Finally some seasonable weather and some good fishing to report! It has been a long time coming and we have certainly more than paid our fair dues for some decent weather but finally Mother Nature has given us a little break and allowed us to get away from the docks and prove that there is some good Tautog fishing to be had even though the water is still fairly cold.
Since my last report water temperatures really have not risen all that much however it seems to have been just enough to have made the Tog become a little more active and for the fish to bite a little bit more consistent for us over the past few days. My last three trips that we have made we have enjoyed the most successful fish catching action so far this season and we have also seen some of the nicest Tog of the year thus far including one big fat slob that tipped the scales just shy of 17 pounds caught on Saturday's trip. You just never know when that big guy might pop up. For the most part the vast majority of the fish we have been seeing are still cookie cutter sized Tog, throwbacks to measurable sized fish usually in the three to four pound class however we have just started to see a few more nicer sized fish in the mix in the five to seven pound class. Hopefully this trend will continue for the remainder of the season and we will be seeing a few more of these big ones regularly over the next three weeks before the season closes for the spawn.
Our water temperatures now are considerably warmer than that of just two weeks ago however still pretty cool. The Delaware Bay has shown surface temps in the low fifties at its peak and bottom temperatures in the low to mid forties while the Ocean beachfront remains the coldest zone with surface temps still not reaching the fifty degree mark on most days. The further offshore you go surface temps will creep up a little, but every time we get some moderate wind it churns up the colder bottom temperatures keeping the surface a little cooler. Ocean surface temperature at the Delaware Lightship Buoy has been hovering around 47 degrees now for the better part of a week and our canal is usually showing over fifty degrees with the afternoon sun. While still pretty cool these are much more normal readings given the time of the year than we had been seeing during March and early April when they were still averaging way below normal.
It is nice to know that even though it has been a colder than normal spring some things are still right on schedule. Tog have turned on ,the first few Flounders have been caught in the canal, there are more and more reports of Stripers finally being caught hook and line, and the first Drumfish was allegedly landed from the surf north of Cape May over the past weekend. It shouldn't be too long before the big schools of Drum make their first showing in the shallows on either side of the Delaware Bay and along the beachfronts providing early season trophy opportunity for anglers. In our travels we have been seeing multiple schools of baitfish on the surface often being chased by some sort of larger predator judging by the accompanying bird activity around the bait. I have already seen the first flock of Pelicans near the point of Cape Henlopen and the Gannets and Dolphins are seemingly everywhere we go now. Fish are surely on the move.
We are now officially running daily with the All-Day trips. The boat sails at 7:00 a.m. and we generally return to the docks around 4 o'clock p.m. Tautog will be at the top of the menu until the season closes on the 12th of May. We have been seeing a few Spiny Dog Sharks but really it's been pretty much just the Tog. Bait is provided we will have fresh crabs and clams on the boat, feel free to bring anything else you think may work. Most of our fishing will be between 50 to 100 feet of water and I strongly suggest braided line to help you feel the light biting fish in these depths coupled with the strong currents we often see while fishing for these 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 an upcoming special trip please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA. Also be sure to "like" us on facebook for more updates, recent trip photos and special offers.
Until Next Time Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV