After some careful consideration we decided to wait until the water warmed up a little this spring before we resumed our 2015 regular Full- Day fishing trips. We made our maiden voyage of the season this past weekend fishing both on Saturday and Sunday and apparently it was a good call. While we certainly didn't have a catch of fish worthy of any real bragging rights we did in fact catch enough fish to make it interesting and we had more than enough fresh fish suppers spread around the boat to say that we are in the fishing business once again!
It was a cold winter in the mid Atlantic region. Water temperatures dipped drastically earlier this year and we are just now climbing into the mid to upper forties along the coast and approaching the 50 degree mark on the surface up in the Delaware bay. We have come a long way since the end of February when nearly the entire Delaware Bay and the mouth of the Bay was covered in solid or packed ice. Just a few short weeks ago bottom temperatures 15 miles off of the beach were reported by divers to be in the low thirties. That's cold! We pretty much knew our chances of any fish catching success would be slim to none until just recently with water temperatures as cold as they were during the entire month of March.
When we left the dock Saturday morning the surface temperature in the canal was in the mid forties. Throughout our ride across the Bay and out into the Ocean we were seeing anywhere from 44 to 46 degrees on the surface with a true promise of hope for actually being able to see a few fish. Tautog was our primary target and while still a bit cool the temperatures were well within the range to see these fish take a bait. It wasn't long before we could say the skunk was out of the box. It wasn't a crafty Tog that took the hook but rather a bonus keeper Codfish. The second and third fish were Codfish as well. As the day progressed we finally did start to pick at some Tog but the majority of them would fall short of the required 15 inch size limit. We ended Saturdays trip with a mixed bag of Tautog and Codfish and oddly the Cod actually outnumbered the amount of keeper Tog we had on the boat. To see these tasty bottom dwellers around the wrecks right now is a sure sign that the bottom temperatures were very cold over the past winter.
Sundays trip was similar however I ended up pushing a little further off the beach to get some keepers. Once again the Codfish outnumbered the Tog by the end of the day but for a while on Sunday both species seemed to be biting pretty good. Just about everyone on the boat got in on the action and walked away with both a fresh Cod and or Tog for supper. As an added bonus on Sundays trip the Ocean was slick flat calm all day long making for a very enjoyable day on the water for everyone. I hope that was a good omen and that we will see many more calm days like this in our future. As the water temperatures continue to creep up the Tog fishing should only improve and it looks like we shouldn't have to travel to far to catch them.
As of now we are starting out with a limited schedule trying to fish just four days a week, Thursdays through Sunday. In another week or so we will switch to our regular seven day a week schedule. Tautog will undoubtedly be our primary target until the Sea Bass season opens up in mid May. I don't usually expect to see any big numbers of Codfish while fishing in the areas that we normally catch the Tog this time of year however while they are around we will greet them with an open cooler whenever a legal one pops up! I had hoped that there would be some Mackerel around right now but so far any Macs seem to be way offshore beyond our reasonable reach. Our Full-Day trips departs the docks at 7:00 a.m. and we generally return right around 4:00. We supply the clams and crabs. Remember when your fishing this time of year even though we may have seventy degree days in the forecast the water is cool. Any breeze on the water can make for some chilly conditions while fishing out on deck. Bring plenty of layers of clothes you can always take them off when the sun beats down and the action gets hot.
If you have any more questions 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 check us out on Facebook for the most recent updates as well as special offers and all the pictures from our most recent trips.
Until Next Time Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale IV