It's been another very good week of fishing here at the Wharf catching primarily Sea Bass. Wreck fishing has been just about everything you would expect over the last several days given the time of year and sometimes even more.
I have spent all my time anchoring over wrecks, rocks and artificial reefs now for nearly three weeks and our results have been anywhere from decent to outstanding. We are catching mostly Sea Bass but we have also seen Flounder, Triggerfish, Bluefish, Porgies, Tog and even a few Codfish adding a nice variety to the catch! The Sea Bass have undoubtedly been at the top of the menu with lucky or skillful anglers landing a nice cooler full of fish on every outing. Some days have undoubtedly been better than others but so far I have not been too disappointed with our fall run of Sea Bass.
I have to admit it hasn't been easy at times often having to make several stops in a day in order to get the fish to add up, but the end results have been pretty much the same on every trip. Top hooks have been in the mid to upper teens and sometimes even more with keepers and just about everyone has been landing more than enough for a fresh fish supper. Action has at times been fast and furious catching Bass as quick as you can get your line to the bottom and other times we have had just a slow or a steady pick. We are seeing an awful lot of throwback action however a lot of the fish we are catching have been very nice in size. I have seen several citation sized Bass over three pounds just this past week and we have seen numerous Triggers actually beating out three pound class Bass for the daily pool on the biggest fish.
Our weather around here has continued to be very unsettled yet not too bad to keep us from getting out. We had an upper level Low pressure system pin wheeling around our region for well over a week now giving us cloudy weather, fog and some rain both light and heavy at times. For the most part up until this past weekend the wind was not a factor with mostly a mirror like ocean and just a swell or maybe a little chop in the mouth of the bay. Cooler temperatures arrived over the weekend along with some fairly breezy conditions and I have for the first time since the spring seen water temperatures on the fishing grounds dip and stay below the 70 degree mark for more than a day. Surface temps now twenty miles out are right around 67 degrees and have been close to that reading since Sunday. We have had some very cool nights and a couple of chilly days with not much sun which I am sure contributed to this drop but it is getting to be that time of the year now where we anticipate the waters to start to chill down almost on a daily basis.
We have just a week left now before we have to give up the Sea Bass for the split season which closes on Tuesday October 11th. The Sea Bass season will reopen again on November 1st and remain open until the end of the year but from the 11th of October until the first of next month we can not land them. Fortunately for us we will be able to roll right into Tog fishing during this closure. There have already been a few Tog caught and they should start to become very active as the water temperatures continue to dip. Last year we had some pretty decent Tog fishing before the end of October all the way up until the end of the year and hopefully this year will be similar. Our Tog limit right now is ten fish per angler at 14" length. This liberal bag will continue on also until the end of the year.
I think a lot of you are already aware but we are in for a drastic reduction in our Tautog fishery for 2012. We have to cut back our harvest over 50% and it doesn't look good for the creel limit next year and likely many more years in the immediate future. There is a meeting in Dover this week to discuss the options which quite frankly I am in favor of none , however we have to make a choice and live with it. As Charter and head boat operators and speaking with many private fisherman alike we have decided that option #1 is likely the least of the four evils for our options and most likely going to be our best choice . This option will only allow us three Tog during each season. The Spring season will remain at 15 inches the way it has been for years. In the fall it will drop to 14 inches and the creel
limit will remain the same; three fish. We will keep all of our fishing days with this option and we will be more likely to bring some fish home with us every trip. Option #2 and #3 may as well be thrown out the window they are that bad, and Option #4 while it has an appealing creel limit of 5 fish, states that the minimum size has to be 16 inches for each of the split seasons. 16 inches will be tough on many days especially in the early fall and late spring when the water is warmer, Tog at this size become very hard to find. Keep in mind a 16" tog weighs nearly five pounds. Public opinion on these options must be expressed by this coming Friday Oct. 7th at 5:00 p.m.. Comments as well as your choice of option should be sent to Lisa.Vest@state.de.us please choose Option #1 it is in our best interest as anglers and we need your support!
Our fall fishing will continue here at the Wharf and our outlook is very promising to continue to see some excellent fish catching days. I will continue to run daily with our regular Full-Day trips sailing at 7:00 a.m. We have been getting in after 4:00 every day. I will continue to anchor fish over wrecks fishing for the Sea Bass up until the closing split with Oct. 11th being the last day. After Sea Bass season closes we will be Tautog fishing on a daily basis until the end of the season. When Sea Bass season reopens we will be running November 1st (opening day) and we will be running three days a week for the Sea Bass sailing on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays just for the Bass. These trips will be ten hour trips giving us the time needed to keep up with these fish as they push further offshore. We will have a full access schedule of all trips sailing posted on the website next week. We anticipate Striper fishing to start as soon as the water temperatures dip to a point where we can catch 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 a special trip please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV