(Lewes, DE) - Our trip began just after 3:00pm Saturday, as we departed from Lewes, Delaware aboard the LIL ANGLER II in search of Black Drum. The Charter included Colby Hastings of Seaford DE, Bobbi Jo Dean of Georgetown DE, Dick Papp of Milton DE, and birthday boy, John Meredith of Lincoln DE. We headed directly up the Delaware Bay to my favorite area, only to find it littered with other boats already fishing. Shifting gears to 'Plan B,' we located another area with plenty of room. A light west wind, combined with the start of the ebb made for ideal conditions. We anchored in 15 feet of water, and let out about 500 feet of anchor line to get the LIL ANGLER II just where I wanted it. Once anchored and pinned on the rode, fresh surf clams from Lewes Harbour Marine were promptly shucked and deployed on a fish finder rig using 4 ounces or weight. Thirty pound fluorocarbon leaders up to 20 inches long were snelled to 8/0 Gamagstu circle hooks. After an hour bait soak and several bait refreshing, angler Dick Papp hooked into his first Delaware Bay black drum! The fish measured 34 ½ inches, and weighed in at approximately 28lbs. Bobbi Jo Dean hooked up next, hauling in a 29 inch, 18 pound fish. Bobbi Jo also scores a second fish around 21 pounds. Next up, John Meredith hooks what we can tell from experience, is going to be a beast. What followed was a battle lasting and hour and twenty five minutes! While John is still in the battle of his life, Dick Papp land a nice 35 pounder, and Bobbi Jo hooks up again. This time however, he hands the rod off to Colby, who has yet to catch one. Colby’s efforts pay off with a 34 pound fish. John Meredith finally lands his biggest fish ever, tipping the scales at 54.75 pounds, and first ever Delaware Fishing Tournament citation and patch. As the saying goes, at this point of the day, The LIL ANGLER II is without a doubt 'the windshield.'
How fast things can change. The sun sets, the current slacks, and the bite drops off. But this crew of anglers is still feeling good. Based on radio reports, the LIL’ ANGLER II is still well ahead of the rest of the fleet. Remaining patient, the current starts to flood again, improving fishing conditions.
I forgot to mention that when we started to catch our previous fish, we became an instant magnet that attracted other boats. As darkness sets in, we're surrounded by other boats filled with fishermen, and nothing is happening. Radio chatter indicates that two other boats have each caught one fish each. As the slow pace continues at this location, other boats begin moving out. It is now just us and one other boat, and I have not moved since we dropped the hook. It pays off.
Colby sees a slight tap on the rods, picks it up, and FISH ON! But while it's looking like our luck has turned back on, believe me the transition from windshield to 'bug' begins. The fish is fighting hard, and running into the current. Colby is a novice to fishing, but is doing a fantastic job fighting the fish. To this point, the drum has done nothing spectacular, and our shields are down. Just then, the fish makes another run that keeps going. The rods are loaded with 30lb braid with a little mono underneath. In the heat of battling this drum, the comment is made that the reel was now down to the mono backer. The mate tells Colby to tighten the drag slightly, but Colby did not understand, so the mate adjusts the drag. It is this innocent, yet critical motion that has now made us the 'bug,' and we don’t even know it. The battle continues with several more drag adjustments, by both the mate and me (the Captain). The fish gets closer to the boat and breaks the surface, and making John’s previous 54.75 pounder look like a minnow. At this point, I realize we could be the 'bug.' The fish is finally landed. It is huge.
The IGFA is developing a smartphone app that will identify a fish when you take a photo of it with your smartphone. I have been taking photos of all black drum caught to contribute to the development effort.
The IGFA has an All Tackle Length Live Release category that includes black drum. The current record is held by Dr. Julie Ball of Virginia, caught in May of 2011, measuring 121 cm. When we put the fish on the IGFA ruler, it measures 122 cm, and would otherwise be considered a tie to the current world record for a released black drum. To officially retire an old record, the new fish must measure 2 cm greater, or it is considered a tie. To explain that our excitement for this amazing catch would be matched by disappointment, would be an understatement.
