I have had a pretty interesting week of fishing here at the Wharf over these past seven days. Between the good Tog fishing we have been enjoying and with the beginning of the week starting out all over again finally being able to fish for the Sea Bass, we have seen some pretty good catches of fish coming across the docks.
All week long the weathermen had promised some warm weather with a good chance of rain in the forecast, winds were to be moderate out of the south for the most part. I guess with today's technology age everyone was watching the weather just a little too closely, what we in fact ended up with was beautiful warm sunny days, calm seas, a few spits of rain here and there, and very few patrons that wanted to go fishing while we had some of the hands down best Tog fishing that we have seen so far this fall! You just can't trust those weather guys.
I enjoyed the light crowds during the better part of the week with the good fishing we had, and then for the weekend, on Saturday the Tog fishermen seemingly came out of the woodwork! With a few more anglers than I am comfortable with togging, and several totes of crabs, we set out on what I would call a very interesting day to say the least. In typical Tog fashion the fish did bite when the time was right, but unfortunately with close to 40 anglers on board, everyone on board didn't get in on the good action. There was a lot of speculation from anglers by the end of the day as to what they were possibly doing wrong; all they could do was fatten up the fish for others to bring over the rail. Our total number of fish for Saturdays catch was pretty impressive, but way too many folks headed to the fish market for a fresh fish supper! On Sunday we had more decent Tog fishing early on in the day but the wind would come up strong against the tide mid day making for a long long afternoon with just a few more fish going to the boxes by the end of the trip.
Monday was the long awaited day for the big reopening of the Black Sea Bass season and the anglers were out in full force for this big adventure. I hadn't seen interest for a trip like this at the Wharf for quite some time. With a boat chocked full of eager fishermen and enough fishing gear on board for more like a three day trip, we ventured off to see what we could find. It started out a little slow and I must admit very frustrating for me as well as many folks at the rail, but by days end we did manage a decent catch of nice bass for the majority of the folks. There is no doubt in my mind that some were a little disappointed in the size of the crowd on board and what could be best described as "just pick" fishing for the better part of the day, but all tolled by day's end, we caught a lot of decent fish. No limits for the big opening day but top hooks were well into the teens and just about everyone ended up with at least a good meal or too. For the amount of mouths that I had to feed on deck on this day I would have to call it a pretty successful trip.
I was back out hard on the Bass again today 11/02 with just half the amount of anglers that I had yesterday and the Bass actually cooperated rather nicely. Several folks ended up well into double digits with keepers and there was even a few limit catches around the boat. We have been seeing a very steady pick so far these last couple of days with lots of small fish and quite a few very nice knot head bass coming up steady enough to keep everyone glued to the rail! Our biggest Bass so far these last couple of days was just shy of four pounds! As far as a mix of fish it looks to be pretty much all Sea Bass but I have seen a few decent Porgies and we have landed our first couple Slammer sized Bluefish for the fall season. One big Blue yesterday and another one today. So far we have only seen a few of the dreaded Spiny Dogfish Sharks. These pesky fish usually start to show up right around Halloween once the bottom temperatures start to drop a little.
Our water temperatures have actually made quite a dip since the last time I was fishing the bass grounds out front. Surface temps now seem to be right around 58 degrees out to twenty miles from the beach. The Bay water temperatures are a couple degrees warmer in the mouth of the Bay and up the Bay as well, still holding right around 61 degrees on the surface. Striper fishing has still not really turned on, there have been some very impressive fish landed up in the bay so far but no real big numbers of fish, and still just a few showing up in the rips where they should be right now. Most of the fish taken so far have been caught while chunking fresh bunker or by trolling, only a few fish so far have been caught on live baits. We have yet to get a striper boat away from the docks here at the Wharf but as soon as more of these fish start to show up I'm sure there will be more interest.
Between the big three species of Sea Bass, TauTog, and the Stripers at the top of the "what's going on" list right now, we should have a fairly heavy fall schedule with boats going out. I will continue running seven days a week with my regular Full-Day trips anchoring over wrecks and reefs fishing for the Sea Bass and the Tog, departure time is at 7:00a.m. On light days with patrons it is likely that we will be fishing close to home for primarily the Tautog and as long as the weather is good and we have enough folks to make the run we will be fishing for the Bass a little further offshore. Often when the water gets cooler we see Tog along with the Sea Bass on some of the wrecks a little further from home. We also will have several special trips running just for the Bass and other trips targeting both Sea Bass and Tilefish later in the season. There is a complete list of dates now on the special trip link from the home page at fishlewes.com reservations in advance are required for all special trips. We will also be running Striper trips daily departing the dock at 8:00 a.m.
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 special trips please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV