Sorry about not posting last week but it was hard to compose any type of report after having to sit tied to the dock for so many days in a row due to some very gnarly weather. Mother Nature dished out back to back storms which generated waves on two different events that would exceed fifteen feet tall at the Delaware Lightship Buoy reporting station making fishing all but impossible for the better part of that week.
I did manage to get out both Saturday and Sunday of that nasty week between the blows, but other than a pile of Croakers one day and a few Sea Bass and some croakers on the other, we really didn't have too much to report. Mother Nature imposed a "natural causes" closure on her fish for the last of September and into early October and now after five days in a row of some of what I would call very good to outstanding Sea Bass fishing, we are now dealing with yet another type of closure all together, and this is one is much harder to swallow than that of the bad weather we endured for a solid week. This closure is man made.
As of today we can no longer land Black Sea Bass again until the first day of November. Its a shame but that is the regulation that we all have to live with. We will be back on the Bass in a little less than three weeks, and they will be there hungry and waiting for us when we resume! Due to faulty science and the fishcrats in charge of regulations, we are once again shut down on a thriving fishery.
We really did have some nasty weather for a while and going out on the Ocean was just impossible for several days straight. We finally got the long awaited break in the weather during the middle of last week and we have been able to fish the last several days in a row on the Sea Bass with huge success. Not only did we have some decent crowds of eager fisherman at the rail but I was actually able to show them some of the best Sea Bass catching action that I have seen all year. Each and every trip last week we literally caught hundreds and hundreds of Sea Bass and we actually had some of our best numbers with keepers that we have seen since last falls fishing.
The Bass were hungry and we were there with baited hooks taking advantage of the aggressive bite! I saw several limit and near limit catches throughout the last five days and most anglers landed anywhere between ten to twenty decent size keepers each day. While the vast majority of the fish we were catching fell short of the minimum size requirement there was outstanding action for everyone and the fish would add up by the end of the day for most patrons. I hated to see this good fishing come to an end but that is unfortunately the case until the first of next month. The forced closure will last for twenty more days-but whose counting!
For the next three weeks we will be fishing for the Tautog but unfortunately it seems the water temperature may still be a little warm for us to see the best action. As the water temperatures begin to cool down these fish will become more active and will have more of a predictable feeding pattern. Right now it seems that the best Tog action has been around the breakwaters and the lighthouses and near shore. I do expect to see some decent catches in the next few weeks though. I am actually out togging today 10/12 and we have managed to catch a few including one beast of nearly seven pounds, however, it is not anything nearly resembling what I would call good Tog fishing so far, however we are catching some. This fishery will only get better as the days get shorter and the water temperature begin to dive.
Water temperatures had started to dip just a little recently but these past few warm days have had surface temperatures holding pretty steady at around 65 degrees both in the mouth of the Bay and along the Atlantic coast out to the Bass grounds where I have recently spent most of my time. Fish have definitely been on the move; the mass of Croakers that had been up in the Bay for a couple of weeks seemed to have made a jump back out to the lower end of the Bay as far south as the old grounds. We have been spotting several large schools of baitfish migrating along the coast and there have been pods of both Blues and False Albacore chasing this bait. Striper fishing should start to turn on soon with just a few more degrees of drop in the temperature. The Stripers have still been around the fish cleaning tables these last few days but I would expect them to start moving out soon. I will be sure to post the first Stripers falling to live bait in the rips as soon as it happens it really shouldn't be too long.
I plan on continuing to sail daily every day until December with my All-Day trips when we will drop back to a shorter schedule. Obviously right now we can not fish for the Sea Bass but that will change next month. My plans are to concentrate on catching Tautog every day fishing over shipwrecks and artificial reefs. Crabs are supplied. We depart at 7:00 a.m. and will generally return around 4:00 p.m. Fortunately fishing for the Tog we can run with the bare minimum of passengers since most of our time will be spent fairly close to home so we should be able to get away from the docks on most nice days. We will be running a Striper trip daily as soon as the fish start to cooperate. Striper trips depart at 8:00 a.m. and also get back in around 4:00.
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