You see, our fish did not qualify for a tie, because someone other than the angler touched the reel. The simple act of adjusting the drag disqualified the fish. Hence we are now the 'bug,' flattened on the windshield of life. Photos were taken in accordance with IGFA standards to quiet any doubters, and Colby released the giant drum over the transom to live another day. While disappointing, I am equally encouraged to know that drum records can be tied or beaten right here in the Delaware Bay. And on what started out as an everyday, typical charter trip, I also learned a valuable lesson; you never know what is on the end of the line, and all hook ups should be treated as potential records
OCEAN CITY SHARK TOURNAMENT
Delaware Family Fishing is seeking a charter for the LIL' ANGLER II to fish The Ocean City Maryland Shark tournament. The tournament dates are June 12th–16th 2013. Fishing is two (2) of three (3) days June 13-15. Boat will depart from Indian River Marina. The cost will be $4800 for the entire charter and include the following:
1. Basic entry fee to tournament (charter has the option for added entries and daily calcutta if desired.
2. All required fishing licenses, permits.
3. All required tackle, equipment, rigging, and bait.
4. Two days of shark fishing. We intend to fish the first two days of the tournament (June 13 & 14) weather permitting. If weather allows us to tournament fish Thursday and Friday, Saturday will be an inshore black sea bass and flounder trip. Again weather permitting, this charter will include 3 full days of fishing.
5. Tickets to the awards ceremony on Sunday June 16th.
6. Coast Guard licensed IGFA Captain and two mates for all fishing days.
7. Tournament winning split will be 70% to charter, 15% to Capt, 7.5% to each Mate.
8. This is for up to 8 passnegers.
9. Food, drink, and gratuity for the mates are not included.
Again the $4800 includes 3 days of fishing (weather permitting). If you have any questions, please contact Capt. Brian Wazlavek at 302-430-3414.
Underway to practice anchoring over structure and do a little tog fishing. Got anchored up and fished for about 30 minutes around slack water. Landed two shorts, and had one go in the rocks. Pulled anchor and ran the boat for training. Made another trip to drum grounds without seeing anything but bait balls on the graph. Have another training run planned for tomorrow. Report to follow.
Capt. Chet will be running a 10 hour make up charter aboard the LIL' ANGLER II on May 27th. The target species will be black sea bass. Cost will be $120 includes rods, reels, and all bait & tackle. Boat will depart Lewes DE at 6 am from slip 31 in Anglers Marina. Paul will be the mate. Capt. Chet is planning on running to Site 11. Call Capt. Chet at 302-645-8688. Capt. Chet already has some reservations for that date, call to reserve you spot.
Fished today with 5 friends; Steve Masten, Bob Fern, Dick Papp, Larry Grimm, and Bailey Tenerovich. Baily had never caught a Tautog, and this is her fishing report for the day.
Headed out this morning aboard the LIL’ ANGLER II with Capt. Brian and some friends. Although we started off with a bit of cloud cover at 8 am, within an hour or two the skies cleared and gave us some beautiful skies with very little wind and calm water. Hit the first spot and caught nothing but Oystertoad fish despite being directly on structure. After an hour or so of nothing we ventured out to the 14 foot lighthouse hoping for better luck. Captain got us tight up against the lighthouse and we dropped our lines. We used green crabs, clams, and shrimp for a while, popping them down into the rocks and finding a few good holes. Finally!! One of the guys caught the first tog of the day, and we all promptly switched to crab and started reeling in fish. Water temp was 56 and wind was around 15 knots. With such a gorgeous day, and fish in our cooler, I think it's fair to say it was a great time had by all. And I'm very proud to say, I caught my first tog EVER thanks to some good coaching by all the guys. Its turning out to be a great start to the season, and if all goes well, there will be many more days like this to come!!
Fair winds following seas
The following is a fishing report from last night. Report and photos were provided by Ms. Bailey Tenerovich. My thoughts are at the end.
