Hard to believe that it's already Christmas week. In some ways it's been a disappointing fall fishing season. Striped bass action has been anticlimactic to say the least with the vast majority of fish passing by our shores outside of the three-mile limit, thus making the linesiders off limits to local anglers. Sea bass fishing has been very good albeit quite the hike out to the grounds and, now, the season will be slammed shut at the end of the year. Tog fishing in Delaware Bay has been discouraging to say the least, continuing along with the trend that something is wrong up in the big bay.
Happily, tog action in the ocean has been trucking along for some anglers. The Katydid put thirty tog on the deck on Thanksgiving Day, and followed up with 18 the next. November 28th saw the first day of rifle deer season in PA, and the Katydid celebrated the unofficial holiday by decking a bunch of hog tog. Some of the fish that were landed and their weights were Scot Anderson 9.6, Tommy Isaacs 9.6, Trey Isaacs 11.1, Matthew Thompson 9.4, Jeremy Frog Lynch 10.9, Jeff Trench 9.3. Those are some pretty fish!\
The new month of December saw much of the same, with the Katydid boating 50 legal tog on December fourth. Ten of the fish were citations with Roger Aeo landing the pool winner at 11.08, while Daniel Kawaguchi added a 10.04 pounder and, not to be outdone, Mike Mailman added another at 9.76.
Capt. Carey Evans had a good trip last week with Grizzly charters slamming some big tog. Rik Bednash boated a beast at 11.5 pounds, Robert Pleasanton had a t10.25 pounder, Tommy Sair a 9.75 pounder and five other fish weighted over seven pounds on the same trip.
If there is any local action to be had the Local Girl with Capt. Mike Newsham is sure to be on the meat. Capt. Mike boated a pretty 6.91 tog, while Jackson Ostroski added one at 6.11 pounds, along with anglers Mark Ostroski and Mason Newsham. Other private boats landings included Danny Hitchens Smyrna site 11on the Tied the Knot who landed a nice 10.1 tog 25 3/4x18"green crab. Ross Karsnitz boated a 9.5 pound citation tog using Jonah crabs, while John Dkacz Sr and John Dkacz Jr had a good trip to site 11 on their boat the Fishing Fool.
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz has also had some great tog action aboard the all-day head boat out of Fisherman's' Wharf. James Lee Columbia PA impressive boated an impressive 13.62 lb 28x21" tog with Capt. Ricky at site 11 the day after Thanksgiving. The savvy skipper has had multiple limit catches throughout the month when weather conditions permit. Last week the weather only allowed him to get away from the dock on two days, but the crew made the most of their chances. Mr. Choi was the hot stick again, with a limit catch scaling over forty pounds! Of course, that stringer was anchored by a whopper at 19.5 pounds!
As noted striped bass fishing has been pretty discouraging with the overwhelming majority of the fish passing well out past the three-mile limit. Still there have been some occasional fish that mess up and pass close enough by to be a legal catch for those folks obeying the law.
Brock Hilligoss, fishing with his dad, Mike, landed a pretty 28 pounder while making the long run up to north Jersey. At the end of November, Joe Choma landed both a 36.1 lb and 461/2 pound rock fishing mojo lures in Delaware Bay. Evan Falgowski also landed a 37.2 pound striper in the mouth of the bay. Michael Davis used a white 24x8 tandem to best a 37 pound linesider. Matt Mundok boated a 32.5 pound December striper, with Matt Basie using bomber wind cheaters off Indian River. Lee Abel dragged mojo and stretch 25 lures to land a pair at 23 lb and 22.5 lb rock. JP Turansky, Billy Low, Jay Huss and Brad Pecoraro teamed to land his 36.5 rock trolled 24x12 tandem mojo off Rehoboth. Maggie Lingo her first rock of the season. Ray Ajalli, Cy Brinn 2-37" 2 -35" all in 30lb category on the boat Miss Helen Page pulling a white mojo with chartreuse swim shad in front of Henlopen Hotel. Dave Lynam also landed a 37.5 striper, while Joe Choma bested a beast boating a 45 lb striper. While there are some pretty fish here, there is no doubt that for the sheer amount of boats and anglers looking for them, it's a small showing.
Sea bass fishing has been very good for long range boats. The Katydid had a super catch with over 180 sea bass. Capt. HD Parsons has been limiting out and coming in early on each of his long range headboat trips out of Fisherman's Wharf. These are special trips and reservations are required. The plan is to run a few more up to the season closes at the end of the month.
Here's hoping that you have a safe and happy holiday season! Hang in there, drum season is right around the corner!