Back On The Trigger

The rain last night was heavy for some and nonexistent for others.  The light show was fun for sure, unless you were one of the people running away at the Rehoboth boardwalk.  Despite the down pour, the water today is pretty clear at the Cape Henlopen pier.  The boys are back at it trying for more trigger and so far they have struck out, but had a nice surprise catch instead.   Phil Tucker caught a seventeen inch speckled trout on a paddle tail.  Those are good eats right there, the trigger last night was excellent too.  The trigger, as I type this are about to wake up and start hitting.  We will see what the day brings to the dinner plate.  I am all about catch and release, but I will eat trigger all day long. Last night we made a bunch of rigs specific for these triggers and today we will see how they work.  Just a small hook with a pill float and a piece of split shot above the float.  The idea is to keep the bait moving while getting it up against the pier poles where the triggers are feeding on mollusks.  Clam is usually the best bait, but squid was working yesterday too.  The Diamond State Custom Tackle top and bottom rig are perfect for these trigger.  The hook is the right size and strength.  You can get them at Lighthouse view bait and tackle if you are at the pier.

We did a video on how to clean a trigger.  Now I know you can just use a filet knife and start at the anal opening, but many have found cutting the “line” you plan on following with a box cutter first saves wear and tear on your filet knife.  Their skin is like leather.   Once we cut the line we wanted to follow, it was easy to just filet the trigger fish like any other fish.  I prefer this method, it saves you the process of sharpening your knife over and over again.  It is also good for someone who is not very good at filleting fish.  We left the skin on and buttered up a piece of aluminum foil.  Covered the trigger fish in fresh garlic, butter and lime.  Threw it on the hot grill and it cooked really fast.  The skin sticks to the foil, just flake the meat off the skin.  Delicious!

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There are a lot of sheepshead, trigger, and spade fish on the wrecks right now.   It has been a an interesting year, some of my diver buddies are saying this is the most sheepshead they have ever seen down there.  Some are being shot free diving the inlet jetties, not something for the faint of heart right there.  Hook and line with sandfleas will do the trick for sheepshead,  Just like fishing for striped bass.   Only exception is use smaller fleas and smaller hooks.  A small weight or pit shot will help you control the bait better in current along the rocks.  You just have to figure out how deep the sheepshead are eating on the wall.

The surf has been great for kingfish if you get into them.  That is hit or miss due to lack of structure out there.  Look for stones on the beach in the wash areas.  Kingfish like hard bottom to feed.  Otherwise it is skates, dogs, rays,and sharks for the big bait soakers.

Water temperatures are holding around seventy to seventy-eight degrees for Masseys ditch.  The surf is in the low seventies, and so is the Delaware Bay from Cape May to Lewes.  The Delaware river and upper bay are eighty degrees from Philadelphia to the Ship John Shoal.  The Ocean City Inlet is seventy-four degrees.  Fishing there has been good for trigger and tautog is still in season.  Lot of short striped bass around there too.  Shad action has been fun at the Oceanic Pier inside the inlet.

Fish On!
Rich King

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