I've had a couple of well deserved days on the beach in a row now with the docks looking just like the day after Labor Day usually does for two straight mornings with the lack of interest. With the forecasted weather that we have had and the size of the waves out on the Ocean today, it hasn't broken my heart to stay tied to the docks either yesterday or today!
After my last report and the uncertainty with just what was going on with the Flounder fishing I can honestly say that we have actually bounced back with some decent Flounder landings for a few of our trips these past seven days. There seems to be little doubt that some of these flat fish are in fact migrating away from the beach, however there is still as expected some good numbers of Flounder around and given the right conditions I can still prove it. I spoke with several anglers that did good just recently up in the Delaware Bay and in the back Bay of Indian River with the Flounder and there does still seem to be a trickle of nice Flatties moving around in our local vicinity which should provide decent action on these fish for a while longer.
I didn't fish primarily for the Flounder every trip last week but when I thought we stood a chance we tried and we didn't do too bad. My week was mixed up between anchoring when the drift was tough and drifting when conditions were just right. We have seen a nice variety of fish for our efforts. I had one trip where with just a light crowd, we anchored and picked at Croakers, Blues, and a few Sea Bass on what was basically a one stop shop deal filling coolers up with fish by the end of the day. The Croakers that we have seen have been varying in size, for the most part these fish have been about a foot long to fourteen inches in length however a few times while catching these fish we have seen some nice jumbo sized Croaks that are close to two pound fish. The Croakers are moving around a lot right now and often times are right where we have seen some of our best Flounder action on the old grounds.
Thursday was one of those days where the Flounder bit just good enough to kind of suck you in and make you keep trying to catch them. The drift was good and the fish were nice sized and it was looking like it would end up being one of our best Flounder trips in over a week and ultimately it was. We were able to land over thirty nice keepers by the end of the trip and the throwback action was good enough at times to keep everyone on there toes. We also saw several nice Sea Bass in the mix on this trip. On Friday we had had some high hopes for another good trip however early on in the day a blown hydraulic line for my steering pump with no spare in the locker squashed any hopes of a good fishing trip and made a safe landing at the dock with only the motors to steer my top priority. We came home early to get fixed up for the weekend.
Saturday was a new day and with a nice group of some of the best Flounder fisherman you could possibly assemble, off we went again to try our luck. The day started out with very little drift and even less action. The wind was against the tide and the boat just wouldn't drift. We made a strategic move several miles further down the beach to try and let conditions help us rather than hinder us and it turned out to be a good move. By days end we had the perfect drift and we were able to see some of the Flounder catching action similar to that of just a few weeks back and we were able to land a few dozen very nice sized flatties. Along with the Flounder Saturday we also saw a decent number of Sea Bass in the mix making for a very good fish catching day by just about anyone's standard.
Sunday we had more of what I would call a Saturday crowd and also a lot of repeat anglers from the prior day. With the southeast winds blowing together with the incoming tide for the better part of the day, I knew that drifting too fast would more than likely become a problem on this trip. I pushed off a little further than we have normally been fishing with all intentions of throwing the anchor if I had to over some good bottoms that I haven't touched in a while. I always like it when a plan falls together and it did just that on Sunday's trip with a real nice variety catch of Flounder, Sea Bass, and even a few Red Hake and a pool winning Codfish. This was no banner trip, in fact a few folks may have even been looking at a burger for dinner, however we caught a lot of beautiful fish and some of the anglers that stuck it out with the Jigging or constantly working of their rigs made out very, very well by the end of the day. Not only did we have our biggest number of keeper Fluke for a couple of weeks now, we also had a very nice catch of Sea Bass around the boat many of which were in the two pound class and above!
Monday was another anchor day with too fast of a drift however this time with a light crowd we fished close to home on the north end of the "old grounds" seeing a very nice trip catching a variety of fish with mostly Croakers, a few Sea Bass and some small Trout and Snapper sized Blues. The bottom is literally alive in this zone now with just some massive schools of these fish showing up making for excellent fish catching action when they bite, and giving us a perfect option to put fish on the boat when the conditions warrant. Options are a good thing and at this time it appears as though we have quite a few of these fish catching options in the arsenal. September is traditionally one of the best months for catching a nice variety of fish and this year should not disappoint.
With my all day trips over the next few weeks it's going to be hard for me to predict just exactly what we will be doing on any given day. I do however expect to be doing a lot more anchoring over the wrecks and reefs as well as some of the rocky coral bottoms in my immediate future. Fish are certainly spread out over miles of open bottom right now and when we can drift that is likely what we will do, however whenever the drift is tough I won't hesitate to drop the anchor over a good piece of bottom. I do expect to be seeing more and more Sea Bass over the next few weeks along with a mix of Flounder. Ultimately at some point in time we will make a transition to just anchoring over structure regardless of the conditions. Our primary target will continue to be Sea Bass and Flounder daily whether we drift or if we anchor. There will also be times that we see Croakers in the mix however they are not going to be our primary target unless the conditions warrant to fish just for them.
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