Delaware State Park Surf Fishing Restrictions Create Vehicle Limits

The current surf fishing vehicle restrictions will still create limited vehicle numbers on the beaches, but just how many is allowed now is the question.

When the surf fishing beaches were reopened during the quarantine they were restricted heavily for surf fishing. Vehicles had to be twenty yards, or sixty feet apart.
It was glorious, but honestly it wasn’t that crowded that time of year. Mostly only local surf anglers go out there to actually fish that time of year. Once the surf fishing picked up we did some calculations to figure out how many vehicles could occupy each beach. We figured once the drum, bluefish, and striped bass showed up. We would have some beaches get crowded fast and fill to the restricted capacity. Now we have a new capacity.

After a while the restrictions were eased up a bit and now we are required to only keep twenty feet between vehicles.
So the question now is how many vehicles can fit on the drive on surf fishing beaches with twenty feet of space. A lot.
I do not envy the rangers having to deal with this over the holiday weekend. Word is they will be enforcing this new space limit strictly. How I have no idea, the hope is people will do the right thing. Even if you are with a group of friends, you have to space your vehicles every twenty feet. With Delaware State parks limiting the parks’ capacities if you aren’t in before they close the park. You won’t be able to get to the beach in Cape Henlopen anyway. That park fills up first all the time. There is a webcam you can check to see how backed up traffic is at the entrance to Cape Henlopen State Park.
We thought we would help parks and everyone out and do some more calculations. Pro tip, if it looks like twenty feet between vehicles it probably is please don’t try to squeeze in between.

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Please social distance your vehicle signs in production.

I started with Beach Plum Island State Park as an example since it is one of the shortest drive on beaches, but not the shortest this time of year.
Beach Plum Island State park’s drive on section is 968 meters to be exact (roughly) using Google Earth mapping tools.
Converted to feet that is 3,077 feet, and every vehicle has to be distanced at 20 feet with 8 feet added for vehicle width. That leaves room for roughly 109 vehicles on Beach Plum Island State Park.
Cape Henlopen has two of the shortest beaches this time of year. It is not okay to “squeeze” in between people properly spaced. I am sure they will tell you.
We have a solution for that as well a friend of ours made. A new sign you can stake between your vehicles, politely letting people know you are properly distanced and not to park between.
The sign will be available at DS Custom Tackle later tonight and ships next week. They are in production right now. Hurry up Rob, I need mah sign!
A twenty foot rope makes a perfect distance checker. We like to park sideways for room and ease of getting to our gear, this new twenty foot rule makes that easy. Roughly there should be a vehicle length between vehicles parked to surf fish. That is not too hard to judge.

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Beach Plum Island State Park … 109 vehicles in 3,077 feet

Cape Henlopen State Park
Point Comfort Station crossing … 80 vehicles in roughly 2,257 feet
Naval Crossing … 187 vehicles in 5,249 feet*
Herring Point to Gordons Pond … 291 vehicles in 8152 feet*


Delaware Seashore State Park
Key Box to Faithful Steward … 589 vehicles in 16,512 feet*
3R’s … 246 vehicles in 4,921 feet*

Fenwick Island State Park
York to south crossing … 445 vehicles in 12,467 feet*


* taking into account the areas off limits to vehicles, roughly*

Delaware Surf Fishing facts for the new restrictions

When you look at the above numbers imagine them almost double if the parks didn’t create the twenty foot rule. Everyone parked like they normally do, that is a lot of vehicles and on a holiday weekend it gets that full.

surf fishing numbered tags, delaware seashore state park, 3rs beach, actively surf fishing, delaware surf fishing
3Rs surf fishing beach on a typical weekend

I already have heard all the complaints about people not following the twenty foot rule the past few weekends. You are preaching to the choir when it comes to issues on the surf fishing beaches. I have heard it all and then some for years.
These limited numbers would be nice to see remain permanent so we have room to fish or whatever. I don’t like paying all that money either to be in a parking lot on the sand, no one does. We are required to be within fifty feet of our vehicle at all times, because you are supposed to be fishing and attending your gear.
I don’t think the actively fishing rule does much good any more either, and is nearly impossible to enforce anyway. Assateague has it right, do what you want, with limited vehicle numbers. Everyone has space, and everyone gets along much better. Lines are not in the way of actual surf anglers, y’all play corn hole we are surf fishing.

Don’t worry what your neighbor is doing, mind your own space and don’t let anything ruin your day. That is the best advice I can give you for a crowded beach on a holiday weekend. Besides, air down, don’t be a clown!

Happy Fourth of July

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