The month of July is half over already as we grind away with the summer action here at the Wharf. All reports on the fishing scene are pretty good for just about anything that you would want to target for this time of the year whether you are fishing inshore for the Flounders or the Croakers or choose to go offshore for the Tuna or the Billfish, everyone is enjoying some great fish catching action in our region right now no matter what you choose to do.
On the offshore fishing scene the Tuna have been all over the inshore lumps and along the edges of the canyons now consistently for a good while. Both Blue fin and Yellow fin Tuna have been caught regularly for several weeks straight now along with a few big Mahi and even a few Marlin in the mix just recently. Back closer to shore the Flounder action has taken a good stronghold out in the Ocean on the hard bottoms of the "old grounds" and also up in the Delaware Bay where good numbers of nice fat doormats have been jigged off of the rubble from the artificial reefs as well as some of the good natural bottom areas and edges on both sides of the Bay. The Croakers seemed to had become very elusive for a while over the last couple of weeks however in just the last few days they have started to turn back on again in a more predictable fashion with the full moon and the perigee tides that accompanied this lunar event. We have seen some very extreme ranges in tide the last few days and some very strong running currents keeping target fish and baitfish on the move.
Including today I have only been on land twice in the last several weeks, in that time I have seen a lot of changes occur with the water temperatures and the way the fish have been behaving and moving around as a result of these changes both on the bottom and on the surface. Bottom temperatures remain fairly chilly still and the surface temp is actually a little cooler than it typically would be for the middle of July. Even the water temps up in the Delaware Bay have been fluctuating a few degrees. Out in the Ocean where I have spent pretty much all my time, water temperatures on the surface have been as high as 75 and as low as 67 in just the past week. I suspect that the southerly winds that kick up nearly every afternoon is churning up some of the cooler water from down deeper. There are still areas that we fish where the Flounder we catch feel cool to the touch when we bring them up but not as cold as they were a few short weeks ago. The fish have most definitely been way more aggressive in the last couple of weeks since the water has warmed up and the way the fish have been taking the baits is a much more typical Flounder bite.
If flounder trips your trigger this is the time to try and catch them. Back in June when we first started we would land twenty or thirty keepers in a day and be giving high fives all around. The fishing has gotten so much better now than back then, now it seem that even in some less than favorable conditions we can still rack up some impressive numbers by the end of the day. In just the past seven days we have landed nearly 400 keeper flatties which includes only seeing 15 fish keep on yesterday's trip I think due to the swell and the way the fish were biting.
The Flounder fishing recently has not only been good but it's been a lot of fun. There have been days where on some drifts the action gets absolutely nuts with multiple hook ups and fish literally flipping in all around the boat. While many of the fish have been just measurable or short we still continue to see some true quality fish popping up a lot of the time keeping the dip nets busy and tied up. There has only been a couple of trips where the pool fish would weigh in at less than four to six pounds. Limits around the rail have been very common and we have landed several citation sized fish over 7 pounds so far. The best news for the Flounder however is that in all honesty we are really just getting started with them! The flatties are seemingly everywhere right now from the back bays and cricks to both sides of the Delaware Bay and down on the old grounds in the ocean. Typically speaking July, August, and into September is traditionally the best time to catch them and I don't think that this summer or even this fall is going to disappoint. As long as we can have decent weather and drift conditions we should continue to be able to stack them up. We do have a major advantage in Delaware this year with a minimum size requirement of only 16 inches allowing for a lot more Flounder dinners but the vast majority of what we have been landing continues to be much bigger than that. Our neighboring state of New Jersey has a size limit of 18 inches this year and a reduced number of days to try and catch them. We will be allowed to land Flounder until the end of the year here in Delaware!
I will continue to run Flounder trips daily departing the docks at 7:00 a.m. we rarely return before 4:00. So far all of my fishing effort on these Flounder has been fishing in the Ocean on the rocky coral edges of the old grounds however it is entirely possible with adverse conditions we could wind up in the Bay. All bait is supplied we generally have a mix of Squid, Shiners and fresh cut meat bait. Feel free to bring along the Gulp or the minnows, both have been very effective on some days. We still try to get everyone with a jigging style rig as this seems to be the best method when fishing over the rocks and the sea trees. Basically a short leader teaser over top of a jig or a chunk of lead is all you really need.
Half -Day trips continue to run at 8:00 a.m. and at 1:00 p.m. with an evening run on Friday and Saturday nights departing at 6:00 p.m. Croakers are the primary target on the Half-Day trips however Capt. Mike has reported several Kingfish, a few Flounder and some Snapper sized Blues on some of his trips recently.
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 "like" us on facebook from our home page at fishlewes.com for more updates as well as all the recent pictures from our fishing trips.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV