Well the storm passed and it was not as bad as previous ones. It did manage to carve the beaches up, and create some very pronounced cuts and sandbars. I made a video today of a rip current at Conquest beach it is a good example of how they work and form. I did a little fishing and found about ten pounds of sea glass, as well as a bag full of trash. Never fails after a storm, the beaches can always use a cleaning. I am going to start the beach clean ups after this coming weekend. I have a busy schedule this Saturday and Sunday with guided tours and fishing lessons. If you are out there try to pick up some extra trash, there is a recycling station at Tower Rd. Bay access and at Fresh Pond on the south side of the Charles W. Cullen bridge. A lot of interesting things washed up on shore since the storm. I did find a nice swim fin on the beach today if anyone is missing one, as well as a dozen pairs of sunglasses, twenty balloons, and other miscellaneous junk. One thing the storm did not mess up is the fishing. As the days passed the sea was calmer and calmer. The old man finally got his soup. By the weekend the water should be nice and clear out there.
Tautog season opened today and the Indian River Inlet was packed. The past few days the surf has been hot for flounder, bluefish, kingfish, and the obligatory skates, dogfish, rays and sharks. Blue fish are hammering mullet rigs, the fish are smaller than the bait in some cases. Lots of baby blues, but there have been some nice size snappers. The 3Rs beach crew was retrieving a blue fish when it was tagged. The fish was mostly just a head bit off behind the pectoral fins, with a nice sharp bite mark where the rest of it used to be.. You can tell it was a blue fish and it had to be a big one based on the fact most of the fish was gone in one hit, and that big clean bite mark. Bluefish will eat anything including their own kind and that is true for all fish. Little Hoopes learned that today at Cape Henlopen, they were slamming blues two at a time, on cut bluefish. He learned today that fish will eat their own kind, and it is a lesson all young anglers learn at some point in life, he didn’t like that information too much either. Keep in mind if you use a blue fish for bait that you just caught, it counts as part of the creel limit for the day. Matt Fetters and his crew were on Bethany on Saturday and while retrieving a mullet rig with a bluefish on, a keeper flounder hammered their bluefish. So they caught a mauled bluefish and a nice seventeen inch keeper flounder. Big bait big fish, and that flounder was taking it to the maximum.
Flounder have been moving out of the inland bays, some are still around, but for the most part they are moving into the ocean for the winter. The water temperatures dropping are triggering all kinds of fish activity. Striped bass are schooling up more and more throughout the inland bays and canals. Keepers are being caught here and there but for the most part they are averaging twenty six inches. Lots of fun to catch and most of these fish will be joining the fall migration when it drops by and heads south for the winter. Live eels, spot, swim shads, plugs and spoons are working for these fish and of course the ever trusty two ounce white bucktail. Masseys Landing has seen its share of short striped bass, small bluefish, and some flounder the past few days. Henlopen fishing pier saw some short striped bass,bluefish, and flounder. The same baits are working as always for flounder … minnows, gulp, whole or cut mullet. You can also jig for them in the surf with a bucktail and plastic worm or squid strip Lots of folks are wandering around from popular place to popular place looking for mullet and just not finding any right now. I do know a lot are still running in Jersey, so maybe we will see more again soon. Shiners are the fish’s choice baitfish right now and they are thick out there. Sand fleas are still heavy in the surf and the fish are feeding on them as well. When the fall run cranks up try some green crab in the surf for striped bass.
Croaker fishing has not slowed down one bit, and kingfish are abundant in the surf and the Indian River Inlet. Spot are still huge, bloodworms, fishbites, and squid are working well. The Delaware bay reef sites and other areas are seeing croaker, kingfish, puffers, bluefish, spot, trout, and triggers. The walls have produced thier fair share of mixed fish and that will increase now that tautog season has started. The bay is still alive with a lot of fun fishing. Farther north in the Delaware River it is catfish and perch for the most part. Bluefish and croaker are still up as far as Port Mahon fishing pier. Off shore action is still seeing mahi mahi, or dolphin fish, and some tile fish. Sea bass is closed, but are still hitting out there, apparently no one told them their season is closed they can stop biting the hook now. I was shown a picture of a nice looking stargazer this morning that was caught in Indian River Bay, watch the spot above the eyes it can be a shocking experience. The sea temperatures are dropping and a harsh winter is being predicted. We will just have to wait and see on that one. Crabbing in the inland bays has dropped off dramatically, unless you get into an area loaded with them, they do not seem to be moving around as much. Clamming has been decent all year. The fishing as many are anticipating will just get better as we transition fully into fall fishing. In the mean time have a fun and safe week and we will see you in the sand box with a mix of catches.