Only forty boats went out yesterday, which is understandable due to the conditions. Most of these anglers went out because people have to work today. Honestly if I were in a tournament competing for a hundred grand top prize, I would have some serious anal glaucoma, just sayin. The conditions were next level nautical out front, sporty would be putting it mild. Some of the anglers came to the scales soaked head to toe, but they did catch fish. “Dude, the swells were huge, we got out about ten miles tried to go farther and had to turn back it was just too rough.” One angler was pulled from a boat by the Coast Guard due to dehydration, he completely cramped up. When you are bouncing around in those swells and sweating like crazy from the heat, you don’t realize you are dehydrating fast due to expelling so much energy in that rough ride. You have to keep drinking water and lots of it. All in all the general opinion was it was rough as all get out, but we had to fish today so we went.
The scales opened at four and anglers had until six to get back tot he scales, lines have to be in by five. That gives anglers a good hour to get back to Paradise Marina. On my way walking in from the parking lot a large golf cart passed me with a guy on the back holding a nice sized flounder, it was Glen Orr of the Catfish Mafia team. I talked to Glen on the way into the marina and he said this was his first tournament and his first flounder he ever caught. Little did he know that fish would put him in third place at twenty thousand dollars. None of us knew that, the scales just opened, So you can imagine the excitement for a first time catch. There would be two of those on Friday. First time flounder catches for two anglers are on the leaderboard.
With only forty boats going out in heavy seas we didn’t expect to see a lot of fish come to the scales. But if you are in the Calcutta you have to bring your biggest of each day to the scales. The combined weight of both catches determines the calcutta winner. So even small flounder only weighing a pound and a half came to the scales. I expect to see some big fish today and Sunday. For two reasons, there are a lt of boats going out, and some of the best flounder anglers in Delmarva will be on them, but as Bucktail Bob said at the captain’s meeting. “This is anyone’s tournament, we are all excellent flounder anglers, but the luck of the bite is what will determine the winner.” By the way Bob hates fishing a south wind and thankfully for him those will be switching up today and tomorrow.
The first five fish to the scales filled the place up and for a brief moment anglers saw their names in the hundred grand first prize slot, but that didn’t last long. A flounder would come to the scales, get measured and then put on the scale. There is always that air of anticipation in the crowd, and when the fish tops the leader, the crowd goes nuts, and so do the anglers. For two hours fish came to the scales and at the last twenty minutes a big flounder came to the scales. Todd Herman was holding first place with a twenty-three and a quarter-inch flounder at four pounds six ounces. Then this large flounder showed up, curled up in a bucket, when that happens you know it is going to be a big fish. It measured out to twenty-three and a quarter inches, and when it hit the scales … the fish weigh four pounds six ounces. We now had a tie at first place. The crowd went nuts.
So what can we expect today? The scales are going to be busy, most of the boats fishing will be their first time out and they have the chance to at least enter a Calcutta fish. I imagine the crew will be weighing fish until at least eight tonight. The anglers have to be back at the scales by six, so long as they are there by then they can enter their fish. It should be an interesting time at the scales. Yesterday I talked to a few guys I know fishing today and tomorrow. All seasoned flounder anglers and based on what we have seen the last week, we figure an eight to ten pounder will take the top slot. Then again anything could happen and it could go any direction, last year the first big fish help first place all weekend at eleven plus pounds. I do predict the first place tie will probably stay on the board for at least today, but the bay tournament was won by a six plus pound flounder. Anything can happen and you never know because it is fishing, not catching. See you at the scales we will go live through out the weigh ins on the Delaware Surf Fishing Facebook page. Good luck to all the anglers out today!
Marine forecast …
Coastal waters from Sandy Hook to Manasquan Inlet NJ out 20 nm- 650 AM EDT Sat Aug 19 2017 .TODAY...W winds around 5 kt, becoming S late. Seas 3 to 4 ft. Mainly in SE swell with a dominant period of 6 seconds. .TONIGHT...W winds around 10 kt. Seas around 3 ft until early morning, then 2 ft or less. Mainly in S swell with a dominant period of 6 seconds. .SUN...NW winds 5 to 10 kt, becoming SW late. Seas 2 ft or less. Mainly in S swell with a dominant period of 6 seconds. .SUN NIGHT...SW winds 5 to 10 kt with gusts up to 15 kt, becoming NW after midnight. Seas 2 ft or less. Mainly in S swell with a dominant period of 6 seconds. Station 44009 (LLNR 168) - DELAWARE BAY 26 NM Southeast of Cape May, NJ