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  • 217 Anglers Rd. Lewes DE 19958

Record Sheepshead

Lewes Harbour Marina - 10/27/2011 12:00:00 AM

The string of supersized sheepshead continues. More big sheepshead have been checked in this Fall than during any season in recent memory. The largest so far was a 15.5 pounder that Randy Jensen tangled with at the Ice Breakers on Saturday. That jumbo striped porgy was one pound four ounces heavier than the current Delaware State Record set by Fallyn Smith in 2008. Randy's catch was verified and approved by officials from the Division of Fish and Wildlife, and should replace the existing mark. On Monday, another near record sheepshead hit the dock. Alex Levantovsky was fishing aboard the Grizzly on the Brown Shoal reefs when he landed a 14.8 pound lunker. Captain Carey Evans decked an 11.75 pounder during the same trip. Both fish ate sandfleas. Art Shapiro scored an 11.59 pound sheepshead, and John Klase captured a 10.44 pounder on a Sunday reef trip aboard Martha Marie.

Whatever sheepshead still in the Bay will likely start exiting as water temperatures drop. Temps are now in the low 60's and falling. Another species normally normally associated with Spring fishing reappeared this fall. Black drum were mixed in on the same structure as tautog. The Grizzly was anchored on the Brown Shoal reefs last Monday, where fares put 40 tog in the box, plus a pair of drum in the 25 pound class. Anthony Mortarulo was surprised when a 50 pound boomer grabbed a crab he was using for blackfish at the Ice Breakers. Tautog action has generally been good when conditions are right. Some days were tough due to wind and dirty water. Strong currents from a King Tide around the new moon presented problems as well. Tog came from the rock walls and Ice Breakers, and the artificial reef sites.

Upper Bay sites such as numbers 3,4,6 and 7 were probably more productive than lower Bay locations, but recently, some fish were pulled from Site 5 in Broadkill Slough and reef 8, the Star Site. Captain Ted toggled the Indian in at the Inner Wall Sunday, where his patrons put 32 tautog on ice.

David Stradling got an 8.63 pound tog at the Outer Wall Sunday. Captains Brent and Dave ran Katy Did up the Bay Sunday and returned with 45 plump blackfish. Tom Arnold took an 8.14 pound citation tog aboard the Miss Kirstin Sunday. The leaderboard for the Lewes Harbour Tog Tournament shows Brent Wiest still in First with a 9.62 pounder and Third for his 9.33. Bob Murphy's 9.5 pound tog holds Second. The contest ends October 31. No news on migratory stripers yet, but they should show at any time. Normally there's a push of fish as the full moon in November approaches. Lee Abel was seeking stripers by trolling Overfalls Shoal this week. What he ended up with was the unusual catch of an oversized 11.75 pound Stargazer that grabbed a Stretch 25 plug pulled along the bottom. Stripers continue to be caught in Lewes Canal. Soaking clams and eels between the drawbridge and the train bridge was productive. Casting Storm Shads between the Glade and Gordon's Pond yielded rockfish too. The Lewes Harbour Striper Tournament is on now, and runs through November 22nd. The event offers cash prizes for the three heaviest striped bass brought in by preregistered entrants during that time. Sign up at Lewes Harbour Marina before fishing. Offshore action is still happening. Captain Joe Joachimowski on the Knot Again trolled 40 to 50 fathoms between the Baltimore and Wilmington for some yellowfins, a big dolphin and a 50 pound wahoo.

Overnight chunkers had best success. Steve Moore and his group on JoJo overnighted in the Wilmington Friday and returned Saturday morning with a limit of 24 yellowfins taken during a wild predawn bite. Wes and Shane Olson chunked the Wilmington overnight Saturday and iced their limit of 6 yellowfins on the Bad Habit. Wes said there was a load of squid and tinkers in the lights, and tuna fed heavily. The guys also released several other yellowfins, and landed a 70 pound swordfish, plus, they lost a much larger sword.

Tautog On The Reefs

Lewes Harbour Marina - 10/20/2011 12:00:00 AM

Tog action continues to be pretty decent along the rock breakwaters off Lewes, but in recent days, artificial reef sites in the Bay have started to yield good numbers of blackfish.

