Another Fine week of fishing here at the Wharf as far as I am concerned, as with typical end of summer and early fall fishing just about everything that you would expect to see and to catch at this time of the year has been right on schedule. Flounder continue to snap good when the conditions are right, the Sea Bass fishing has shown some signs of greatness and the Croakers and the Snapper Blues have been filling in the gaps when you least expect it.
With my All-Day trips this past week my time has been split both drifting as well as anchoring over wrecks and artificial reef structure. We have had more than our fair share of moderate winds this past week sometimes forcing me to drop the anchor when I would rather have been drifting, the end results however have pretty much been the same either way. We are not loading up the coolers with fish by any stretch of the imagination but what I have been able to offer is a nice mixed bag catch with both Sea Bass and still some nice Flatties daily. Most everyone has been going home with a good fish dinner or two and occasionally some lucky or skillful anglers will have enough fillets to put some away for another day!
I have still been spending most of my time fishing the rocky ledges and coral bottoms of the "old grounds" this time of the year this particular area can be like Mother Nature's seafood refrigerator. While fishing over these grounds, the way fish are moving around at this time of year you never know what to expect with the variety of fish that you might see on any given day. While we are still putting all of our effort into catching primarily Sea Bass or Fluke, we have also been seeing lots of Snapper Blues and a few Croakers along with a few small Trout. Some of the other species we have encountered over the past week include; Spanish Mackerel, Bonita, False Albacore, and even a few Cutlass Fish. We are also seeing an array of junk fish to keep everyone on their toes.
When the wind was blowing too hard last week to effectively drift I ended up fishing on the anchor. A few times I anchored just over the rocks or coral heads and a few times I anchored over the heavy structure of a shipwreck or the reef. Fishing on the anchor certainly had it's moments with a variety of fish but in typical wreck fishing fashion it would start out decent then dwindle as the keeper fish were taken away from their happy home. We repeated this process several times and some stops were certainly better than others. It does seem as though the Bass are starting to move around a bit and are seeking out the structure once again to fatten up for the big fall run. I have had several trips this past week where anglers landed into double digits with keeper Bass, even in the mid teens on occasion. Unfortunately this wealth was not
shared by everyone onboard. Even on a couple of my best days number wise with Bass some folks just came up short not being able to add up the keepers. We have also landed nearly as many keeper sized Bass on the drift as we have been able to catch while anchored. There are definitely quite a few Sea Bass around right now and I have to say it is looking good for the weeks ahead for this fishery.
The outlook ahead is certainly optimistic in my book. There still seems to be a lot of Flounder around right now and we have been able to see some great action with them recently when the conditions were good. While the vast majority of these Flatties have been going back we have still managed some decent numbers with keepers up to four and five pounds and we have had a lot of action, lots of measuring, quite a few heartbreakers, and we still have the mix with the Bass and some Blues daily. It's been fun fishing! If I had to make a guess though I would have to say I'm starting to see a trend with more and more effort being put forth towards the Sea Bass given the drifting conditions we have been having with all the wind. In typical Flounder fishing there is always a fine line between success and failure and those lazy hazy dog days of
summer are starting to give way to more passing cold fronts and more pesky wind. There will be a lot more anchoring in our future, however whenever possible I will still be drifting because the fishing is that good.
As I write this we are drifting with twenty-four seasoned veteran fisherman and the Flounders are snapping! There has been times where we have had a third of the anglers all hooked up at the same time with flatties literally hanging everywhere! It's not always like this and I'm sure we will be back to reality soon, after all this is the year 2010 and drifts like that are seldom repeated, but this day is working out just fine right now!
For now I will continue playing it the same way, drifting whenever possible as long as the fishing is good and anchoring when I have to due to conditions. We will be gradually switching over to more anchor fishing over the wrecks over the next few weeks. As it stands our Sea Bass season is scheduled for about a two week closure starting the second week in October right about the same time that our Flounder season comes to a close for the year. After that we will be concentrating on catching Tog or whatever else may be biting, last year we had quite a few Triggers. The Sea Bass season will reopen the first of November at which time we will be exclusively anchoring over wrecks for The Bass or for the Tog on days that we have just enough folks for the trip or the weather keeps us close to home. There is plenty of good fishing to come!
If you would like 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 V