It seems as though with the weather patterns that we have had lately we are spending almost as much time tied up to the docks as we have spent out on the water fishing however as the fall fishing season rolls on our fishing here at the Wharf continues to be very good with a nice variety catch of fish with the Sea Bass being right on top of the menu.
Its been nearly two weeks since my last report and in those two weeks we have been out only about ten times. I have to admit it's been kind of nice not having to worry about catching fish on of few of those days especially the way the weather was on occasion. All of our effort now has been anchor fishing over shipwrecks, rocky bottoms and artificial reef structures and for the most part we have had some really decent fishing. I can't say that it has been freezer packing madness however there has been times at the rail where the anglers hands have been shaking just trying to get their hooks baited back up and get back down to the action of the biting fish on the bottom. Average catches are usually in the low to mid teens and then up or down from there. I have seen a few limits around the rail and I have seen guys that would have to stop and get a burger or a fillet of fish sandwich from McDonalds for supper.
While the Sea Bass have undoubtedly made up the bulk of our catches we have also continued to see several nice Flounder and lots of Snapper Blues and Triggerfish on some of our stops, we have even seen a handful of keeper sized Porgies. In the last couple weeks we have weighed in several citation sized Sea Bass including one beast that tipped the scales at over four pounds however since we started with the anchor fishing we have yet to see a Sea Bass win the fish pool. It has been either a Fluke or a Triggerfish every day. The Triggers have been a nice bonus not really knowing when your going to catch them but helping to fill up the
coolers when you least expect them. We have seen several of these feisty tropical fighters that have been in the three to five pound class providing some pretty exciting action when they swarm around the boat and take a hook right before your eyes! The action at times has been just fast and furious with the little Porgies and small Bass tearing up your baits as soon as it hits the bottom and with the variety of nice fish coming up around the boat to keep everyone alert.
Water temperatures have really not taken too much of a dip as of late, we are still seeing surface temperatures that are right at or just below the 70 degree mark and the bottom temperatures are similarly warm, the fish we catch have still felt very warm as we unhook them. Fish do seem to be on the move but not quite like you might expect to see when the temperatures are taking that daily dip a little further down the graph each day. The bulk of the Flounders certainly seemed to have moved on now
and are on their way to much deeper water for their winter spawn, we continue to still see a few flatties over the wrecks we have been fishing but I think for the most part Flounder action for 2012 is all but over unless we stumble into a pocket of big ones gathered around a wreck. The Sea Bass are still scattered all over the open bottoms of the old grounds and have also gathered around the structures in various different depths out to as deep as 150 feet of water right now. Even though we have already seen some of the inshore structures "picked over" with the nicer fish, it is entirely possible that we have not even seen the best of the Sea Bass movement yet this fall. As the water cools down we will have a much better idea of just how long the good fishing is going to last or how far we might have to travel in order to catch them. With the current regulations in place we will be able to land Sea Bass until October 14th at which time the season will close for two weeks until November 1st when it will reopen.
It is entirely possible that we may have to travel in excess of twenty miles to see our best action with the keeper sized Bass especially after the closing split of the season in less than two weeks. Once the Sea Bass season closes we will begin to put all of our effort fishing for the Tau Tog with the All-Day trips and I expect to drop back to a four day a week schedule just to bunch up the trips after the 14th of October. I will personally be running our first 10 hour Sea Bass trip this coming Saturday Oct. 6th departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. and returning around 5:00 p.m. If you check out the trip schedule it will say that Saturdays 10 hour Sea Bass trip is sold out however that is not the case. It is a go and will be run as an open boat however you can reserve space in advance if you would like to. This trip will be run on the Thelma Dale IV and we will be fishing wrecks most likely in the 30 mile range. The next Ten hour Trip will be Wednesday Oct. 10th. At this time I am not sure about the following weekend but I suspect we will be running the distance for the last couple days if the weather cooperates.
Barring any major coastal storms I fully anticipate to be able to continue seeing good catches with the Sea Bass right up until the 14th of October and it should remain good when it reopens again November 1st. As for the Tog my opinion is that it's still a little warm to be seeing any real good numbers with these fish however there has already been a few caught by those that targeted them over the past weekend and this fishery should only improve as the water cools down. There is a lot of good fishing left for the season including Stripers which will also turn on in numbers as the temperatures drop.
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 or check out our website and trip schedule at fishlewes.com for a full list of trips.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV