In the last couple of weeks I can count our fishing trips on my fingers and I would literally only have to use one hand. Back to back storms one known as hurricane-superstorm Sandy and then yet another significant northeaster which clocked sustained gale winds and generated close to 20 foot waves yet again within a week basically left us remained tied fast to the docks for more days than I ever thought possible for this time of the year. The fact that we can no longer fish for Sea Bass hasn't helped our cause either.
I have made it out a few times in the last couple weeks fishing for the Tautog but I have to admit the fishing has been less than spectacular. Even though at times we had some pretty calm seas the water clarity has left a lot to be desired. The water around the mouth of the Delaware Bay looks more like a chocolate malt than it does anything else. You have to get away from entrance of the Bay by several miles before you see any clarity to the water at all with all the dirty water pushing out from all the rain and the extreme tides we had during the storms. On the bright side water temperatures have been dropping there is plenty of baitfish around and the Stripers are finally starting to make an appearance at the lower end of the Bay and along the coastline. We also caught just enough Tog (barely) over the weekend to give us hope that when the weather breaks we might just stand a chance.
We joked at the end of the summer with water temperatures still teetering up around 80 degrees that it would be November or December before the water cooled down enough for the Tog fishing to get good. Well here we are into the second week of November now and we are anxiously awaiting a break from Mother Nature so we can confirm our hopes of a cool water Tog bite! The water temperatures have certainly taken a drastic dip, so drastic in fact that just this past weekend when we made it out on the water again everyone thought that perhaps their temperature gauge wasn't functioning properly. As I sailed down the canal Saturday morning I was looking at 47 degree surface water and really didn't think too much about it until later in the day when it still read just 48 degrees. Vessels up and down the coast as well us up in the Delaware Bay all reported similar readings. By my calculations the surface temperature had diped 15 degrees in less than two weeks time. Yes we had some cold nights but such a drastic change was mainly due to all the wind and waves churning up the water. Bottom readings were actually several degrees warmer than the surface for a change!
Battling Mother Nature is very frustrating when your in the fishing business but I suspect it's all part of her way at protecting her precious recourses in the long run. The seas will eventually calm when the wind stops, and the water will clean up again, it always does. Prior to the violent storms the fishing was starting to get better with each trip we made for the Tog. There was a fantastic bite around both Breakwaters and the inshore wrecks and artificial reefs were starting to turn on with some decent fishing as well. This quality of fishing will return before we know it we just need for the wind to stop and the water to clean up.
We will continue with our Fall schedule here at the Wharf sailing on Friday, Saturday, Sundays and Mondays anchoring over wrecks and reefs for the Tautog departing the dock at 7:00 a.m. we provide the Crabs. We will also be running Striper trips on weekends fishing with live bait sailing at 8:00 a.m. Hopefully when the news of the Stripers gets out we will be able to get enough interest to get away from the docks. I would suggest calling in advance and checking on the weather for these trips. We will also be running several long- range trips for Tilefish you can find the dates on the trip calendar from the home page at fishlewes.com as of now Sea Bass season is closed until the end of the year and we are holding on to hope that it will reopen in 2013 at some point.
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to reserve space on a special trip or book a private charter for the Stripers or Tog please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Time Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV