11/23 (Saturday) I ran out on the “Harbor Tails” in search of stripers on the troll again after yesterday’s great bite. We got there early to get in on the action right away, but struggled a bit early having bites not connect and fish pull off. It was a frustrating day to say the least. The 20-25 knot NW wind and boats jockeying for position made it very interesting… We wound up putting one in the box and releasing one before trying for tog, but due to boat complications we had to cut the trip short. It was just one of those days unfortunately. Umbrella Rigs again accounted for the majority of the action for the top boats.
11/22 (Friday) We ran south out of GE Inlet on the “Trade In” searching for some stripers on the troll. We got a late jump, but still managed to get into the troll bite on stripers. We were line class fishing so all I could really pull were Mojo Jigs and Stretch Plugs as they are IGFA legal. Chartruese Mojos accounted for all of our stripers, but the guys pulling Niner Rigs (or some variation of an umbrella rig) really put a hurting on the stripers. We went tog fishing for a bit mid day and caught a lot of throwbacks, but did manage to put 9 keepers in the box. We gave it another look around 2-3 pm for stripers but the structure we fished in the morning looked lifeless.
Ran out of GE Inlet today with tog on the brain. The sea conditions were a 3-5 foot chop out the the East with a 10 knot easterly wind that held out all day. This kept us from running much further then 10 miles off the beach, but we still had plenty of wreck options. We started the day on the Ocean City Reef and picked up a few tog here, but nothing special. Aside from a GPS problem which made anchoring on small wrecks difficult, the fish were mostly small. We had 51.5 degree water temps at the OC Reef. We decided to push off a bit and setup on another wreck in about 80′ of water with 53.5 degree and clean green water. Here we had a few more sea bass that were small, some pesky spiny dogfish, and a few small tog, but action was slow overall. We ran back inside looking around for new wrecks marked on the chart without much success, so we wound up where we started the day on the OC reef. We managed to pick a few more keeper tog and one keeper sea bass out of here, but that was it. Very slow day of fishing. I guess you have to be disappointed once in awhile… Headed out of GE Inlet again tomorrow looking for stripers and tog depending on what happens as the day progresses.
Since I can’t get enough catching tog (aka Blackfish), I hopped on a friend’s boat today so I could swing some in myself. We had our limit in about 2 hours then played a little catch and release since the action was hot and heavy. The weather looks like it is going to blow the next two days, but I’ll be back out there again come Thursday on the Trade In.
Sunday 11/17: I ran the 34′ Mirage today and we kept it simple going to the “secret tog spot”. The ride there was slow going due to heavy fog that never lifted until late int he day. Thanks goodness Furuno makes an awesome radar system! We setup at slack high tide and had action immediately. We were catching a lot of keepers at first, but as the Full Moon tide started ripping we began to catch more throwback fish. We ended the day catching well over 50 fish, 22 of which were keepers. Thanks to Off The Hook Bait & Tackle for the live Green Crabs that were the bait of choice. Tog (aka blackfish) are so fun to catch, and I love when our season opens up for them every Fall. Looking forward to more days of tog fishing, and hopefully some stripers show up.
Saturday 11/16: I ran another trip on the 34′ Mirage CC in search of sea bass and tog on the Cape May Reef. The sea bass were not there so we anchored up on a wreck and picked away at tog all day long. We caught a lot of shorts, but wound up with 14 keepers and had a fun day. Skies were overcast all day with winds out of the NNE at about 10 knots all day. The water temperature was 55 degrees.
Friday 11/15: I took out the 34′ Mirage “Harbor Tails” today with plans of fishing for stripers in the DE Bay then playing with some tog around the Brandywine Lighthouse. We were met with a hard SSW wind and wind against tide made the fishing near impossible while chunking so we quickly switched gears to run in and try tog fishing. On the way in we had a fuel mishap, as in we ran out of fuel. Have to say, that is a first. I found out that the gauge only works on one tank and shows a false reading on the other. After Tow Boat US hooked us up with more fuel, we were on our way after a rather embarrassing boat mishap episode… We went to the “secret tog spot” and caught some tog and called it a day.
Thursday 11/14: I mated on “Boss Lady”. We decided to go out front and try trolling for stripers. We had a consistent water temp in the ocean of 54.5 degrees all day, and a 3-5 foot tight chop with a 20 knot wind out of the SW all day. We had tremendous bait marks everywhere on most lumps all day, just no fish. Slow day overall, no fish to be found by anybody in our area all day.
Even though we still have yet to see our first wave of stripers enter the DE Bay, I was expecting the fish to start filling in this week after our Nov 3rd New Moon. With decent weather forecasted for Tuesday and Wednesday, I made plans to fish with my Dad and Pop Pop. I had a 34 Mirage ready to go striper fishing thanks to Jody – thanks Jody! Anyway, we spent the day on Tuesday chunking the lower DE Bay in the deeper water about 4-5 miles out of the canal below the 60 Foot Slough where I knew a few fish have been picked up everyday, but bites were few and far between. We fished around the high tide change and the entire outgoing tide without bite. The water temperature was 57 degrees throughout most of the day. The spiny dogfish weren’t as bad as Saturday, but they made their presence known and we dealt with them hoping for that one big bite that never developed.
With the slow fishing in the Bay, we decided to give the Rips a try, mostly just for a change of pace as the reports I have been getting from the Rips have been the same as the Bay (few and far between, but if you get one, it’s gonna be a big striper). Anyway, we fished hard for the last three hours of the incoming in Prissy Wicks, Eph Shoal, and Middle Shoal without a touch using bucktails and spot, nor did we hear of or see a fish caught there with us. We had 58 degree water temperature, and unfortunately the SE wind came up early as it was blowing a solid 15-20 by high tide. We had planned to go wreck fishing for the afternoon to get some action in, but it got choppy quick, so we called it a day by noon. I know a few people who caught 1 NICE fish each on the chunk in the Bay, but for every 1 who caught a fish there were 4 others I knew who had no luck. Hopefully the action will pick up here soon, or my luck will change for the better – I’ll take both!
Since I was lucky enough to get my first personal bigeye catch on film, I made a little quick edit of it. WATCH in HD, and please SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel to keep up with my latest videos…
Well, with the 15-20, gustin 30 knot forecast out of the North, the only option today was the Rips off of Cape May Point. With the high tide at 8:30, we were able to catch the last hour of incoming at Prissy Wicks in a 3-5 foot chop. The sea conditions were a little dicey, but not terrible, and we managed to get two good strikes, but neither of them stayed glued. We putted around Eph Shoal off of the gunmount for the slack tide and once the outgoing started we tried again on the inside Rips at Prissy Wicks and worked our was out. The inside was way too dirty and full of seaweed, but the conditions outside were pretty decent with about 2 feet of visibility in the water. Unfortunately we had no marks of any kind on this tide and we called it off as the wind got to a stiff 25 knots. No November DE Bay stripers yet, but they will be showing up any day now…