It certainly has felt as if there is a change in seasons going on right now. The days have gotten noticeably shorter, the air temperatures have already started to take a dip, and the surface water temperatures also have started to drop on the fishing grounds.
We have had a little more wind here at the Wharf than we would like to see recently with the passing of cold fronts but I still managed to get away from the docks five of the last seven days. Our fishing has been all mixed up between anchor fishing in the strong wind and drift fishing whenever we can. With moderate winds and light crowds a couple of times this past week we were able to just throw the anchor down on some hard bottom and see a nice steady pick with Croakers and a few Sea Bass and Blues in the mix. This provided what ultimately was some decent fishing for these couple of days despite some less than favorable conditions we were working in with the strong winds and the heavy swells generated from an offshore tropical system that bugged us late week and into Saturday. The Croakers that we caught were all mixed up in sizes anywhere from about ten to twelve inches on the average up to about sixteen inches for the larger variety. We even managed a few keeper Trout spread around the boat one day.
When we could drift we saw some decent action with a variety of fish including Flounder, Bass and even a few Croakers from time to time. With a few Flounder biting we concentrated our efforts at trying to catch a few more of them when we could and we were on occasion pleasantly surprised. While the Flounder action paled in comparison to that of just a couple long weeks ago the size of some of the fish more than made up for the lack of action. Since my last report we have landed over fifty keeper flatties with an average size of three to four pounds and several of these fish tipping the scales at over five pounds! We didn't land too many but the quality of the fish was there, we even landed one over eight pounds just this past Sunday.
It seems clear now that a lot of the Flounders that we were working on for the better part of the summer have started to move on, we have not seen the sheer numbers of fish like we had been encountering in nearly a couple of weeks now and we also know for a fact that there has been at least some number of Fluke landed out on the twenty fathom line well outside of where we had been spending most of our time. This is a sure sign that these fish have started with their offshore migration. What we are likely seeing now is what was left over from the masses of fish earlier in the season along with the trickle of fish moving out of the inshore waters and the back bays. I doubt if we will be seeing much Flounder fishing like we saw in August now unless we stumble into a pocket of them over a wreck or over some type of reef structure. I do however expect to see at least some Flounder every trip in the areas that I plan to be fishing. It is getting to be that time of the year now anyway where we make the slow transition from primarily drift fishing to our wreck fishing program where we will be spending most of our time on the anchor. Over the past several years we were anchoring pretty much daily by the end of September and it's starting to look like that's what is in store for us in the next couple of weeks.
Surface water temperatures have definitely started to drop. For the most part we have been looking at temperatures around the 74 degree mark on top and its actually shown a little cooler than that at times. After all the rain we had last week our water clarity had been poor especially near the mouth of the Bay however it has since cleaned up and it's almost back to being crystal clear again out on the old grounds. Fish are most certainly on the move, there have been clouds of baitfish moving all over the place and we have been able to see pods of Whales chasing the schools Bunker up and down the coast. I do anticipate some more good fishing with a nice variety of fish in the weeks ahead as the fish start to migrate from the coast. For the time being I plan to continue with the drift program whenever we can as long as we can still continue to see some Flounders in the mix. Anytime the drift is too tough I am pretty sure we will be anchored over some type of hard bottom, reef structure or a wreck concentrating on catching the Sea Bass and-or whatever else wants to bite.
We will continue with the full summer schedule for quite a while longer here at the Wharf with Half-Day trips running daily at 8:00 a.m. and then again at 1:00 p.m. My All-Day trips will also be sailing every day at 7:00 a.m. and returning to the docks some time around 4:00 p.m. We do have several more special trips on the schedule including some ten hour special Sea Bass trips as well as several more Long-Range trips. Check out our trip schedule on the website at fishlewes.com for all the dates and remember these are advanced reservations only for all special trips . All-Day trips will be targeting Sea Bass and still some Flounders and on some days we may even see Croakers. Half-Day trips will continue to target the Croakers every trip and they too will see a variety catch with some Trout, Blues, and the occasional 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 for 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