Well we did manage to get away from the docks with several trips this past week and I have to say that we saw some pretty unbelievable fishing on some of the trips. When I say unbelievable I mean just that and it was not necessarily unbelievable in a good way all the time either!
We did have some decent fishing at times last week, we continued to see a nice variety of fish including Sea Bass, Flounder, Bluefish, Triggers, and even a couple more Cod and Red Hake however when we needed them the most, the Sea Bass just wouldn't cooperate the way they should have. This is where the unbelievable comes into play; I found it pretty unbelievable that I could stop over top of a wreck or a rock pile that I was pretty darned certain that nobody except me fishes, and literally not catch a Sea Bass. A situation such as this is pretty unheard of given its only the second week in October and the Sea Bass normally would be at a peak this time of year. This is truly the first time something like this has happened to me and it happened on more than one occasion over the past week where we would drop back over a spot that looks fishy just knowing they are going to bite and nothing happens... nothing. All we saw over a few of the stops that we made was maybe a few Fluke and next to nothing with the Sea Bass. These were some of the same wrecks that you would normally be able to sit over for hours and never stop catching fish.
It appeared as though there were fish there but for whatever reason the cloud of fish was not right on the wreck, in fact at times the mass of fish could be as much as three hundred feet away from the structure. If we were lucky I could anchor to the school of fish and get them coming but usually we would get a squirt of fish and the cloud would swim away and we would have to move again. For our special ten hour trip Saturday this was the norm and it was very frustrating to say the least. In my book there was nothing special about this trip, it wasn't until late in the day that we had any kind of pick fishing that had some backbone to it. Finally by days end though top hooks would land double digits with decent size fish but we had a hard time just scratching out a supper for most anglers. It was a long day.
On Sunday the weather killed us, it was blowing every bit of 25 knots out of the northeast and with the hard rain we decided to send the few folks that showed up to fish home to try for a better day. I got out on Monday but with just a light crowd we stayed inshore to try and catch some Tautog and that didn't really work either, we only managed to see a couple Tog, a couple Triggerfish and a few handfuls of keeper sized Sea Bass for our effort, the Tog's just weren't biting.
Tuesday was another blowout with more northeast wind and rain but I did get out again on Wednesday with another 10 hour Sea Bass trip. After our production on Saturday I have to admit I was very apprehensive and even reluctant to head back offshore for these black beauties but I didn't know what else to do. Off we went with a decent forecast and an Ocean that had a huge residual ground swell from the prior day. Finally a little hope in fish that cooperate! By no means was this a banner trip but after some of the fishing that I had seen over the weekend it was pretty decent. We battled the swells and we fought with the wind directly opposing the current for just about the entire day, but by days end all the anglers had more than enough for supper and top hooks were in the upper double digits to as high as twenty Bass. The fish we caught were also very nice in size on the average with very few throwbacks and they added up for us very nicely by the end of the day. As a bonus we even had a few more keeper flatties and another pool wining cod fish on this trip.
Our water temperatures are most definitely starting to drop, While I was out on Saturday we saw surface temperatures for the first time staying below 70 degrees and just yesterday I saw surface temps as low as 65 just a few miles off the beach. I can't say for certain what was really going on with the Sea Bass a few times last week but I do know we were not alone in our struggles, party and charter boats up and down the beach saw similar fishing. I would like to think that there is still plenty of Bass around and my fathometer backs up this belief. Why they were not staging directly over the structures for a few days may remain a mystery but it sure seemed as if that is what was happening and this theory was even backed up by some scuba divers that witnessed the schools of fish well away from the hangs. Whatever the case is we have just a few more days to try and catch these Bass before the split season closes on Sunday October 14th. The Season will reopen again November 1st and we will have several more trips on the schedule for Bass until the end of the year.
This coming weekend we will have two open boats leaving the dock Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. We will be running the last 10-hour trip for Sea Bass until the season reopens in November, and we will also be running the regular Full-Day trip which will be targeting primarily Tautog. After Monday our regular all day trips will be dropping back to a four day a week schedule running just on Friday Saturday Sunday and Monday's and we will be fishing for primarily the Tog on those days. As the water temperatures cool down we will also be running a Striper trip likely within the next couple of weeks. We also have two more Long-Range trips scheduled during the Bass split which will be 20-hour Tilefish trips. These trips will be fishing on Saturday October 20th and then again the following Saturday October 27th. Reservations in advance are a must for the Long-Range trips.
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to reserve space on a special trip or book a private charter please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV