Delaware Fishing Report Friday The Thirteenth
Fishing report for Delaware Beaches, Bay, Inland Bays and Area waters
Hurricane Dorian Storm surge was a little rough, and ate some beaches up a tad last weekend, but the fishing was not too bad the rest of the week. The beaches survived the storm surge, and are a lot flatter with wide surf. They look like Assateague and New Jersey surf fishing beaches. Something many of us surf anglers wish would remain. There is a lot of structure in the surf to fish right now, and fish are in close to shore feeding. The waves and wind will rebuild the beaches soon enough. Probably just in time for the next nor’easter. Today they are getting worn on a bit with wind and wave action and a full moon tide. Would be a good weekend to break out your waders for surf fishing. Wearing shoes while surf fishing isn’t a bad idea either with all the debris washing onto the beaches.
Last weekend was decent fishing despite the heavy surf. The conditions this weekend are a little nautical but nothing like last week. This week was nice and calm in the surf. The surf is wide you don’t have to cast far to catch fish. Spot, croaker, puppy drum, lizard fish, cusk eels, sand perch, pompano, short striped bass, “cocktail” bluefish, and the occasional odd ball catch. Skates, rays and sharks are always hot on any cut bait. The smaller fish are hitting Fishbites bloodworm formula, sand fleas which you can dig up in the surf, and small pieces of cut bait. Shrimp is a good alternative for targeting pompano.
Mullet rigs are working best for the bluefish. The DS Custom Tackle Modified Mullet rigs are on point to save your bait and money. The hook that holds the mullet in place works wonders. We have caught a couple of fish on the same mullet more than once. Sometimes the holder hook even catches a fish and we double down. Anglers can cast a DS Custom Tackle modified mullet rig over and over again, and their bait will not slide down the shaft. That was the point of the design.
Mullet schools have moved into the flats of Cape Henlopen State park at the fishing pier. Anglers are filling five gallon buckets using cast nets. There are the regular sized mullet and the larger cob mullet. The mullet will move along the surf at the point and bluefish, weakfish, and striped bass will be on their six feeding. Just about every predator will feed on mullet. Flounder will push the mullet schools up to the surface.
Mullet can be used a few different ways for bait. Mullet rigs are the most popular, chunked up for bait, and some anglers will filet them and use the strip on a hook, or on jigs and bucktails. The predatory fish are feeding heavily on mullet, it is that time of year. Match the hatch so to speak, you always try to fish with what the predators are eating. Lures that mimic mullet will work well now, especially the surface poppers that create that action of a jumping mullet. Predators get curious with noise and action, for that matter so do anglers.
Bluefish schools are moving up and down the beaches. Have a spoon or stingsilver at the ready to cast out to a school of bluefish. There are still Spanish Mackerel mixed in with the bluefish schools, and schooling on their own. The Indian River inlet and further into the inland bays has spanish mackerel action.
Offshore anglers are still doing okay for flounder but that has been tough. Many are going for sea bass instead. The tilefish fishing has been good for the deep droppers if you find the right spots. Fish the muddy areas along the canyons, the tilefish dig in and create burrows to live. Mahi fishing is on fire for many anglers. Some yellow fin tuna have been brought to the docks at Indian River Marina and Lewes
The Delaware bay has a decent croaker bite and a lot of smaller weakfish. Trigger fish are on structure feeding on crustaceans and mollusks. Flounder are being caught around the wrecks and reef sites. Pompano are being caught along the Delaware Bay beaches on fishbites. The best surf fishing rigs for the pompano are top and bottom rigs with small sharp hooks. The charter and head fishing boats out of Lewes are booking up on weekends with good weather.
The Cape Henlopen State Park fishing pier has been on fire for spot fishing. The action is relatively consistent and does change up with tides and weather. Few keeper flounder here and there among a lot of throwback flounder. Short striped bass and bluefish chasing mullet schools around the flats.
Short striped bass action is hot around the inland bays on structure and along the grass banks. Cast to the bank on an outgoing tide when the water is moving out of the grasses. Striped bass will gather along the banks to feed on the bait fish as they emerge from the grasses. In the surf the short bass or rats as we call them are in the wash area feeding on bait fish and sand fleas. Indian River inlet action is good using sand fleas.
Pond hoppers are doing well with bass and pickerel. Bluegills for the win for the kids. Fly anglers are enjoying the constant action fishing the sweetwater. They are also doing well in saltwater, fly fishing in the surf and Delaware Bay beaches. Believe it or not you can fly fish the surf at the beach, and catch fish. The Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware Club members have been doing well in the flats at Cape Henlopen State Park.
The War On The Shore surf fishing tournament is October 5th in Cape Henlopen state park. Get singed up for a shot at the $10,000 first prize.