It's been nearly a month since I last updated my fishing report on this forum. Believe me when I tell you it has been a long busy summer here at the Wharf and to save time and valuable sanity, I have just been posting all of our pictures, videos and a few short words about how the fishing has been by posting on our facebook page. I found this a much more efficient way of getting the word out and everyone seems to like this much more, being able to follow our timeline and checking out all the pictures there. Just click on the facebook link from our home page and enjoy.
Yesterday with the rain and wind in the forecast was actually the first day that our all day trip has sat at the docks in well over a month due to a lack of sponsors. It was a greatly appreciated maintenance and rest day and a nice break from the daily grind of our Flounder catching action. For several weeks now we have been blessed with a great stretch of weather and even some better fishing. The Flounders have really been adding up nicely for us now for quite some time.
We continue to fish the rocky coral ledges of the "old grounds" every trip fishing with our jiggy rigs, bucktails and the magical Spros. For the most part the action has been steady and at times it's even fast and furious with a very aggressive bite. The really good days have now far outnumbered the slow ones and the fish we are seeing are very nice fish on the average. Even though the imposed 16 inch limit for Delaware has ultimately been putting a lot more suppers in our coolers, the bigger fish have been outnumbering the smaller ones. Very few trips has a fish of under four or five pounds not taken the pool. To date we have landed 14 citation sized fish over seven pounds and I can't even begin to count the over six pound fish that have just missed the citation size grade. Just this past week I had a five day stretch landing over five hundred keeper Flounders! We have truly been seeing some very good Flounder fishing action folks and it's not over by a long shot!
The month of August and into September is typically one of our best times of the year for landing the Flounders and this year so far we are right on par with that thinking. Each and every week now since the middle of July it seems as though I have been raising the bar for what I would have to call a good or a bad trip. Yes we have had some tough days but even on the worst of days we have been doing what I was calling a good day early on in June when our Flounder season was just starting to roll. I still believe that as these fish begin to move around and bunch up and stage to fatten up for their offshore migration in the fall that we may even see better still; we generally do at that time of year .
The "old grounds" where we have spent basically a hundred percent of our time is really a neat area to fish. Natural rocky ledges and patches of sea trees and coral are scattered over about a six mile or more stretch of open bottom all the way from the lower end of Rehoboth beach down past Indian River and as far south as the north end of Ocean City Maryland. It is on these patches of bottom where we have seen some of our best fishing. The ledges and the sea trees make for a perfect area for the Flounder to lay and ambush any baitfish that passes by as the current sweeps them within reach of the waiting Flounder.
Depending on the varying conditions we can make short drifts over these hotspots or in some cases when the drift is just right we are able to drift for the better part of a mile or even more without having to move the boat. The jigging style rig is by far the best way to entice these fish into biting and yes you will get hung up in the bottom at times. The water depth varies with location but for the most part we are fishing between 65 to 90 feet of water. Some captains are against the braided line however I am not one of them. Thirty to forty pound test braid with a short monofilament leader to your rig is by far the best set up. I like a fairly soft tip on a rod with plenty of backbone in case you have to press up with the lead to hold bottom. You can expect to use anywhere from just a few ounce bucktail or jig to hold bottom up to as much as twelve ounces of lead or more if there is a strong wind opposing the current. We supply all the bait that you need to catch these deep water flatties but feel free to bring along the gulp or the minnows, at times they have both been pretty effective and we do not have them on board the boat. Our Full day trips depart at 7:00 a.m. and we rarely return to the dock before 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Expect pretty much just the Flounder however just recently we have been seeing a few more Sea Bass and some Blues and Croakers in the mix. Make no mistake though we are rigging up for and primarily targeting just the Flounders right now and will continue with this program long after the kids start back to school unless we have a major storm that changes what we are able to do.
Up in the Delaware Bay the Half-Day and the inshore charters have had continued success with the pan sized Croakers, Flounders and some snapper sized Blues. Capt. Mike reports good action with Croakers that will average about a foot or more long for the bigger ones. He has also reported a mix with Blues, some Spike Trout and the occasional Triggerfish or Flounder on his half day adventures. This has been pretty decent fishing for the Jr. half day anglers and those boats that are bound to fishing up in the Delaware Bay.Water temperatures up in the Bay and in the mouth of the Bay while still fairly warm are not quite what you would expect to see going into the middle of August, cool pockets of water can still be found in many locations at any given time. Out in the Ocean, surface temperatures have been pretty steady at around 75 degrees and from time to time we have been able to enjoy some crystal clear water allowing us to see our fish long before they reach the surface. There has also been multiple Humpback Whales spotted along the coast and around the mouth of the Delaware Bay. Whale Watchers have been on these beautiful mammals frequently and we have seen them several times on my trips traveling to and from the fishing grounds. There are massive schools of bunker around and the Whales have been seen actively feeding on these baitfish.
This is a really good time to get out on the water and try and catch some fish, the outlook is very promising for continued good fishing in the days and the weeks ahead for just about any targeted species in our region right now be it inshore or off so get out there and give them a shot.
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. Don't forget to check us out on facebook for the most recent updates as well as all of the pictures from recent trips.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV