Birds Find More Than Just Fish

Follow the birds to catch fish, but what about finding bait?

(March 9, 2020) … It hit seventy degrees today, no way I was staying indoors and working. I told the boss to get bent, then went to the beach. The fact I am the boss makes it a little awkward. Some days you just have to put down the regular work and take a break. In my case in order to do other work. I know there are fish in the surf, but I was curious about something. There have resident short striped bass all winter, but they are more active. Showing up in the surf more means a food source is there.

sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
Sanderlings hunting for sand fleas

I dropped into the parking lot at Keybox, aired down and drove onto the beach. There were a few people walking around, some enjoying the beach. Only one person walking in the dunes, not to bad for such a nice day. Honestly I expected more. I drove the surf edge looking for signs of fish. The water isn’t all that one looks for to find fish. Granted a nice cut is desirable, but one holding food is preferred. Sometimes you have to look for what the fish are eating. You need the help of some small birds for that information.

sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing,
Sanderling with a sand flea it pulled form the sand

The sanderlings were all over the place, feeding madly in the surf in the cuts. There was a gull or two following them around, also feeding in the water after the wave wash receded. I figured the birds are feeding on sand fleas, they had to be, but the sand fleas should still be deep in the sand. It was dead low tide.

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The best time and conditions to find sand fleas this time of year is during a dead low tide. You have to dig a little deep. Today I didn’t have to dig too far. One scoop and big sand fleas to the little sand fleas littered the scoop of sand I spread over the beach. Dig in the low tide line and you will find sand fleas less than five inches under the sand. Many of the ones I found today were soft shells, others were full of eggs. The fish are in the surf eating sand fleas. Free bait to be had by all just do some digging or get a sand flea rake from Soo Phat Outfitters. Some small fleas on a top and bottom rig and you have the perfect temptation to catch a fish. Where you found that bait is where you want to fish. Collect some sand fleas to take with, to fish other spots you find through out the day. Unless you want to just sit put and see what happens. This time of year you can move about the beaches very well, no crowds.

Osprey picking up nesting materials on

I fed a few fish and crabs today, but it was still a good day in the surf. I saw an osprey collecting material in the dunes to work on a nest, spring is here. Time to get a bucket of sand fleas and toss them for striped bass at the Indian River Inlet.

  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park
  • sanderling, sand flea, delaware surf fishing, mole crab, delaware seashore state park

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