Bluefish are getting bigger … see spot run!

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Henry Busby with 2 nice striped bass from the surf … photo by Hank Busby

Fishing is picking back up in many areas.  Spot are showing up in the Roosevelt inlet and a few other locations including the surf.  Not in huge numbers but they are out there being caught on fishbites bloodworms for the most part.  They are definitely here early.  Large striped bass are in the surf but it takes some work and time to catch one with bunker chunks or bloodworms.  Indian River inlet has produced a few striped bass and the Lewes Canal.  Farther north they are still showing up at Augustine beach,Reedy Point, and the Woodland pier areas. Right place at the right time is the general consensus for these catches.  Flounder have been heavy at the Henlopen Pier on minnows and pink or chartreuse gulp.  Mostly on the incoming tide and the night bite has been very good.  When fishing the pier, try to fish close to the pylons or structure, the larger fish are in there feeding on the smaller fish that use the pylons for cover and food.  Jigging along the bottom works very well.  The Lewes Canal and Roosevelt Inlet has produced their fair share of flatties.  The Inland Bays are also heating up in most of the popular places like the VFW slough.  Croaker have shown up much earlier this year, several have been caught at the Henlopen pier.  It has been a crazy spring with the frequency of catches increasing.  Weakfish are still being caught in the six pound range in the Roosevelt Inlet and Henlopen pier.  Would be nice to see more of these released so they can continue to spawn future stocks.  Just my opinion.

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Shane Porter with a 22 inch flounder from the Indian River bay near Masseys Landing

The bluefish bite has really turned on this week.  Large blues are being caught at the Henlopen pier in the six plus pound range.  Indian River Inlet is seeing a huge amount of them there, as well as shad, mostly on the incoming tide.  I know some folks in Jersey that can’t get away from the bluefish that are hammering their coast right now.   This is definitely a better showing than last year.  The water warmed up faster this week (surf is averaging 55) and the fact we have sand fleas in the surf is helping bring fish closer to the beaches.  The fleas make for excellent flounder bait in the surf.  Puffer fish are still heavy at several beaches.  The obligatory skate and dogfish are still abundant as always.  One thing that is here in abundance are the gnats!  We were eaten alive at Beach Plum last weekend, nothing like a dead calm day to bring out the bugs.  We have a lot of rain headed this way tomorrow.  The winds have stirred up the water and the grass is abundant on the Delaware bay beaches.

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Puffer fish caught by Kevin Baldwin … photo by Amy Baldwin

The only bite that has really died off in the surf are the big drum we saw a few weeks ago.  Most of these fish are farther up the Delaware Bay at the coral beds and the boats have been seeing decent catches.  Some are still showing up in the surf but not like we experienced a few weeks ago.  Surf clam is the best baits for them and bloodworms.  Ben Smith was fishing Beach Plum the other day and saw a dead one on the high tide line that was easily eighty pounds.  Hopefully not the victim of a bad catch and release.  Also keep in mind that the drum creel limit this year is three per day statewide.  Hopefully we see some better weather this weekend and the water clears up quickly.  I visited the Saltwater Fly anglers of Delaware last night during their monthly meeting.  Chris Erby did a great presentation on kayak fishing for Delaware Paddlesports.  It was very informative and I am looking forward to getting the kayak out there this year.  I seem to have less and less time to fish these days.  I dropped by to announce the Coastal Conservation Association Delaware Chapter meeting for June 2nd and give the club a brief talk about why we need the CCA in Delaware.  This meeting will be held in Lewes behind the Wawa at five points in the clubhouse at the housing development.  This and all meetings will be a good time for anyone who is interested to come out and learn about the CCA DE chapter for themselves.  Everyone have a safe and fun weekend.

Fish On!!

Rich King

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