Fishing The Fourth, Longest Weekend Ever

spade fish, reef fish, delaware, sussex county
Spade fish caught in the surf by Vinnie Farrell he was using fishbites and sand fleas.

Someone reported there are over 300,000 people in the Ocean CIty area.  Hope everyone has a safe holiday week, which for many is not over yet. Talk about a long weekend, like nine days of fishing and fun in the sun. The fishing has picked up a little bit, which is much better than it has started out this year. Everyone keeps saying it, “this is a weird year for fishing”

The surf has been full of lots of cownose rays, and bullnose rays. They are hitting cut baits and getting snagged on kingfish rigs which makes for an interesting fight. Pulling in a ray that is snagged is like trying to drag your truck down the beach with your rod. Sharks are abundant, keep in mind prohibited sharks and any shark under legal limit size is not allowed to be removed from the water. Cutting the line is recommended but if you can safely remove the hook please do so for the sake of the shark.

Bluefish have been caught on mullet rigs or cut bait.  Bluefish are the best cut bait for bluefish.  Go figure.  There are schools of blues on the big bunker schools in front of the beaches.  We have seen immense schools out front breaking the surface to escape the porpoises.

The flounder bite is decent if you don’t mind catching a lot of throwbacks to harvest a few keepers. There have been a few seven plus pounders caught off the wreck and reef sites. The inland bays are slow but there are keepers, and again a ton of throwbacks. The lewes canal into the Roosevelt inlet has been producing flounder. You can jig for them in the surf at the cuts and the edge of the drop off. Cast down the beach, you can do this in the summer even with a lot of lines out. You are fishing in the first 15 to 20 feet of water, dragging your jig along that edge. You can side arm a cast under your lines.

kingfish, take a kid fishing, delaware, sussex county
Ava Alexis from orwigsburg PA caught her first kingfish and first fish, photo from one proud grandmother.

Croaker are hitting at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier and offshore on the wrecks and reef sites. The surf is producing them occasionally. Indian River Inlet should see good schools of them along the rock walls. The catching frequency should increase as the days go by ow that the heat of the summer is upon us.

Weakfish are hitting readily when you find them on reef and wreck sites. There have been some in the surf. They are a little bigger this year and more prevalent. Making a comeback? That would take years but it would be nice to see. Maybe we will get a tide runner year or two like the days of old. Larger ones are being caught each year, it would be nice to see them come back.

Sheepshead and trigger are also coming off the reefs and wrecks with spade fish too boot.  Vinnie Ferrel caught a spade fish in the surf at fenwick island on top and bottom rig with fishbites and sand fleas.  That doesn’t always happen.

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Adrienne Talabisco holding a rockfish … operating

The rockfish bite has been hot out of Rockhall Maryland. Stefan Talabisco … “Great day was had by all. We spent the night in Rock Hall Maryland and left at 5 am because of a report that the fish moved. The wind was blowing pretty good in the morning and eventually laid down where we could move to another location. We eventually moved after a half an hour of no bites and once we moved we saw a fleet of boats. “Boots” stated “this must be the place” the first hooked was me and it threw the hook. We battled fish for a good 45 minutes, the captain stated we all got our limits, so we went home. Adrienne, Robert and Perry pulled in the biggest of fish. We left by 5 AM and were back by 8 “ish”. Trips are very reasonable on the Miss Asheri.”

The offshore tuna bite is still hot when boats get on the fish. Mahi and tilefish for filler if you luck out on the tuna.

blue claw crab, steamed crabs, delaware, sussex county, old bay
Adam Bryce holding a blue claw one of 89 they caught for the steam pot.

Anglers hitting the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel areas are catching red drum and cobia. That has been producing for a couple of weeks. According to some anglers they are seeing a ridiculous amount of porpoises around the bay this year. Speaking of which you can take tours out of Lewes to go “dolphin” watching. Right in front of Cape Henlopen State Park.

Crabbing has been getting better and better.  Pots will fill up fast with bunker for bait and chicken to keep them around. Hand lining and rings are producing well in places that aren’t crowded.  Hard to find public crabbing spots.  One great way is to put a basket in an inner tube and walk the flats and look for them. On a clear day you can see them all over the flats, just chase and scoop them up with a crab net.

Fish On!

Rich King

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