Big striped bass are starting to show up in Delaware … is this the Fall run?

striped bass, striper, rockfish, delaware surf fishing
Miss Bree’s first striper in the surf .. photo by her Dad … Andres Ferreiro

We have seen plenty of shorties and a few keepers the last few weeks, but in the past few days, more and more keepers are being caught.  The Delaware Bay has been heating up for keeper stripers.  Friends out today saw Gannets on the water, but they were not feeding, yet.  More were spotted near Fenwick Island yesterday, “raining” on fishy water.  Keepers have been caught trolling off the beaches, especially nearer Fenwick Island.  Andres Ferreiro’s Daughter Miss Bree caught her first striper in the surf today, and then she hit another.  Her dad is very proud of her, he even managed to catch his first redfish in the surf as well.  Brandy Parker of Parker and Son HVAC, was on Fenwick Island today hitting redfish as well, with Jim Mershon from Jim’s Bait & Tackle.  The beaches at Fenwick Island are rather torn up, with a “quick” sand trench in the middle, you will need good waders to get through at high tide.  Everyone is using cut bait, mostly mullet, fresh bunker is hard to find.  Neil Parry has a great write up about bunker on his site, Fly & Gin, and why you should support the Menhaden Defenders organization.  Without bunker we will lose all of our gamefish, and of course Omega Protein is trying to prevent the regulation of these important fish.

striped bass, striper, rockfish, spot, delaware surf fishing, Indian River Inlet
Tyler Bankowski’s keeper from the Inlet today

Tomorrow is another clean up day at the Delaware Seashore State Park campground at 9 a.m., near the Indian River Inlet.  Hope some of you can come out and help, it would be appreciated.  There is still a huge trash problem in our parks, from storms, and lazy anglers.  I already have a huge rant on our Facebook page, no reason to continue it here.  Clean up after yourselves when you use the parks please.  The pollution stirred up by the storms, the debris in the water, along with the massive amount of freshwater, could possibly stall or stop the fall run for Delaware this year.  Imagine being in a room with polluted air, you immediately leave the room, same with these fish.  they are not going to swim willingly into polluted waters, especially when there is food out front.  There are a few keepers showing up, and we hope the run invades our bays in full force.  That is always the wish from everyone, we will have to wait and see.  Many of us feel the water is so dirty with pollution from the storms, we will not see much of a run close to land.  I personally wouldn’t be surprised if they run deep, and farther off our coast.  A lot of food is farther off our coasts in the form of trout, and all kinds of baitfish for striped bass, or stripers, or rockfish, pick a name.  We will have to wait and see, but the run has definitely started, I have friends up and down the coast we talk with.  Several people hit keepers today in the Delaware bay near the Overfalls shoal, but not like they had hoped.  These were private boats and head boats, all fishing at different times throughout the day.  A few large bluefish are showing up in the “box” as well.  Tyler Bankowski has hit a keeper every day, the past 3 days in the Indian River inlet on live spot.

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summer flounder, the point, cape henlopen state park, delaware surf fishing
Chris Guest’s flounder from the surf today with mono-filament line through its body

Chris Guest was fishing the point today and caught a summer flounder that had mono-filament line through its body.  He said it was strange to see that, helped the flounder out, and released a happier fish.  If anyone catches a summer flounder next year with holes in it, you caught his fish.  There is a lot of trash washing up on Braodkill beach and the “point” beach at Cape Henlopen State Park.  Yesterday, Chris Barton caught a red solo cup, not the party we were looking for either.  Today on Broadkill all of the clumps of debris that washed up were littered with, and tangled in, pieces of gill nets.  The storms pushed a lot of trash into the water from the storms and really stirred up the bottom.  Most of this will come from the Delaware Bay, NY an NY’s debris will most likely stay out to sea, due to tides, but you never know.   The day Pot Nets Bayside flooded from the storms, and all the other low lying areas, there were trash bags floating everywhere from those mini plastic dumpster cans.  People need to really put things away when a storm is headed this way. Especially if it is of the magnitude we are seeing these days.  So be prepared to keep catching trash, and please take as much off the beaches with you, I know it is not yours, but it has to be cleaned up.  I hate catching plastic bags, and I prefer my red Solo cups with a cold drink, not on my line.

Fish On!!

Rich King

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