A Whale OF A Time At The Beach

humpback whale, delaware, sussex county, atlantic ocean, dewey beach, rehoboth beach
Whale seen off Dewey beach .. photo by Tina McIntosh

I think October is the new September, the weather has been phenomenal for this time of year.  Last year it was colder with a lot more heavy storms.  The Chillaware Surf Fishing tournament is this Saturday, there is still time to sign up but not much.  Packets canbepicked up at Liquid Board shop today ad Friday from 11 am to 5 PM and then 5:30 PM to 8 PM at Big Chill Beach Club.  Despite the storm we are having today, the water in the surf is very clean, so clear the whales are coming in close to shore to feed.  From Rehoboth to Delaware Seashore State park beach goers have been treated to a whale of a show.  They are surrounded by dolphins feeding on the scraps and disoriented bait fish.  The surf is a little mixed up right now, but will calm down by tomorrow afternoon.

Fishing has been off the hook for tiny bluefish, the eight to ten inch bait stealers.  We had to lower the qualifying size in the tournament to twelve inches for bluefish, just so people can score some fish.  We also added pompano and albies to the list.  The pompano have been here for a while and the frequency of those catches has increased.   The albies or false albacore just showed up about a week or so ago, and that has been some fun action from the beach if you can get into them.  They were in the flats at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier chasing mullet schools a few days ago.  Catching one is a chore from shore.  You have to use metals such as deadly dicks, hopkins, or silver stingers.  Reel these as fast a you can or until your wrist is on fire and then reel faster.  When the albies hit be prepared for a long fight, they will peel line off your reel like no tomorrow.  Mostly they have been caught near the Indian River Inlet and the surrounding beaches.  They are not only feeding on mullet, but those bluefish as well.


pompano, delaware, sussex coutny, the poit, cape henlopen state paark
Pompano caught at the point … photo by Suzanne Martin

The little blues are hitting everything you throw out there.  You could probably use a blank hook with a small bead and hook up on them.  There have been some caught in the sixteen inch range, but very few.  Short striped bass are schooled up around the bays, surf, and tidal creeks.  Once you get into them it is some fun action.  For the most part they are averaging twenty four to twenty six inches.  There has been the occasional keeper up to thirty inches caught.  These are all resident fish, don’t get excited for migratory fish just yet.  The rockfish are hitting swim shads, bucktails, bombers, rattle traps and spoons.  The only issue are the bluefish are in many of the same areas.  If the soft plastics start taking a beating, switch up to the metals.

Tautog season has been going well for anglers hitting the Delaware Bay structure, with a lot of sheepshead and some trigger in the mix.  Sand fleas are still the most popular bait since you can dig for them in the surf still.  Green crabs are being sold as well as Asian box crabs.  The throw back tautog have been numerous and just a smidge below keeper size.  That will drive an angler a little nuts, especially if it has been a slow day.  Masseys Landing is slow for tautog, but a lot of small sea bass action.  Shad are in there at night under the lights as well as short striped bass.

Lizard fish are being caught as by catch around the bays, and surf.  They are long and have tiny sharp teeth.  Not much too look at or for the table, but they will add a species to your life list.  On light gear they can be fun to catch.  Not something anglers target, they are usually caught when going for other fish, or just fishing in general.


indian river inlet, shad, fly fishing, delaware, sussex county
Shad caught on a fly rod by Matt Dammeyer

The Indian River Inlet is packed with the little blues, short striped bass, and shad.  Lots of fun on light gear or a fly rod.  Small sea bass, and oyster crackers are hitting bait intended for flounder.   The occasional redfish (red drum) or puppy drum are being caught, sheepshead are int he rock piles out front and trigger are being caught on occasion.  Very few keeper tautog are being caught.  The Ocean City inlet is seeing the same action except the redfish catches are more numerous.

There is great white perch action in the tidal creeks and rivers.  Cupola park, Canary creek, and broadkill river to name a few spots.  Bloodworms are the best bait.  Up north along the bay beaches of Augustine beach, the C&D canal, and the Woodland pier has been decent too.  Lot of citation sized white perch, fun to catch and great to eat.   Have a great weekend!

Fish On!

Rich King


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NWS … 

Showers likely, mainly before 8am. Cloudy, with a high near 70. Breezy, with an east wind 23 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 61. Breezy, with an east wind 17 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Scattered showers. Cloudy, with a high near 71. East wind around 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Friday Night
Isolated showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 62. East wind 9 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Isolated showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 78. Southeast wind 3 to 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Saturday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 65.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 79.
Sunday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 65.


Tides Indian River Inlet 

Date Day of the Week Time (LST/LDT) Predicted (ft) High/Low
2017/10/12 Thu 02:18 AM 2.56 H
2017/10/12 Thu 07:52 AM 0.30 L
2017/10/12 Thu 3:05 PM 3.21 H
2017/10/12 Thu 9:07 PM 0.47 L
2017/10/13 Fri 03:31 AM 2.52 H
2017/10/13 Fri 09:02 AM 0.37 L
2017/10/13 Fri 4:15 PM 3.16 H
2017/10/13 Fri 10:15 PM 0.42 L
2017/10/14 Sat 04:43 AM 2.57 H
2017/10/14 Sat 10:15 AM 0.35 L
2017/10/14 Sat 5:21 PM 3.14 H
2017/10/14 Sat 11:16 PM 0.32 L
2017/10/15 Sun 05:48 AM 2.69 H
2017/10/15 Sun 11:22 AM 0.28 L
2017/10/15 Sun 6:20 PM 3.13 H

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