For the first time this year we had finally gotten a good ball rolling with fishing here at the Wharf being able to get out eleven days in a row. In those eleven days I undoubtedly saw some really good fishing with Sea Bass, some big Ling, some pretty Flounder and even a few Codfish. Then came the wind and I have sat tied fast to the docks now for three days in a row turning away more folks that wanted to go fishing than it seems like I had seen for the entire month of May.
I mixed up the fishing last week between drifting for Fluke and running further offshore to fish over wrecks depending on the crowd and the conditions we were given. We were equally pleased with the results either way. The drift fishing on the open bottom, fishing the hard ledges and coral bottoms of the old grounds was actually what I would call fair fishing for the time of the year. I have only Flounder fished for three and a half days so far this year and we have already racked up an impressive number in my book of over 75 keeper Flounders with the biggest one to date still just shy of 7 pounds. So far it has worked out to about a one in four to five average with keepers to throwbacks not too bad considering we are working with an 18 inch minimum size. I have yet to have an angler catch his limit of four
however we have had many guys and gals that were stuck on three! I think we are off to a good start with the Flounders so far this year and it should only get better as the season wears on.
Anglers that fished with me on both Friday and Saturday were rewarded with a little different trip than we would normally have with just the regular all-day trips. With the inshore wrecks pretty much picked over and an absolutely gorgeous Ocean, I had enough passengers to warrant riding further offshore and fishing some of the deeper water wrecks that don't normally get pounded by the inshore fleet. Although the ride was long I am pretty certain that just about everyone that made the trip was pleased with the end results. It wasn't always lock and load fishing however you caught a fish on just about every drop and the majority of what we caught was invited home for supper! Sea Bass, Red Hake (ling cod) and even a good number of nice Codfish filled up nearly everyone's coolers by the end of the day and just about
everyone was worn out from reeling in fish from the 20 plus fathoms of water. These were a couple of stellar fishing trips but unfortunately not something that we can do all the time. It is seldom that we would make a trip like these with our regular All-Day trips due to the distance and the time it takes traveling to these offshore locations.
On Sunday and Monday we were back to normal with small crowds and we were once again drifting the open bottoms jigging and dragging big baits for the Fluke and Sea Bass. There were no real complaints, we had a nice steady pick with fish both days with mostly the flat ones and enough Bass biting in between to keep anglers on their toes. There seems to be plenty of Bass on the grounds however the vast majority of these fish fall short of the 12 1/2 " size required to keep. We had a few folks just fishing for the Bass and they had steady action catching them nearly all day but the Bass just don't add up to any real numbers. Jigging for the Fluke was the best way to fish, it seemed like you would catch just as many keeper Bass on the Fluke rigs, and it is definately the best way to entice the big Flatties.
Water temperatures have been up and over the weekend I saw surface temperatures in the Ocean hovering on either side of 70 degrees. The Ocean prior to our latest wind event had been very calm and there were boats everywhere taking advantage of the smooth calm seas. Tuna were biting seemingly everywhere from the latter part of last week up until the wind came on Tuesday. These fish were along the canyons stretching nearly 200 miles of coastline and it is starting to look like one of the best starts with the Tuna in quite a while. Mostly Yellowfin and now even some Bluefin have been caught by just about everyone that has made the trip to deep waters seeking these fish. Capt. H.D. was out in the deep again over the weekend and along with their catch of Tilefish they even trolled up a Yellowfin while running back
from a deep water drift. The Tilefishing on this trip was described to me as awesome by one of the anglers on this journey and I know of at least one man that was still cleaning fish at 4:00 in the morning the day after this adventure! There are two more Tile trips on the schedule right now Sunday June 24th and then again the following Saturday June 30th. Remember these are limited space trips and reservations in advance are a must.
Up in the Delaware Bay fishing was tough for most of the guys last week. Flounder are turning on up in the Bay but they are really sensitive to conditions right now and it seems like everything has to be just right to rack up any numbers at all with the fish. Trout fishing has actually been quite good up in the Bay in some of the usual haunts however with a creel limit of just one fish it makes it hard for anyone to spend any real time or effort with these fish. Our Half-Day trips continue to struggle with keepers however the action has been really good at times for the Jr. anglers catching Sandsharks, spike sized Trout and various other assortments of inshore fish including Blowfish, Flounder and Kings. Capt. Mike did however report the first Croakers of the 2012 season and he has already put on the cape
and started doing his Croaker dance now that school is out and he will be scouring the Bay on a full time basis.
I expect to be doing more and more drifting with my all day trips targeting mostly Flounders and a few Bass from here on out. I'm afraid our wreck fishing is about done for now until later in the season other than special circumstances where drifting is not an option. Most of our time will be spent in the Ocean fishing the "old grounds" however if any numbers of Flatties show up in the Bay we will be on them. I still expect to be seeing some Sea Bass however coolers full of them is more likely a fantasy than a reality. Flounder fishing will be good though and the outlook for them is very promising.
All-Day trips depart the docks at 7:00 a.m. and we usually get back in around 4:00. Half-Day trips depart at 8:00 a.m. and then again at 1:00 in the afternoon. This wind will stop blowing eventually and we will be back hard at it trying to find you some fish!
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 a special trip please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV