Delaware Fishing Report July 24
The weather is wonderful. The air doesn’t hurt to breath, the flies have calmed down. The fishing is still good and the water temperatures dropped a solid eight degrees around the inland bays. That is great for inland bay anglers. That is if there are any flounder left. The bay tournament put a pounding on those numbers, lot of small keepers at least were thrown back.
Masseys ditch water temperatures have dropped dramatically when the rain came through after the heat wave. The water is dropping to seventy degrees at high tide and only peaking to seventy nine on the last high tide. That makes for better fishing, and more comfortable time on the water. Being surrounded by bathtub warm water makes for a much hotter day. The surf is in the low seventies.
The little fish have been the preferred catches. Kingfish, pompano, spot, croaker, sand perch, lizard fish, cusk eels, weakfish, short striped bass, small blue fish and flounder. Top and bottom rigs with squid, bloodworms, sand fleas or any of the variety of fishbites are working well. Fishbites crab has been one of my go to baits for the last week. It seems to be working better, but bloodworms is my usual go to. Fish are still in close so you don’t have to cast very far at all.
Big rays have been the popular catch throwing chunks of cut bait. Cownose, bullnose, summer, and whiptail. Rays are a fun fight, they will lock their wings into the sand and make retrieval difficult. You can’t horse in a ray, okay you can but you shouldn’t. Best thing to do is work them slowly and eventually you will land them with little strain on your gear. Horsing in a ray is one of the easiest way to break not only the line but your rod. If you are using braid the rod is probably going to snap before the line, unless it pops at the rig.
When the ray locks into the sand stop reeling, take off the pressure, it is hooked up already. Once it feels the pressure release it will release form the sand. Some people will pluck the line above the reel to make a rhythmic annoying noise that seems to move the ray as well. Both work, not sure why the latter does.
Once the ray has reached the wash use the incoming water to help bring the ray into the surf. The closer to the water you leave the ray the easier it is to get it back in the water. It is recommened to wear shoes when you remove the hook with some of these or have a wet towel to put over the tail. Getting tail barb whipped into or through your foot is no joke.
Summer cocktail bluefish action is on fire in the surf. South-side of the inlet before the lifeguards come on duty. (or any beach town for that matter). We fish many places that are closed to fishing after the guards come on duty. That is why creepin while your sleepin is a great way to fish in the summer.
Bluefish schools are moving up and down the beaches. Spoons, sting silvers, or any metal that is shiny. Casting to the schools is easy and you will see them coming by the beach. They will hit bait but they will destroy your smaller top and bottom rigs. Casting and catching them on spoons is much more fun anyway.
Using a small blue fish for cut bait is a great idea this time of year. All kinds of fish including larger bluefish are eating the smaller blues. Flounder will hammer them close to the surf. Cobia will follow schools of blues and bunker. You can even put a small enough one on a large mullet rig or surf rig. Ultralight gear is a lot of fun with the summer blues, great action.
This weekend is going to be much better for fishing and enjoying the beach. Highs in the mid eighties and lows in the seventies at night. Very tolerable conditions for the time of year, and way better than Satan’s Kitchen last weekend.
Slot striped bass fishing in the Delaware Bay and her tributaries has been decent action for those trying. Structure fishing is best and of course rips near the lights at night, the coast guard station in Lewes has some killer action. Canary creek is loaded with slot striped bass and some blues mixed in as well. Those gators are moving around Canary creek, Broadkill river, Lewes canal, and Roosevelt Inlet. On occasion these blues are running the surf. The walls have nice slot bass on them as well. Limit is two fish per day at 20 to 25 inches, best eating size in my opinion. The Lewes Canal is considered a tributary form the Freeman Highway bridge to the Roosevelt inlet.
The Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier has been on fire for spot with high water. Slot striped bass, flounder and the usual summer suspects are being caught. Check in with the shop Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle to get the latest intel. Those boys always know the up to the minute action.
DSF’s Summer Surf Fishing Slam Series 7 is this Saturday. Hoping to see a lot of catches that qualify. If the fish are small on Saturday we apologize, they are always smaller on tournament day.