After a solid week of some very nasty and windy days and not much time spent away from the docks fishing, we finally had a ray of hope as this past weekend rolled around. The winds went from blowing the hair out of you head strong, to finally moderate, and then by Saturday afternoon I saw something I haven't seen in quite some time, slick flat calm!
I sat at the dock three more days after my last report; five days in a row total where I just couldn't bring myself to take anyone out on the water with a clear conscience. There was just too much wind and too much sea to be able to do anything that would even remotely resemble what I would call fun. Friday was the first day I would even consider a try and I opted to stay close to home and fish for the Stripers. With swells in the ocean as big as ten and twelve feet I felt it was our best bet to try and fish close to home. It ended up being a decent day, we landed five nice Linesiders up to 27 pounds and we didn't take too much of a butt kicking in the process!
The forecast for Saturday was the best we had seen in several days, northeast ten to fifteen and dropping out late in the day was what we expected. It was a big day at the Wharf Capt. H had an offshore Sea Bass trip, I was going for the Tog, and we would also have a boat fishing for the Stripers. With eager fisherman at the rails for all three trips off we all went. There was just one problem; the wind was still blowing more than we hoped for and the big swells in the ocean and in the mouth of the bay still had not comfortably subsided. It was ominously clear we would have to work for any fish on this day. Capt. H.D. headed off to the Bass grounds fishing the 20 mile wrecks, I headed down the beach in search of some cleaner water in hopes of a Tog bite, and the Striper trip would head back out to the rips where the fish had bit well the day before. The Sea Bass trip would ultimately see the best fishing.
I have to admit I zigged when I should have zagged on Saturday; I could not find any Tog that wanted to cooperate however, fortunately I was able to find a few willing Sea Bass by the end of the day just to put a few fish in the boxes for most of the anglers. The Tog did bite on Saturday but I had successfully placed myself twenty miles from the hot bite! Hind sight is most definitely a bitch. The Bass did bite decent on Saturday even in all the swell, and the special trip actually fared rather well. Capt. H reported several limit catches on both Saturday and then again on Sundays special trip with most anglers either landing the full limit of 25 or coming close to that with what were decent sized Bass. Striper fishing over the weekend ended up being very tough; after so many days of not being able to get out on the water, nearly everything that floated was running feverously through the rips trying to chase after a trophy Rock. There were a few nice fish caught but with all the traffic zipping around, it was a struggle.
With my head screwed firmly back in place Sunday morning, I was back after the Tog again. Sunday was hands down the nicest day weather wise that I had seen in over a solid week. The Tog action started out good right out of the gate, serious action around the boat with everyone swinging, and several very nice Tog either coming in over the rail or stealing the bait! The action would ultimately slow as the tide switched from ebb to flood but all Tolled we had a great day with these crafty fish by the end, and just about everyone had gotten in on the action. The Tog bit real good on Monday also with several more fish landed that would tip the scales at over seven pounds. Our biggest Tog this past weekend was over ten pounds and we had at least a dozen fish in the six to eight pound class. We have been seeing some true bruisers lately. There was one Tog landed over the weekend that tipped the scales over 19 pounds caught by a Lewes charter boat proving that as long as your line is in the water you have a chance at a true trophy! Congratulations Capt. Brent for finding that true hog of a Tog for your patrons.
With the shorter days and cool nights, not to mention those pesky winds, water temperatures continue to drop. Ocean temps have been around 56 degrees while temperatures on the surface in the Delaware Bay have already made it down to 52. Fish are without a doubt on the move, several large schools of both Stripers and Blues have been migrating along the Coast recently, while the vast majority of these fish seem to be holding well outside of the three mile line where we can legally land the Striped Bass, many of these fish seem to be finding the rips in he mouth of the Bay is a good area to fatten up . The Tautog seem to be biting more aggressive now with the cooler waters and the Sea Bass are apparently moving off to a little deeper water for their winter habitat. The outlook is very good for some more of that fabulous fall fishing with the Sea Bass, the Tog, the Stripers and even some Blues. We will no doubt continue to see some excellent fishing in the next several weeks as long as the weather cooperates.
We will continue on our daily schedule here at wharf until the middle of December fishing for both the Tautog and the Striped Bass. As far as the Sea Bass are concerned, it looks as though the special trips will be about your best and the only option. As these fish push further offshore the extended trips will be the way to go there is more time involved to get to where the fish are and. We will be running 10-hour trips for Sea Bass on both Saturdays and Sundays until the end of this month for those of you that want to get in on this action. There is a complete list of dates on the special trip link from our home page at fishlewes.com including a trip or two during the middle of the week. I will continue to be running the Tog trips daily sailing at 7:00 a.m. Striper trips will depart at 8:00.
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to reserve space for a special trip or to book a private charter please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV