Tuna action has been hot both inshore and offshore. Bluefin tuna have been plentiful on traditional twenty fathom structure such as the Hambone, Chicken Bone, Sausages, Massey's Canyon and other lumps along the edges of The Fingers. Bluefins also came from the Jackspot, Twin Wrecks and the 19 Fathom Lump in the Dumpsite. Trolling skirted ballyhoo and artificials such as cedar plugs, Green Machines and squid spreader bars was effective. Recreational anglers are reminded that only one bluefin tuna measuring between 27 inches to less than 59 inches curved fork length may be kept per vessel per day.
Offshore yellowfin catches have been the real highlight. Numerous tuna were spread in 70 to 100 fathoms between the Baltimore and Wilmington Canyons, with a concentration between the 350 and 380 lines. Crews that were on the grounds for first light found slicks, birds and schools of tuna aggressively working squid and baitfish. The best bite was early, but sometimes fish fed throughout the day. A lot of skipjacks and yellowfins short of the 27 inch minimum were mixed in, but plenty of keepers ranging 20 to 50 pounds were caught, along with the occassional 70 to 90 pounder. Tuna responded to trolled ballyhoo, spreader bars and green machines behind birds. Jim Short and the boys on Knot Right were on the spot Saturday for the early morning bite and trolled up their limit of 18 yellowfins to 60 pounds, after being covered up multiple times. The Grizzly had a great overnight trip Saturday. During the darkness, the anglers released 8 large dusky sharks, then when it came light, it was full on with tunas. They ended up with a limit of yellowfins to take home. Captains Brent Wiest and Dave Walker took Katy Did offshore Monday and returned with 11 yellowfins to 45 pounds. Paul Pergeorelis also put a 14.8 pound dolphin in the box on that trip. The Katy Did went back to 70 fathoms Wednesday for 16 more keeper yellowfins and many additional short ones. The anglers had some extra excitement when a 10 foot long Hammerhead shark ate two of their tunas. Back inshore, on the bottom fishing scene, flounder fishing was decent on the Old Grounds between DB and DA Buoys.
Catching was better on days with favorable drift conditions. Three to 4 ounce bucktail jigs tipped with squid strips or cut mackerel worked well. Fluking is shaping up in Delaware Bay too. Anglers who know how and when to work the artificial reefs were successful. Joe Walker, Tom Coyle, Larry Coyle and Joe Coyle drifted at Brown Shoal Wednesday for 12 keepers, including three in the 6 pound class. Will Burdett boated a 6.49 pound flounder at reef 5 aboard the Lil' Angler II. Flounder continue to come from Lewes Canal. John Northeimer checked in a 5.26 pounder he took from the Canal using Gulp! Small boats drifting the Canal had good numbers of flatties, although they had to cull through many throwbacks. Shad darts, speck rigs and other small jigs sweetened with Gulp!, minnows or shiners were effective. Some big flounder were landed from the Indian River inlet jetties. Ryan Wieber brought in an 8 pound 11 ounce doormat that took a Gulp! along the rocks. David Wyszynski was tossing a Storm Shad from the jetty for stripers when a 6 pound 4 ounce flounder inhaled his lure. Fishermen on the Cape Henlopen pier had a few flounder, along with spot and small croakers. Boats drifting along the rocks of the Outer Wall and Ice Breakers got into staripers while casting Storm lures and Bomber plugs in the evening and at night. Stripers were caught on popping plugs along the Canal marsh banks between the Freeman Highway Bridge and Gordon's Pond.