Unseasonably warm weather for the first week of December, some calm seas, and some biting fish made for a pretty decent weekend here at the Wharf with pretty good success on just about every trip.
We are on the four day a week schedule now until the remainder of the 2011 season and I was fortunate enough to get out all four days this past weekend fishing for the Tog. We also got a Striper boat away each day and we were able to get both of the offshore Sea Bass trips in as well. Each trip met with both good and not so good results. The Tog while biting much better than they did for our previous week on the backside of the moon, still proved finicky in their feeding pattern. Stripers seemed to at times just vanish making it difficult to consistently rack up any big numbers. The Sea Bass bit well with some of the largest fish of the late season being landed just this past Saturday and also a good number of nice sized Codfish in the mix.
Friday for me started out great with the Tog. With just a light crowd on board and a pokey running tide we were able to hold bottom in a little deeper water the better majority of the day and the Tog pretty much bit for us all day long. By the end of the trip the fish added up nicely including a couple limit and near limit catches with fish up to about five pounds and just about everyone on board getting in on the action. Saturday reality struck right back in on us. With a little northeast wind blowing early in the day the fish just didn't seem to want to bite for us. We finally did manage to pick a few after the tide changed and the wind dropped out but after our performance on Friday it was somewhat of a disappointment to say the least.
Sunday and Monday were both pretty decent days with the Tog they bit at least part of the day each trip and we landed some top quality fish with our average Blackfish ranging between three to five pounds as well as several citation sized fish weighing over 7 lbs. including a couple slobs in the range of double digits in weight. In typical Tog fashion other than Friday when they were biting as good as you would ever see them, they made us suffer and sweat them out at some point each and every day. Sunday's anglers got to witness the light switch effect first hand when they just shut off after a tide change. The more flood tide we got after it switched Sunday afternoon the less we caught, and by the time we left for home you couldn't even loose a piece of bait. If you hadn't been there for the morning bite on the ebb tide you would have sworn there wasn't a fish for miles near where we were anchored.
Striper fishing proved to be a little frustrating for most of the boats over the weekend. With the warm weather we have been having and the water temperatures showing only a slight dip recently, the Stripers don't seem to be migrating all that much and the ones that are on the move are well outside the three mile line and not legal for us to target. There were once again some true quality fish landed but the number of fish coming across the docks is down from where it would normally be at this time of the year. Saturdays do seem to be a good day to be a Striper, once again this past Saturday proved to be the toughest day of the week for the Stripers with the majority of the fleet coming back without a keeper. General consensus is that if we can get a little change in the weather pattern that it will push some of the large schools of fish that are held up to our north down this way. Water temperatures have still not dipped and stayed below 53 degrees and most of the time over the weekend we were looking at readings of nearly 56 degrees around the mouth of the Bay on the surface.
Capt. H.D. once again had the honors of the most consistent fishing over the weekend at the Wharf. Sea Bass, Codfish and a few Ling and Blues pleased anglers and filled up the coolers both Saturday and Sunday. Capt. H did report that he ended up fishing a little further away from port than he has been working but that it was well worth the ride. Saturdays trip saw several citation sized Sea Bass in the four to five pound class and they also had a lot of nice Codfish thrown in the mix. Sunday's trip didn't see the big numbers of the Jumbo Bass like they saw on Saturday but they still had decent Sea Bass action and another real good trip on the Cod. This is a great sign seeing so many nice Codfish given the water temperature and the time of the year. It looks very promising that we could have a good winter fishery with these beautiful fish over the next several weeks. Remember if you do want to get in on the Sea Bass action, the season closes on December 31st and likely will not reopen till late next spring. There are still a few more trips on the schedule both 12-hour and 18-hour special trips for the Bass before the first of the New Year. After January 1st we will be concentrating on the Cod, Red Hake or the Tog.
Our season is most definitely winding down now there are just two more weeks for our regularly scheduled all-day trips. We are just sailing Friday's through Monday's now with both the Striper trips and the Tog trips. After Monday December 19th there will only be special trips on the schedule or just charters sailing. We should continue to see decent fishing right up until the holidays and even after the way it looks. 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-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV