By the grace of God, we here in Lewes have basically dodged a major bullet, and compared to other ports up and down the coast have basically come away from the passing of this late season storm unscathed. The massive tropical system that started out as a Hurricane by the name of Sandy and was forecasted to become a super storm of epic proportions began to effect our weather by Saturday afternoon. I have to admit there were some touch and go moments by Monday morning where our fate was literally uncertain, however with a slight change in track and a definitive shift in wind direction before high tide on Monday evening, the devastation that will long go down in the history books around us, was at a minimum for the town of Lewes.
By Monday morning the winds were howling in excess of fifty knots and the waves generated by this storm at one point exceeded 24 feet at the Delaware Lightship Buoy. These were the highest recorded wave heights that I have ever seen since the reporting station has been in place and these rollers were giving our beaches a beating. Wind and wave driven water was rushing in all along the coast and the scheduled high tide was to be around 9:00 in the morning. It was clear that there was going to be a problem with the flooding. As you drove over the drawbridge in Lewes at Fisherman's Wharf all you could see on the other side was flood water all the way to the Delaware Bay. In the grand scheme of the damage that was dished out by this storm this turned out to be little more than an
inconvenience for the residents of Lewes Beach. Not to say there wasn't any damage because there most certainly was, and still is, but when I see some of the reports on the national news networks I realize just how close we came to an absolute catastrophe in our area. We actually made out pretty good as far as I'm concerned and my heart goes out to all of those that were affected by this storm in ways that I can hardly even imagine. Just a few hours before the next high tide on Monday evening our winds shifted around more to the west and fortunately we were spared by the brunt of another cycle of flood waters from the storm. The clean up operation will go on for weeks, months, and even years in some areas that were affected by this massive freak of a storm but here in Lewes the good
news is we are all still in one piece and ready to get back to the business of fishing. That is what we plan to do. The bad news however is that there has been yet another emergency closure on the Black Sea Bass season which was supposed to open on November 1st. Once again faulty numbers from the fish counters and the failure to recognize this by the so called experts has left us without a fishery that would have given us a nice boost for the end of the fishing season and well into the New Year. It's hard to believe that these fishcrats can go from beating their chests about another completely rebuilt fishery at their own hands, to now saying that the Sea Bass are overfished by millions of pounds, leaving us totally screwed for something to fish for. They even admit and apologize for the faulty science that goes into their decision
making process but say they can't change it. Hmmmm. I strongly urge everyone that loves to fish and would like to be able to just catch fish to get involved and contact your local representatives, senators or anyone that you may think would listen to our plight that may be able to help us out. Capt. Monty of the Morning Star in Ocean City Md. has gone to bat for us and has gone above and beyond the call of duty in this matter, if you have not seen his report check it out, it details what we are going through and the figures used that brought about yet another closure. You can see his blog at morningstarfishing.com It's well worth the read.
On the bright side if you could call it that, we now have Tautog and Stripers to fish for and when the weather cooperates we can still get off to the deep and fish for the Tiles. I was able to get away from the docks just a few times since my last report and the Tog fishing seemed to be getting a little better with every trip that we made. Still plenty of room for improvement, but for
the water temperature the way that it was prior to the storm I would have called it pretty typical Tog fishing that will only improve as the temperatures drop. Prior to the storm we were still looking at surface temperatures in the low to mid sixties, it has since dropped a few degrees and will only continue to fall with the shorter days and the colder nights. At the time of this writing there was still no news on any big catches of Stripers other than in the canal and around the inlets however with the shake up we just had and with the water temperatures dropping it really is just a matter of time. We will be making our first trips targeting the Stripers this coming weekend.
Our schedule here at the Wharf is basically our Fall schedule now. I will be running reef and wreck trips four days a week fishing for the Tog sailing on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Mondays. The trip leaves at 7:00 a.m. and we generally return to the docks around 4:00 p.m. We will try for Stripers this weekend on both Saturday and Sunday and departure time for this trip is at 8:00 a.m. I spoke with Capt. H.D. about his upcoming offshore trips and he will be rearranging the schedule now due to the Sea Bass closure but thinks that the next long rang trip will be in two weeks. When he figures out the new schedule it will be on the special trip page of the website.
We are planning on resuming our fall schedule this Friday fishing for the Blackfish (tautog) and with any luck Mother Nature will give us a well deserved break and allow us to get back to some serious fishing and catching of fish. I see no reason why we shouldn't be able to pick up right where we left off and possibly even see some better fishing as a result of the storm, time will tell.
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