While the windy days are still outnumbering the calm days we have managed to get away from the docks much more often over the past couple of weeks. It really has seemed like the wind Gods have been punishing us so far this fall. Water temperatures however now are finally falling, target fish and baitfish are on the move and we have seen some outstanding wreck fishing lately with the sea bass and lots of chopper sized Blues as an added bonus catch. Tog fishing has left a whole lot to be desired so far this fall but there is finally a few signs of improvement even with them and there have been several true trophy quality Stripers landed over the past week and a half.
Wind has hands down been our worst enemy ever since we quit fishing for the Flounders late in September. I can't remember a tougher month of October for bad weather and not being able to get away from the docks to fish. Fortunately once the Sea Bass season reopened we could finally throw some fish up on the docks and restore what was left of our sanity from some very poor fishing trips while targeting primarily the Tog. I have had to dig really deep in my book of excuses to try and explain why we caught so few of these crafty bottom dwellers during what traditionally would have been prime time to harvest these fish. Warm water temperatures, windy days, and some very dirty water around the mouth of the Delaware Bay were certainly the most contributing factors and now that the water has cooled down it will take a nice stretch of calm seas to really figure out what has been going on with these Tog. The breakwaters and some of the shallow lighthouses up in the bay have continued to produce some fish but not like it should be and the artificial reefs and the wrecks around the mouth of the bay have been hit and miss with the Blackfish with a strong emphasis on miss. They just don't seem to want to bite at all in that dirty water. Finally this past weekend some of the ocean wrecks up and down the beach from us started to produce a few nice Tog giving us a ray of hope for what we will be able to do in the upcoming weeks. If we can keep the wind at bey perhaps we will finally see some numbers of these fish we were out on Tuesday and actually had a respectable catch with the Tog proving it can be done!
Further offshore the report couldn't be any better as far as the Sea Bass fishing goes. Deep water wrecks anywhere from 100 to 130 feet are virtually loaded with tasty Sea Bass, baitfish, and at times lots of decent sized Bluefish right now. We have primarily been running just the ten hour trips for these fish due to the travel time but the fishing in this zone has been well worth the ride. This is the type of fishing where you throw the anchor and drop back over the structure and just start pulling up fish. Each and every one of these trips so far has met with huge success with most anglers scoring an easy limit of nice sized Bass with no problem whatsoever. I have personally been on a few of these trips recently and was able to fish myself and it is undoubtedly the type of fishing that will wear you out by the end of the day.
On these extended hour trips you can expect Constant action with fish anywhere from belt buckle size all the way up to two and three pounds that will keep you busy all day long. There has certainly been a lot of throwback action but with patience and some measuring there are plenty of keepers to be had. Many of the anglers have not even been using bait, fishing instead with just jigs or a jig teaser combo with either gulp or at times just a piece of a rag on a plain hook. This style of fishing saves the time of constantly re-baiting and has proven very effective with some larger fish. When the Blues swarm the wreck all you need for them is a diamond jig or an ava jig in the four to six ounce range to be in on the game for these fighters.
Even further offshore the report is even better. Capt. H.D. Ran a special 18 hour Sea Bass /Tilefish fish trip this past weekend fishing over top of wrecks and stone piles in the twenty to forty fathom range and was very pleased with a mix bag catch of slammer sized Bluefish lots of Jumbo Sea Bass up to four pounds and plenty of Blue Line Tilefish up to about twelve pounds. This trip was a mix of anchoring over wrecks as well as drifting the rocky ledges on the inside walls of the canyons. By the end of this adventure the anglers were worn out and had big coolers full of some very nice fish. We will have several more trips like this before the end of the year.
We are entering our reduced fall schedule after this week. Starting next week our regular All-Day trips will just be running on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We will continue with this schedule until December at which time we will switch to a ten hour trip for the Blackfish with reservations required. These trips will run only on weekends. There is a host of special trips on the schedule the dates and times can be viewed on our trips calendar link from the home page at fishlewes.com also be sure to check us out on facebook for the latest updates from recent fishing trips as well as pictures taken.
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to book a private charter for Stripers or reserve space 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