You have often heard me say that Mother Nature can do a much better job protecting her fish than any fisheries management plan and this has never been more apparent than these last couple weeks. Wind and waves have pretty much dominated what we have been able to do here at the Wharf allowing many a day where the fish have been safe from anglers while every boat in the marina stayed tied fast to the docks waiting for a break in the weather.
Barring a hurricane or something of that nature seldom do we ever miss so many days in a row due to weather at this time of year but this was the case for the end of October and the beginning of November for us. We finally did get somewhat of a break between blows allowing us to get out a few days in a row before the big Saturday Blow for both the Tog as well as the Bass. We missed the opening day of Sea Bass season, little details like 12 foot waves along with 25 knot winds crashed the hopes of getting back on the Bass for the big opener but the winds and seas abated just enough to get out on Wednesday and even though there was a residual swell close to six feet tall or bigger, those that persisted at the rail were gratified with a nice limit or near limit catch of the tasty Sea Bass. There were also several Cod landed. While Capt. H.D. was wondering around in the deep water catching Sea Bass I was up in the mouth of the Delaware Bay for my first trip in over a week and my handful of Toggers were treated to one of the better days we have had with these fish for the entire fall. They must have been hungry they really seemed to bite good for a while allowing a few limit and near limit catches around the boat with fish up to nine pounds!
We were able to get back out again both Thursday and Friday
and while they never really bit quite as good as they did for us
Wednesday we were able to put
together a very respectable catch
both days before the wind came
back with a vengeance right for
the start of the weekend. Fridays
trip the fish bit decent out
of the gate but by late day the
wind and the tide took over once
again conserving some of Mother
Natures precious Tautog. Capt.
H did make a trip for the Bass on Friday but no sooner did he
get off to the grounds the winds kicked up to nearly 30 knots out
of the northeast making it difficult to fish and with just a few folks
on board he decided to come in early opting for a better day. By
Saturday morning after a full night of strong northeast winds the
waves at the Delaware Lightship Buoy were over ten feet tall
every five to six seconds and still building. Wave heights on
the lower end of the Bay were not much
better and with the winds
forecasted to continue until late in the
day, lines were secured and
in some cases doubled for the flood tides
and we sat at the docks
once again wishing we could go fishing.
We made it out again on Sunday
with both the inshore and
the offshore trips. The weather really
couldn't have been much
nicer and the Ocean as well as the Bay calmed down nicely allowing some pretty decent fishing for everyone. While I have to admit in my book the Tog fishing was much less than spectacular, in typical Tog Fishing fashion the finicky biters did add up for a few folks by the end of the day and we again saw a few quality fish landed. The Sea Bass bit much better than the Tog did on Sunday Capt. H reported several limits around the rail again with constant action on some stops keeping everyone busy pulling up the Bass from the deeper water. Not too much of a variety catch but they did see a few more Cod, Ling and a couple Blues. The swell was still there but by the end of the trip on Sunday things were settling down nice and they were actually starting to see the fish cloud around the sides of the wrecks again providing a little more active feeding on the fish that had been hunkered to the wrecks in all the big swells.
With the shorter days and the cooler temperatures the surface water temperatures are cooling down. Up in the Bay I have seen it as low as 53 degrees with an average just a little higher. Out front The surface temp is still hovering right around that 60 degree mark out to twenty miles from the coast. The Stripers have been on the move. Some true slobs were brought to the docks last week mostly by private boaters that were pulling big lures or by the boats that have been anchoring up and chumming and chunking for them. There have already been several Rockfish landed weighing over thirty and forty pounds! While it still seems as though the best fishing has not been on the live baits it is just a matter of time before the rips in the mouth of the Bay become alive with the Stripers. We will be trying for the Stripers any day now that we can get a handful of anglers. Our Striper trips are scheduled to depart the docks at 8:00 a.m. and I strongly suggest that you show up to the docks by 7 o'clock so if there is not enough to make the trip you still may be able to make the Tog boat. We just have not had many folks around at all even when the weather has been good so we will try our best to get you out even with the bare minimum of crowds. Fortunately right now with the exception of the Sea Bass we don't have to travel too far keeping the fuel cost down and allowing us to get out with just a few folks. Striper fishing will pretty much be all live bait fishing unless you choose to toss and retrieve plugs. The word is that there are some massive schools of Stripers just up the coast from us and the migration has started we will most definitely be seeing these fish in good numbers in our immediate future.
Our Fall schedule is pretty simple; we will continue Tog fishing on a daily basis seven days a week departing the docks around 7:00 a.m. this is an eight hour trip or more and we generally get in around 4:00 all crabs are supplied. Sea Bass is just on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays and these will be ten hour trips also departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. There will also be a few other longer range trips for both the Tilefish as well as the Sea Bass on the schedule as the season progresses. Striper trips will also sail daily departing the docks at 8:00 a.m. these are eight hour trips. 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