Delaware beaches are filling back in

3R's beach and south beach in Delaware Seashore State Park
3R’s beach and south beach in Delaware Seashore State Park

The beaches are finally filling back in, but it will still take some time to get back to where they were before the storm.  Reading the beaches is a little harder since the cuts are constantly moving.  Your best bet is to look for rip currents, or a wave that pyramids or looks taller in the center.  Waves that wash on top of one another are good indicators of where a cut is located.  The cut will cause a wave to break on top of itself from both directions.  The shape of the cut, causes the wave to break up and the back wash from the receding water in the cut will force the wave to pyramid by creating a strong back current under the wave.  It is hard to describe this scene so you can see it in your head.  The beach will start to take the scalloped shape back on soon and that will help as well.  The points of the scalloping are good places to look for nice cuts.  The sandbars are moving as well and soon the holes will hopefully be carved back out as well.  I would like to see some of my fishing spots come back to life so to speak.  On Saturday and Sunday I did a little fishing with a friend.  When the tides were shifting I took a break and hiked around the trail at Burton’s Island.  This is a nice walk through the woods and marsh area of the island.  There are bridges that traverse the marsh areas.  You can access this trail behind the marina at the Indian River Inlet.  Oh and keep in mind this weekend we have Sea Witch Festival going on in Rehoboth so the roads will be a tad jammed up at times, plan accordingly.

old nw castle, dobbinsville, striped bass, battery park, rattle traps
Striped Bass … Trini Dadian ….. Rattle trap action!!!!! … Old New Castle

The action in the surf has been hit or miss.  Some days one beach is good and then the next there is nothing there.  On Saturday we fished Fenwick Island and the beaches at low tide were wild looking.  The cuts and sandbars were very defined and obvious.  Some of the tide pools at the top of cuts between sandbars were almost five feet deep.  The water is much cleaner now and in some cases looks blue green.  On Sunday we relocated to Conquest beach and Key Box in Delaware Seashore State Park.  While we were getting skunked, a few nice king fish and blues were being caught on Fenwick Island.  Wrong place, right time … fishing, it is what it is.  Cape Henlopen has been hot to not depending on the tide and time.  There isn’t really any good recommendation of when and where to go, it has been random.  A few shorty striped bass have been pulled form the surf and some nice keeper redfish (puppy drum). The tautog action at Indian River Inlet has been heavy, and Massey’s Landing has been decent.  The inner and outer walls have been producing some nice tautog as well as the wrecks in the Delaware Bay.  The Lewes Charter and head boats have been doing well.  Triggers are still in the mix as well as a few sheepshead.  Keeper striped bass are even being caught out there in the Delaware Bay.  The past few days the bluefish action and striped bass has been good at the Indian River Inlet, and mostly in boats.  Spot, live mullet, and metals are doing well catching.  Fishbites are doing nicely still in the surf when fish are around or mullet chunks for kings and spot.  Top and bottom rigs with 2/0 circle hooks are my favorite.  Colors for the floats has not seemed to matter.  The water at the inlet has been cleaning up and a few guys have said they think the fishing was better when the water was cloudier.  Jig heads with soft plastics, white or pink have done well.


Trash bags tied to the rail at Indian River Inlet
Trash bags tied to the rail at Indian River Inlet
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Otherwise there have been plenty of skates and dog fish in the surf.  James and his crew were on Beach Plum the other day and jay hit his first striped bass on a spoon.  It was a shorty, but it was his first fish on a lure.  I prefer using lures, the hit when a fish crushes a spoon or plug is what I like the most.  Throwing meat and drowning bait produces just as well if not better, but I prefer the action from throwing lures.  Silver spoons are doing good and my go to Deadly Dick two ounce green does well when fish are around.  Everyone has their preferences, and whatever that may be it is still fishing.  The boys up north on the Delaware River in the Old New Castle and Dobbinsville area have been doing well on shorty striped bass and a few keepers.  Bunker chunks and even rattle traps.  Farther up north in New Jersey the bluefish are topping out at thirty pounds, lots of nice weakfish, and slob keeper stripers.  Just the other day the surf in Atlantic City produced some nice big striped bass.  They are on their way and everyone is eagerly awaiting the fall run.  As usual it will come in waves, a few random schools ahead of the main pack.  It is not like there is one giant school of fish that move in unison, though it would seem that way at times.  They will really start up soon, and hopefully come in close to shore.  I prefer catching these in the surf or at the rail then going for them in boats.  If you want to get in on some striped bass trips with charters contact Captain Brian Wazlavek with Delaware Family Fishing for a few DSF striped bass trips we will be organizing.

Working on the sunken jetty cap at Indian River Inlet
Working on the sunken jetty cap at Indian River Inlet

The other day I was at the Indian River inlet and the Army Corp of Engineers is working on the north rock pile and jetty cap.  The front section is closed, while they are doing this, so keep that in mind.  The north beach is also closed near there and the replenishment has moved farther up the beach.  I know the timing is not choice, but this work needs to be done.  They are digging out along the wall where the jetty cap started to settle and filling it back in with these huge mats that are packed with small rip rap.  I am assuming this will help keep sand from back washing into the inlet.  There are huge rocks piled there, and I am again assuming to help rebuild the wall.  Hopefully they will be done soon, but the project was said to take ninety days which would be well into the end of November or middle of December.  Hopefully we will be able to fish that wall sooner than later.  I have some friends that have been talking about getting together a petition to have the inlet jetty rebuilt.  Did you know we lose almost two feet of length a year to wave action?  They are proposing to have it rebuilt like a jetty done recently that has a flat cement top, now that would be choice to fish.  I will keep you posted when the boys at surf rider foundation are planning on working on this with Delaware anglers.  We need to work with one another to help rebuild what we have lost, and to protect the beaches with sensible solutions instead of thirty million dollar bandaids.  This of course needs to be studied first.  We are having a serious trash issue at the inlet again and it is not just the toggers, but the frequency seems to increase during this season.  Please carry in and carry out.  There is also a dumpster in the parking lot of the marina near the fish store there.  If you see people littering or leaving trash tied to the rail, please say something to them.  We have to police our own areas.  Personally I am tired of picking up after people.  The parks need to get on the ball and start enforcing littering laws.  maybe even confiscate a few fishing licenses to help enforce this situation and make a point.  Everyone is at fault when this littering occurs it is not just one group of people.  I have seen regulars dump hot grill ashes into the water at the inlet and discard fish carcasses over the rail.  Both are not legal nor a good idea regardless of legality.  I have other things I would like to talk about at the moment, but it has been along day and week, climbing ladders, and walking roofs.  Until next time and good luck out there …


Fish On!!

Rich King

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