I really don't have too much to report over the past seven days, we have now dropped back to a four day a week schedule fishing on just Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday's fishing over top of shipwrecks and artificial reefs and now that the Sea Bass Season is closed for a couple weeks we will be fishing for primarily Tautog.
We did manage to get away from the docks for four different trips last week including our last 10-hour Sea Bass trip for the end of the split season, as well as a few inshore trips fishing for both Sea Bass and Tautog. Last Friday with just a small group we ventured off the beach to the twenty mile reef site and saw some pretty decent fishing with mostly Sea Bass. Just about every stop we made we saw good action and we were able to pick a way at mixy Bass anywhere from the size of a belt buckle up to over two pounds. The action was at times pretty fast in furious with all the biting fish clouded around the wrecks but getting the keepers to add up was a chore. While some of the anglers made out pretty decent with fair sized Sea Bass other anglers struggled just to get a few keepers in the box, but by the end of the day just about everybody had more than enough for supper. We also saw a few Triggerfish and a couple stud sized Porgies and a few Snapper sized Blues in the mix making for a pretty decent trip as far as I was concerned.
On Saturday morning we had two boats scheduled to leave the docks, Captain H D was headed offshore for the 10-hour Sea Bass trip while I was staying close to home fishing for the Blackfish. As we left the docks in the morning there was way more wind than either of us would like to have seen but the forecast was for moderation. For the inshore trip I ran up away from the mouth of the Bay to where the fishing had been the best over the last couple days however with the wind and the famous Delaware Bay chop, the fishing was a struggle. We did manage to catch a couple of Tog and we also caught an abundance of fat Oyster Crackers and some small Sea Bass but even though it turned into a pretty day, it just wasn't a good day to catch a Tautog. Meanwhile Captain H was steaming offshore to the area where we have been seeing some of our best Sea Bass fishing over the last few weeks. With somewhat of an angry Ocean, and lots of high hopes that the weatherman would be right for a change they charged off into the deep. I talked with several guys that made this trip and the way it sounded once the anchor was in the water it was pretty much game on with a steady pick of nice sized Sea Bass. The Bass continued to bite good all day on what was nearly a one stop shopping fishing trip, and the coolers filled up rather nicely. By days end just about everyone on board would have a limit catch or close to a limit catch of chunky fat Sea Bass for their efforts, and for a change the weather man was correct and the Ocean flattened out beautifully by the end of the trip.
I was back out on Sunday morning once again with a light crowd trying to catch the Tautog. We had high hopes on this trip as it was a much nicer day than we had to work with on Saturday, however the fishing was once again pretty slow in my book. We started out on the first wreck and the very first fish we saw was a keeper Sea Bass, the next fish up was a nice Triggerfish and over the next hour or so we did manage to pick at a few Tog but we only managed to keep a couple of them. When the tide changed I moved up the Bay a little further and our next stop turned into an Oyster Cracker fest. If the Oyster Crackers had all been Tog we would have easily landed limit catches however they weren't and the Tog just seemed to not be biting at all. I made another move to some shallower water and we caught a short Tautog right out of the gate, by now the tide was screaming and it took 10 or 12 ounces of lead just to keep your rig in place on the bottom. We finally did manage to catch a few decent sized Tautog however it was really too little too late. For a light at the end of the tunnel however, there was a time that the fish seemed to actually be biting pretty good and the fish that we caught felt cool to the touch. I have to take this as a good sign that maybe the water is finally cooling down at all depths enough so that we will start to see some good Tog fishing in the upcoming weeks.
Our water temperatures have certainly dropped over the last week or two, we are now starting to see surface temperatures as low as 62 degrees where as a couple weeks ago it was at nearly 70. Water temperatures are going to be the key to seeing consistent Tog fishing, as the water cools down these fish will become more actively aggressive around the structures with their feeding patterns. Generally the cooler the water gets the better these fish will bite. Water temperatures will also be the key to when the first Stripers begin to trickle across the docks in Lewes. So far this fall most of the best Striper fishing has been inshore around the inlets and even in the canal, however as the water cools down these fish should start to migrate chasing bait and we will be able to catch them in the rips between the two capes as well as some of the other traditional spots. I would anticipate our first decent striper catches within the next two weeks as the waters continue to cool. The Outlook is very promising the next several weeks for catching fish, with the regular all day trips I will now be concentrating all of my efforts anchoring over wrecks and reefs fishing primarily for the Tautog. Full Day trips depart at 7:00 a.m. and we will return around 4:00 p.m. we provide the Crabs. We will be Striper fishing before you know it and when we start I will post the schedule here. Sea Bass season will reopen on November 1st and we will be sailing multiple trips both 10 and 12 hours as well as the long-range trips for both Tilefish and Sea Bass as the year comes to an end.
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 one of the upcoming special trips please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV