Mother Nature continues to rule the fishing here at the Wharf however she did allow us to get away from the docks a few times this past week fishing for the Sea Bass, the Stripers and the Tog with some mixed results both good and bad on each trip we made with each fishery.
The weather certainly hasn't been doing us any favors lately, it just seemingly blows from one direction or the other nearly every day. There was one day last week where the Ocean and the Bay were slick flat calm and other than that one day, we had mostly moderate to sometimes near gale force winds at some point nearly every day.
Sea Bass fishing has suffered the most from the weather we have been seeing. Our best Bass fishing right now seems to be over the deeper wrecks at a minimum of twenty miles off the beach and as you well know even with the wind blowing off the beach the further offshore you go the bigger the swells will get. Capt. H.D. only really had one day this past week where the weather allowed him to go where he wanted to go and to do what he needed to do to put his patrons over the best fishing. Wednesday was that day and everyone on board was not only treated to a mill pond like ocean but also some lock-n-load hit the bottom and wind Sea Bass action. I was on this trip and I know for a fact that even though there was a lot of weeding through short fish, the majority of the anglers on board had limit or near limit catches of keeper Sea Bass and there was also a nice smattering of Red Hake, Blues, and even a few Codfish landed to keep it interesting at the rail. Fridays long range trip for the Tilefish and Bass never had a chance with the forecast and had to be scrubbed due to the near 40 knot winds which started Thursday night and blew all day on Friday. Both Saturday and Sunday were also plagued with a little too much wind and certainly less than ideal conditions making them both tough trips to put anything together on, Sundays Sea Bass trip actually aborted and came in a little early due to the wind and waves.
Tog fishing was similar for me this past weekend. Even though we fished inshore and the waves close to the beach were not too bad, with full moon tides and dirty water from all the wind on Friday, Tautog fishing was way way off. We had a couple of decent trips earlier in the week with some very nice fish but the weekend proved to be pretty much a bust with very few fish landed. If the wind ever stops blowing I really think we will continue to see the good Tog action right up until the end of the season, just a little break in the weather pattern would do us a world of good allowing the water clarity to improve and the fishing to get back to normal. Water temperatures continue to fall nicely and I have actually seen the Tog more aggressive in the way they bit the few times that the conditions were right. In this cooler water these fish become much more aggressive in their feeding pattern as the colder water forces the bait and crabs to move around more. Bay temperatures on the surface over the weekend were down to about 52 degrees in the choppy seas. Surface temperatures in the ocean have also dipped now down to about 57 degrees.
With the cooler water temperatures the Stripers and some Slammer Blues along with the bait they are feeding on have been on the move. The mouth of the Bay became alive last week with some true trophy sized Linesiders. Boats frequently came back to the docks with fish well over thirty pounds. Earlier in the month the vast majority of these slobs were being caught either trolling or anchored up and chunking for them however now the rips between the two Capes appear to have more fish that are willing to take a live bait. Eels and live Spot both have been working recently possibly even better than any other method for landing these beautiful fish. We had boats out for Stripers over the weekend and while Saturday proved to just be one of those days with the wind, waves and bad luck there were a few nice fish landed. Sundays trip was a little more productive returning with a real decent catch of Stripers up to nearly forty inches in length! These Stripers will continue to ambush baits along these rips for several more weeks and likely even longer. If Striper fishing is your gig there may be no better time than the present to give them a shot.
Our schedule continues to be sailing seven days a week with both the Tog and the Striper trips until after Thanksgiving when we drop to just four days a week. I suggest calling for updated weather info before you make the drive. Sea Bass trips are still scheduled to run on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Sea Bass trips are 10-hour trips departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. and reservations though not required are certainly suggested. Tog trips also depart at 7:00 a.m. and the Striper trips are scheduled to depart the docks 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 upcoming special trips, please give us a call at (302) 645-8862.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV