hurricane Irene. This storm is most definitely going to effect what we are able to do for the latter part of the weekend and into early next week. As it stands now this storm is forecasted to pass our area late Sunday and into Monday and at the very least we will have some gusty winds, rain, and some big swells on both of those days. Just how close to the coast this storm comes or if it gives someone a direct hit is still in the hands of Mother Nature. I am sure the cards will be shuffled and it will be like starting over when the wind and the waves subside. I seriously doubt that for the long term it will effect the fishing we have been enjoying however there will most certainly be a change. I do expect to be able to fish through Saturday in just a slight swell but the way it looks we are going to be tied up secure both Sunday and Monday. Once everything settles we will resume with our daily schedule and I fully anticipate getting right back on these Flounders. Quick passing hurricanes rarely ruin the fishing for any amount of time at this time of the year and sometimes it actually helps things along bunching up fish in certain areas. Time will tell.
We will certainly get a couple days break with the passing storm but once it clears we will resume with our daily schedule. Half-Day trips will be sailing twice daily at 8:00 a.m. and then again at 1:00 p.m. Half-Night trips sail just Friday and Saturday nights departing at 6:00 P.M. I will be running Full-Day trips daily departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. and don't forget to print out a $10 off coupon from the August 4th fishing report it is good until the end of August every day except Saturdays. Half-Day trips will be targeting primarily Croakers and All-Day trips will be concentrating on the Flounder.
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