Bass Blasting in the Back Bays

Please try entering,link,name,images,album&limit=1000 into your URL bar and seeing if the page loads.


striped bass, inland bays, rockfish,
Michael Duncan with an Inland Bay striped bass just under 28 inches Photo by Mitch King

Yeeesssssssssssss, we are still waiting for the arrival of the fall migration, that is the question of the day, everyday and has been for a week.  In the mean time many have been hammering striped bass in the back bays with some keepers in the mix.  For the most part they are shorts, and by short I mean upwards of twenty seven inches and averaging at least twenty inches.  Most of the keepers have been twenty eight to thirty two inches long.   The surf is seeing random catches of short striped bass, but the inland bays and Delaware bay have been on fire with schooling bass.  The fish are nice and fat and fight like a champ.  Once you find the fish it is constant catching for hours, until your arm is ready to fall off.  I know everyone wants to catch that big forty pounder, but personally I am having a blast catching fish after fish after fish for hours at a time.  We have been getting into them all hours of the day, but the evening into dark has been the best times.  The inland bays have schools all over the place.  Lighted areas like Masseys Landing, Cape Henlopen fishing pier, and the Indian River Inlet have been good locations.  There are many other lit up areas but you have to use a boat to get to many of those.  Once you find the fish though it is a lot of fun and the bite lasts a long time.  There may be an early bass or two swimming in our waters, you won’t know unless you try.


rockfish, fall migration, delaware, sussex county, striped bass, line sider, cape henlopen statepark
TJ Handlin with a short from the surf inCape HEnlopen … photo by Robert DiGiacomo

The main migrating fish are still north in Jersey feasting on bunker schools, whales are showing up close to shore there as well.  Mary Lee is now pinging in the Barneget bay, but most likely she is along the beach and it is a false ping.  Still makes you pucker up knowing that large of a white shark is possibly cruising a back bay.  Here in Delaware the surf has been a dog pound and skating rink if you are throwing bunker chunks or cut bait.  Surf clam would be a good bait to use as well, but still expect to hit the scavengers.  Casting plugs, spoons, and swim shads are good for the bass, you just have to put in more time and do some work.  Cast across the cuts and along the beach, not just out in front of you.  The troughs are just about reformed and fish will be moving along them looking for food close to shore.  The sand bars are closer at 3Rs and Fenwick Island than the northern beaches.  Water is coming up close to the dunes when it is rough out there so mind the tides.  Water is filling in a few swales still at high tide.  The beaches are still rather flat, but Cape Henlopen is shelving off more and reforming.  Tuesday was some rough fishing with heavy waves and water cresting over the beach edge.  The winds were strong out of the northeast and we have been hoping that helped push some fish this way faster.

The surf on Tuesday was rough … 


surf casting, delaware, sussex county, striped bass, beach conditions
Phil Moffitt casting into the rough surf.

Water temperatures are averaging fifty seven degrees in the surf and lower Delaware bay.   Sea surface temperatures are fifty eight degrees at buoy 44009 as I write this report.  The Inland Bays at Masseys Landing are  fluctuating between fifty six and fifty eight degrees.  Low tide will be early morning this weekend about 9 Am and the high tide around 4 PM at the Indian River Inlet.   Makes for a long day of fishing the tide transition.  The weather this weekend will be much cooler than the November spring we have been experiencing.  We will be in the high fifties during the day and the low forties to high thirties at night once this cold front moves through this afternoon.  Winds will be out of the Northwest to North and then switch to East mid day on Saturday and will be much calmer on Sunday than Saturday.  We are helping Surfrider Foundation with a beach clean up on Saturday at Navy Jetty at 9 AM, meet at the parking lot for the Herring point bunker area.  If we get enough people we will work on a larger area south towards Gordons Pond and north towards Navy crossing.  Hope to see you out there and have a great weekend.

Fish On!!

Rich King

From the NWS …

Related Articles
1 of 635
Showers likely, mainly before 1am. Cloudy, then gradually becoming partly cloudy, with a low around 48. Breezy, with a south wind 15 to 21 mph becoming northwest after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Sunny, with a high near 57. Breezy, with a northwest wind 18 to 20 mph.
Friday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 39. North wind around 15 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 54. North wind 7 to 14 mph becoming east in the afternoon.
Saturday Night
A slight chance of showers after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 43. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 50. Breezy.
Sunday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 34.

Tides … IRI … 

11/19 Thu 01:42 AM 2.41 H
11/19 Thu 07:20 AM 0.3 L
11/19 Thu 02:06 PM 2.81 H
11/19 Thu 08:13 PM 0.19 L
11/20 Fri 02:49 AM 2.52 H
11/20 Fri 08:30 AM 0.26 L
11/20 Fri 03:10 PM 2.75 H
11/20 Fri 09:12 PM 0.04 L



Buoy 44009 

Wind Direction (WDIR): SSE ( 150 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 13.6 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 17.5 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 5.9 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 6 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 5.2 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): SE ( 132 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 30.15 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.04 in ( Falling )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 63.3 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 59.5 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 62.4 °F
5-day plot - Wind Speed at 10 Meters Wind Speed at 10 meters (WSPD10M): 15.5 kts
5-day plot - Wind Speed at 10 Meters Wind Speed at 20 meters (WSPD20M): 17.5 kts


Facebook API came back with a faulty result. You may be accessing an album you do not have permissions to access.

Comments are closed.