Bad weather forecasts, good weather, a little rain and some good Sea Bass fishing dominated our week here at the Wharf. While the weathermen forecasted rain nearly every day in a row now for a week, the weather has proved to be more of just an inconvenience than anything meanwhile we have enjoyed calm seas, lots of fog, and a little shower here and there. The Sea Bass didn't seem to mind at all!
Since my last report we have been anchoring up over ship wrecks, rocks and artificial reefs on a daily basis with my full day trips. I can't say that it has been outstanding fishing by any stretch but I certainly have to call it pretty good. Every day we have been enjoying a great Sea Bass bite at some point in the day. I have actually seen a few limit catches made, and many anglers have been able to come real close to that magical limit catch of twenty- five Bass enjoying the last couple of weeks of the Sea Bass season before the split closure on the 11th of October. As I write this we have just fifteen days left to take advantage of these fish before we are shut down. The season will reopen on November 1st and remain open until the end of the year but we will be taking a long two week break on the Bass starting October 12th.
The fishing has actually been pretty good. We are finding lots of Sea Bass staging around the structures right now along with some Snapper sized Blues and quite a few Triggerfish. I have only seen a few Flounder this past week but we have also seen some mixy sized Croakers and even a few Porgies around these wrecks including a couple of true stud Porgies that have tipped the scales at over two pounds! Sea Bass are the bulk of the catch oftentimes pulling them up two or three at a time as fast as you can get baited hooks to the bottom. We are most definitely seeing a lot of undersize fish when the action gets fast and furious but there remains a good number of nice keepers allowing pretty much everyone on board to get in on the action and getting at least a nice fish supper or two and maybe even enough to pack away for a later date. On the average most anglers have been in double digits and into the mid to upper teens with keeper Bass on every trip. Certainly not outstanding fishing but hey this is 2011 and I will certainly take it! We have really landed some pretty fish; I have seen several Bass in the two to three pound class and we have seen some triggers that will tip the scales at over four pounds!
Our fishing has really been kind of strange since the passing of hurricane Irene at the end of August, It almost seems as though there has been a big swell running from one direction or the other nearly on a daily basis and the fish are sporadically moving around or not biting in this swell, especially the Fluke. Sunshine has been coveted and tides have been anything but normal making conditions at times much less than favorable. Many times I have felt very fortunate to be able to continue catching fish the way we have been catching them. Water temperatures have remained surprisingly stable especially with the lack of sun and some of the cooler weather we have seen. Surface temperatures are still hovering around that 70 degree mark from the mouth of the Delaware Bay all the way out to the fishing grounds around twenty miles from the beach. Just when we were about to think that the water clarity would never recover from that dirty coffee color, like magic just a couple of days ago we could once again see the color of our fish nearly thirty feet from the surface. We have certainly had more than our fair share of trash and debris floating around in the eddies since all of the flooding to our North forcing a diligent watch at the helm.
Back up in the Delaware Bay the post Irene fishing has been much less than favorable. For the boats that are forced to fish up in the shallows of the Bay it seemed to take forever for anything to bite again after all the bad weather passed. Water clarity has been poor and the Croakers seem to have just vacated the Bay and the mouth of the Bay. There has been a lot of Trout and Kingfish landed over the last couple of weeks and there was even a few decent days of catching some very nice Flounder last week proving that fish have not all left the Bay completely. The majority of these fish have been landed on the Jersey side of the Bay in fairly shallow water. The vanishing Croakers have really put a damper on what the inshore boats have been able to produce. There are definitely some Croaker around but they seem to be spread out in random locations and just not bunched up anywhere. It's anybodies guess how the remainder of the Croaker fishery for the rest of our fall season will play out but I know for a fact there are a lot of them north of us scattered along the beachfront and they will be going by us at some point in time we generally are able to see Croakers well into November.
One thing is for certain we have a lot of good fishing left for our 2011 fall season. I expect to continue being able to see decent action with these Sea Bass right up until the closure after the 11th of October. After that we will be able to fish for the Tautog for the rest of the year and Sea Bass will reopen again on November 1st allowing us to target both the Bass and the Tog but not necessarily at the same time. As it gets later in the year the Bass will undoubtedly be pushing further offshore and the Tog will still be inshore. What we did last year was schedule several ten hour trips allowing us the travel time needed to get to the best fishing areas for these Bass. This year will be much the same. With a light crowd which seems as though just about all we get anymore, we will likely be staying close to home fishing for the Tog. Once the Bass season reopens we will be running several special trips just for the Bass guaranteeing Sea Bass until the end of the year. These trips will be by reservations and I will post the dates as soon as they become available.
I will continue running Full-Day trips sailing daily at 7:00 a.m. we return usually around 4:00. These trips will all be exclusively anchor fishing over shipwrecks, rocks and artificial reefs and Sea Bass will be our primary target until the season splits. 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