LIL ANGLER II departed Lewes Delaware around 3pm with a group of 9 friends, and the coolers loaded for a "no one needs to be anywhere tonight" kinda trip, along with a fresh bushel of clams in hopes of scoring the elusive drum. With the high tide rolling in, wind was WSW and a little choppy around 15 mph, air temp 60, water temp 55 and a bit dirty at that. Got to our destination within half an hour or so, then cruised around looking for the fish. We dropped our lines into a nice mucky bottom, depth around 15 ft. Not too long before we got some bites, but that telltale jerk n wiggle was not the "thump" we were looking for. Pulled up a few smooth dogfish, and one of the guys got a spiny. After a couple hours, we moved around to a different spot, and although we weren't getting the targeted species, at least we were cranking in fish. Shortly after sun down the reel-fest began, and let me tell ya.. there weren't enough hands on the boat to get these doggies in quick enough!! After everyone had their fill, we decided to head in around midnight. Fun was had by all, novices to masters alike.. and i was lucky enough to not get thrown in the water despite many threats when my rod seemed to be the favorite Maybe the guys have finally accepted that lady luck always seems to prefer the women angler on board!! Thanks again Capt. Brian for another great day on the water.
I think I was a little premature fishing for drum this early, but someone has to be first. I think my next trip for drum will be May 3rd, this is two days before the full moon. I have never seen the volume of smooth dogfish this early, and several were well over 3feet. With the water temps what they were, I would have expected more spiny dogs, but we only caught the one.
Fair winds and following seas Capt. Brian D. Wazlavek 302-430-3414
LIL’ ANGLER II departed the slip in Lewes Delaware around 5pm last night for a 6 hour Black Drum Charter, with 4 hearty fishermen onboard. Wind was stiff from the East all night, not bad on the flood, but a little choppy on the ebb. Capt. Brian anchored up in 13 feet of water on the North side of the coral beds located just off of Slaughter Beach Delaware. First fish came right at the end of daylight at the beginning of the ebb. Next three fish were caught in quick secession about 8:30 - 9:05 pm. Bait was fresh surf clams from Joe at Lewes Harbour Marine, with a fish finder rig using an 8/0 Gamakatsu circle hook and 10 ounces of lead. Headed home around 11pm with 4 happy customers and a very happy crew.
From left to right:
Seth Hastings from Seaford DE. His first ever drum was measured at 35 inches and 32 pounds
Dick Papp from Milton DE Bailey Tenerovich from Lewes DE. Her first ever drum that took 50 minutes to land, current was running strong and fish kept using it to its advantage. Fish measured in at 36 inches and 32 pounds. "Jolly Bob" Fern from Dagsboro DE, also "Jolly Bob Lures". He landed his first and second ever black drum. First fish came in at 29 inches and 16 pounds, and second fish was 21 pounds and 31 1/2 inches.
We departed Lewes Delaware at 5pm aboard the LIL ANGLER II with Jon Walczak and his crew in search of the black drum. Along with Jon was his son Brandon, friends Wayne & Greg and Greg’s son Chase. In addition we had Mike Parker and Captain Willie from WBOC’s television show Outdoors DELMARVA. Winds were calm and waters were flat as we ran to the drum grounds off of Slaughter Beach. Our first set was in about 15 feet of water with a slight ebb current. We could hear the drum beneath the boat, but smooth dogfish were the name of the game. Wayne did kept two nice size doggies for the table. The current slacked and we made a move to the west and set up for the flood. Again we could hear the fish and see them on the Garmin, and still only doggies. About 9pm a rod goes down and Jon Walczak picks it up, all think it’s another doggie, but no it is the elusive black drum. Mike Parker gets the camera rolling as Jon battles the beast. Not sure how long the fight was but the fish came boat side and the mate Jonathan Masten neted the fish. We get it on deck and it measures 37.5 inches and weighs 40 pounds +/-. Then it’s back to the doggies. All this time the wind is picking up and there is a persistent unrelenting rain. We make one more move to escape the doggies, but it was not to be. The seas picked up and it got right sporty due to the wind against current. Around 12:45 am we called it a night with just the one drum. Mike Parker and Captain Willie filmed the entire night and interviewed everyone aboard. It is anticipated the trip will air on WBOC Outdoors DELMARVA on May 19th. If the date changes, I will post the change