Captain Chet ran Lil' Angler II to an upper Bay reef site Sunday, and returned with 36 chunky keeper tautog. Captain Carey on the Grizzly set up on reef rubble at Brown Shoal Monday, where his fares scored 40 keeper tog to 7 pounds, and a pair of black drum in the 20 to 25 pound range. Mike Williams had a 25 pound drum aboard the Katy Did Friday. Avery Adams decked a 9.21 pound citation tautog on Katy Did Sunday. Captains Dave Walker and Brent Wiest, along with Bob Murphy and Chris Van pile hopped at Brown Shoal Monday. They put 34 quality tautog in the box, including Brent's 9.33 pounder. The trio of Dave, Brent and Murph has recorded 10 citation tog to almost 10 pounds in just the past week. The Angler headboat was on the Brown Shoal reefs Tuesday, and Captain Ted's patrons brought back a nice batch of blackfish. Captain Pete's toggers on Top Fin had a good catch of tog on the Brown Shoal rubble Tuesday. John Lee landed a jumbo 10.32 pound sheepshead aboard the Top Fin Monday. Reefs and wrecks in the Ocean are giving up tog, and with relatively warm water, still some triggerfish. Lex Robertson checked in a whopping 4.83 pound trigger he took off an Ocean wreck on the Spectacle. The current leaderboard for the Lewes Harbour Tog Tournament shows a respectable lineup. Captain Brent Wiest is in the top spot with his 9.62 pounder. Bob Murphy moved to Second Place with a 9.5 pound tautog. Brent also holds Third Place for a 9.33 pound blackfish. The Tourney runs through October 31 and offers cash prizes.

Stripers have been active in the Lewes Canal. Boaters using clams and eels near the drawbridge and train bridge caught rockfish, some of which were above the 28 inch minimum size. Striped bass were also hooked by casters tossing small bucktails, Storm Shads, Rat-L Traps and surface poppers along grassy edges of the Canal.

Big Sheepshead

Lewes Harbour Marina - 10/13/2011 12:00:00 AM

Delaware Bay Tautog fishermen usually encounter a few sheepshead each fall while working the rocks, however, this season, anglers have experienced exceptional numbers of the big striped porgies. Ki Ju Park was togging at the Outer Wall Friday when he hooked into a 14.3 pound jumbo sheepshead. That fish was actually heavier than the existing Delaware State Record, but according to tournament requirements, the difference wasn't enough to replace the current record holder. Another near record sheepshead was taken Monday at the Ice Breakers aboard Grizzly. William Levantovsky landed a 14.15 pound lunker that almost put him in the top spot. Some years earlier, William caught a 13 plus pound blackfish aboard the Grizzly that earned him a Junior Angler record status. Scott Batz was using sand fleas at the Inner Wall Monday when he connected with a whopping 13.32 pound sheepshead.

Jim Burkins bested an 11.76 pound brute at the Outer Wall Monday. Andy Lano and David McDaid teamed up for a pair of sheepshead scaling 10.6 and 10.0 pounds at the Haystacks. Steve Kramer captured a 9.43 pounder at the Wall aboard the Indian on Tuesday. Derek Seward scored a sheepshead at the Breakers that weighed 8.37 pounds. Tautog action has been good most days along the Inner and Outer Walls and Ice Breakers. Currents ran strong around the full moon, and some days, anglers had to wait until the tide broke before the bite came on. Green crabs and sand fleas were the popular baits, but tog also took shrimp and clams. An effective and fun method of catching blackfish in some of the shallower areas along the rocks is to deploy baits on a jighead.

It's best done using a spinning outfit with a tip light enough to cast a 1/2 ounce jig, but having enough lifting power to wrestle a tautog from the bad neighborhood where it resides. The jig and crab combo can be tossed in close to the rocks and is less likely to get snagged when it settles to the bottom. The strike is different than with a traditional rig, as the fish will often just slurp up the the offering and swim away. Captain Ted has been taking the Indian to the Walls the past few days for nice catches of tautog. On Sunday, he had a boat limit of 50 blackfish. Toggers on Top Fin had successful trips to the rocks as well. Andy and Anthony Lano, along with "Beaver" Ruff combined for their limit of 30 chunky tog at the Walls Saturday. Captain Carey took Grizzly to the rockpiles for a couple four hour excursions Saturday. He returned from the morning trip with 23 tog and a sheepshead. The afternoon patrons said 20 tautog and a sheepshead were enough for them. Carey's young son Josh caught his first tautog Saturday, and now he's got tog fever just like his dad. Although the rock breakwaters have yielded most of the fish, and some decent ones like Joe Jelks' 7.04 pounder, tog are starting to be taken on Bay reef sites and wrecks too. The Lil' Angler II had a nice box of blackfish while pile hopping Sunday. Standings are shaping up in the Lewes Harbour Tog Tournament. Bob Murphy holds the lead with a 9.5 pound white chin. Captain Dave Walker is in Second right now with a 7.89 pounder. Jim Myers has Third with a 6.68. The Tourney runs through October 31st and offers cash prizes. Participants must register at Lewes Harbour Marina in advance of fishing. Sea Bass season finished up with a bang. Bassin' over the past few weeks has been the best seen in awhile. On Saturday, the lady anglers aboard Katy Did crushed the bass, ending up with their limit of 200. In addition, they had cod, tog and bluefish. As the season wound down, catches were best on wrecks in 100 to 120 foot depths, but bass continued to be found on the Old Grounds south of DB Buoy and at Reef Site 11. Rachel Evans checked in a 3.67 pound sea bass she boated aboard the Thelma Dale IV. Bassers even found an occasional flounder. Jeff Scurti decked a 6 pound fluke aboard the Thelma Dale IV Sunday. When the season reopens November 1st, better action will likely take place in deeper water.

