Our 2011 fishing season is rapidly coming to an end with our regularly scheduled Full-Day trips. Even though we have been having weather patterns that would mimic more of an early to mid fall season other than a near winter scenario and our fishing has continued to be pretty good throughout, here we are with the Holiday break in front of us and the prospects of a New Year and a new fishing season right around the corner.
I have to admit after running nearly 200 trips since the middle of last March, It's going to be nice to just tie the boat up for a while and not have to worry about having to try and catch some fish for a while. After this weekend I will be back on the water soon enough with the Special trips that we have on the schedule after the first of the year. For now the countdown is on and this weekend will wrap up the regular trips for the 2011 fishing season scheduled to fish just four more trips for the Tog and the Stripers.
Our last week of fishing was certainly not the best in my book in fact a couple of the trips I made bordered on the hands down worst fishing trips that I have had since we started fishing for the Tog in October. Full moon tides and way more wind than we wanted were the major contributing factor in what we were able to do over the weekend. It started out Friday with the fish just not biting anywhere in the lower end of the Delaware Bay or in the mouth of the Bay. We had to venture offshore a ways just to get any bites at all. With the wind directly opposing a hard running current even this seemed like a futile effort just trying to keep the boat located in the right spot. Even though we ended up catching a few Tog on Friday it was too little and too late to make a difference. Saturday wasn't any better in fact it was worse; with northwest winds forecasted to blow in excess of 25 knots we left the dock with barely a white cap on the water but by the time we anchored up and started to fish the winds did indeed come on with fury making it difficult just to stay in touch with the bottom with the strong running full moon currents and the rough choppy seas. It was another bum day.
Sunday the weather was much nicer however the fishing still left a lot to be desired. The Tog did eventually start to bite for us on Sunday and several folks actually ended up with a nice mess of fish but ultimately they just didn't add up for the number of passengers I had onboard. Monday was a much better day with just about everyone onboard participating in what I would call a very decent Tog bite. We had pretty steady action on Monday everywhere I stopped with a lot of short Tog and a very respective number of nice keepers all around the boat with the biggest fish of the day right around eight pounds. After what we had endured Friday and Saturday it almost seemed like a bonanza! These finicky Tog have done this to us on either side of the moon quite a few times now in the last several weeks. They just don't seem to bite quite as well with the hard running currents. There were boats to our north that had good fishing nearly all weekend with the Tog but they did not have the hard running tides that we had to endure. It does make a difference.
Striper fishing took a turn over the weekend for the better. It seems that some of the big schools of migrating Stripers that have been held up north now for several weeks have finally started to sag within our range , even on Saturday with all the wind the Stripers bit with fury showing those that braved the elements some of the best action of the year with these Linesiders. Not only were there a lot of nice trophy sized fish landed but the throwback action proved to be red hot with those tossing artificial plugs and jigs. There has been some big numbers of these Stripers landed in the last several days and it wouldn't surprise me to see this action continue well into the Holiday Season given the water temperatures we are seeing.
The offshore action with the Sea Bass was also fairly good over the weekend. Capt. H.D. ran a 12-hour Trip on Saturday and then a long range 18-hour trip on Sunday. Both trips met with some good levels of success. Saturdays trip was plagued with the same wind that we had inshore but the fishing proved to be fair catching mostly Sea Bass for those at the rail despite the wind and waves. Sundays long range trip also proved to be decent with some real nice sized Sea Bass as well as some Blue Line Tilefish for everyone on board. Capt. H did tell me that he wasn't actually aware of anyone that landed a limit catch of 25 over the weekend but he had several guys really close if not, and they did have some real quality Sea Bass once again especially on Sunday. There are a few more special trips on the schedule between now and December 31st including an 18-hour trip this coming Saturday for the Bass and Tilefish. If you are interested time is running out for these Sea Bass, the season closes once again at the start of the new year. All special trips now require reservations in advance as space is limited.
While we are wrapping up our regularly scheduled trips for this season we are also looking ahead to 2012. We will be trying to run special trips for Codfish, Ling and Tog throughout the winter; weather and some willing participants allowing. There is a complete list of all trips on our calendar link from the website at fishlewes.com I look to start up again with our regular schedule sometime in early March. If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you are interested in booking a private charter or you would like to reserve a spot on an upcoming special trip please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV