Big blue fish surf fishing in Delaware and boaters be wary!

striped bass, stripers, rockfish, indian river inlet, delaware surf fishing
Chris Fortner hit this keeper striped bass at the Indian River Inlet from the rail on a fly.

Big stripers are showing up in the surf, rails, rocks, piers, and the back bays.  They are not in blitz numbers, and it takes some work to get them, but they are here.  People are using live spot, chunking fresh bunker (when they can be found), mullet chunks, flies long lining, and even poppers, or plugs.  I have managed a few shorties in the back bays on pencils.  I can not say where exactly, as that would be spot burning, and this area is small when it comes to hot spots in the bays.  That is why we take pictures from boats without backgrounds, so as not to burn a spot, or we move to a “dead” area, then take the picture.  Nothing like going back the next day, and 30 boats are in the same area.  Be careful with pictures when it comes to your favorite fishing hole, even off shore.  When we are on the rails at Indian River Inlet, or Massey’s Landing, those are public places and we do not consider that as a spot burn.  Yes, Massey’s Landing has produced a few keepers, and even a illegal size striped bass left in the parking lot for the birds.  That has to stop, I know FG&W used to camp out in certain areas to prevent poaching of undersized striped bass.  Maybe they will have to start doing that again, spread as thin as they are these days.   There have been large stripers weighed in for the tournament.  Otherwise it is shorties, shorties, shorties everywhere.  Our friends up North are killing them in their areas, and this is the thickest they have seen the fish in a long time.  Augustine beach has seen a few keepers come in on boats and shorties galore from the shore.

blue fish, bethany beach, fenwick island, delaware surf fishing
Bobby Rehrig of team Bluedogs caught this big blue fish in the surf this past weekend

This past weekend Bobby Rehrig member of the Bluedog fishing crew was hitting big blues in the surf in Bethany/Fenwick Island beaches.  “I got both on cut mullet and 3/0 circle hooks. I was fishing for puppies on 2 rods, and had whole mullet on another rod, with no takers all day.”  Nice catch Bob, and his crew was chiming in on our Facebook page, proud of their team member’s catch.  This crew has been fishing together for over 25 years, and they really support one another   I was impressed with their comradery online, I look forward to meeting them one day, and wetting a line together.  Just goes to show when you target one fish you never know what is going to hit your line.  He was not expecting to catch this large of a blue fish from the surf.  There have been a lot of snappers showing up, and there are large blues out front at the shoals.  Many people have been doing very well out front.  Captain chuck Cook of First Light Charters, a DSF sponsor and great angler, took a trip the other day … “Monday we launched at 5:30 am to catch the last of the incoming tide. David Howard of Northern Va. landed a 24 lb. striper using eels on the last of the incoming tide at the mouth of Delaware bay. We fished deep clean water …. but as the outgoing tide continued, the water got dirty and the bite turned off.”   I have been trying to catch up with Captain Chuck for a trip, and we will be going soon.  I highly recommend taking a trip with First Light Charters.  The waters have been very dirty in the Delaware Bay, Beach plum Island the surf is like chocolate milk.  Cape Henlopen beaches are producing fish, but nothing compared to Delaware Seashore State Park and Fenwick Island.

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Bubble gum beach, boating accidents, delaware surf fishing
The boat that flipped after taking on water near bubble Gum Beach. check you plugs and make sure you have your PFDs … photo sent by Bill Jessup

On Sunday a boat took on water near Bubble Gum beach, between the Coast guard station and the Indian River Inlet marina, and then flipped.  We posted the picture sent to us on our Facebook page, and asked if anyone had any details.  We knew Towboat US recovered the boat, and Jay Droney chimed in on the post … “My dad owns Towboat US, we got the boat in to the marina up-righted it, and got it safely on the trailer.  There were 2 guys in the boat, and it started taking on water.  When we got it on the trailer, we discovered the guys did not have a plug in it.”  Thank you for the information Jay, we appreciate that.  Check yourself before you wreck yourself gang.  Tuesday the Coast Guard was in the middle of the Indian River Inlet during a small craft advisory, I think they were just making sure everyone was safe out there.  It was rough seas inside the inlet, and that can be hazardous, especially when the tide really starts moving.  I watched a pontoon boat have a tough time fighting the incoming current, and wind, drifting for striped bass.  So check your boats before you launch, and make sure that plug is in, you would be surprised how often this happens more than not.  There is also still a lot of debris in Delaware’s tidal waters, so be careful when you are out there, most of this is just under the surface, and by the time you spot something, it may be too little, too late.  Everyone have a safe weekend.  The weather has been cold, windy, and rough seas.  Perfect for striped bass, come get some.

Fish On!!

Rich King


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