Offshore bottom bouncing has been just as fine as the inshore fishing. Bill Swords and his crew dropped in the Baltimore Canyon for a mess of golden and blueline tilefish, and blackbelly rosefish both Saturday and Sunday. The Skipjack fished Wilmington Canyon over the weekend and returned with 17 golden tile, 14 gray tile, 8 dolphin to 18 pounds, a pair of yellowfin tuna to 55 pounds, and 3 blackfins. Carl Meyer and the guys on Reel Tease went 2 for 3 on swordfish in the Wilmington Saturday night. Other boats in the Spencer Canyon had good catches of yellowfins trolling and chunking in 500 fathoms both in the daylight and after dark.

Tog Season Opens

Lewes Harbour Marina - 10/6/2011 12:00:00 AM

Tautog fishermen have had fair catches since the season opened September 29. Murky conditions hampered anglers many days, but when the water was relatively clean, tog bit ok on the Inner and Outer Walls and Ice Breakers. Randy Jensen, Marc Uhde, George Magaw and Mike Tippit combined for 18 tog on the Outer Wall Saturday. Clark Gross checked in a 6.92 pounder he pulled from the Wall. Captain Pete's toggers aboard Top Fin returned from the Wall with 18 tog and 2 triggerfish on Saturday. A few sheepshead were taken around the Ice Breakers, such as the 9.27 pounder landed by George Wilder. Bay water temperature is around 65 degrees, and with cooling temps and cleaner water, the tog bite will improve. The Lewes Harbour Tog Tournament is going on now and runs through October 31. The event offers cash prizes for the three heaviest blackfish weighed in by contestants, who must register in advance of fishing. Regarding other bottom fishing, sea bassing was real fine last week. Captain Ted on the Indian said he still had a "good sign of sea bass" on the Old Grounds a few miles south of DB Buoy. He felt more fish had been grouping up in the area prior to their move offshore. Some days, current was the biggest hindrance facing anglers, causing drifts that were too fast. Captains Brent and Dave on the Katy Did had a successful string of wreck trips last week.

Monday they had a limit of 125 bass, a jag of blues and a nice cod that fell for a jig. Tuesday Dave and Brent took a busman's holiday to put some fish in their freezers, along with Joe Walker and Joe Walker,Jr. They went wreck hopping for 100 bass, a mess of blues and a cod. Wednesday's group had 194 bass, including a 3.67 pounder for Nancy Stacy. They also boxed 4 cod, the largest being a 12.5 pounder decked by Richard Adams. Thursday saw another 175 bass limit, plus 8 triggerfish and 40 blues. On Friday, the guys made several stops on snags in depths ranging from 75 to 155 feet. Brent said current was an issue. They culled keepers from numerous short fish at each spot. Dave mentioned that he noticed bigger bass seemed to be hanging above the wrecks. Stopping the rig before it hit bottom, or working a jig higher in the water column often resulted in better sized fish. With persistence and adjustments to technique, due to their observations, the anglers finished the day with 215 sea bass, 7 cod, 6 ling, 6 blues, 2 triggerfish, 1 fluke and a single tog. Offshore, boats trolling Baltimore Canyon found billfish and tuna. Bill Matthews and his buddies took 2 yellowfins and released a white in the Baltimore last Thursday. Shawn Gallagher and his crew spent a rough overnighter in the Baltimore Friday. They trolled 5 yellowfins to 55 pounds and a gaffer dolphin before nightfall. They also had a white marlin that grabbed a butterfly jig in the dark. Jim Short and the boys on Not Right worked 50 fathoms inside the Tip of The Baltimore Friday afternoon for 6 yellowfins and a white. Boats fishing Poor Mans reported hot dolphin action on floating wood near the Triple 0's Friday.