Saturday 2/16 Alan and I went to see the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware at the Saturday fly tie sessions. We have been very busy at DSF, so I had to back off on updated articles. There are also a lot of things going on with the fishing regulations this year so we felt it more important to post that information for everyone. Most of the club was on a bus bound for Cabellas, so it was rather quiet that day. Alan tied a bunch of flies, getting ready for a upcoming flea market. I just hung out and traded stories with some of the boys. Mac was impressed with some of the creations Alan had tied earlier that week. The kid definitely has some talent, which you can see on Monday night meetings, or at Bill’s Sport Shop’s flea market on April 6th. Mac had some interesting ties he did recently, and I asked him if he had the Evolution Jighead I gave him last year to tie a fly. He said he had just found it was working on a design, and maybe would have something next week. We left Lewes as the snow started to fall, it was just flurries, but made for some great pictures at Massey’s Landing. Alan and Jason went fishing that day and hammered a few bass and pickerel, in some local ponds. The bay waters and surf are still about 39 degrees and slowly warming up, spring is coming, crocus are starting to pop and daffodils.
Last week we experienced some blow out tides in the inland bays. The sandbar above Massey’s Landing on the Indian River Bay side is HUGE this year. The tide was so low I could have walked form Pot Nets Seaside to bird island. Be careful this year, if you are not careful you could wind up stuck like that huge boat was last year, or worse kill someone throwing them from your boat, after you slam into the sandbar. Believe it or not even the locals get jammed up on sandbars once in a while, we just know better than to head towards them at full speed. Just because you can not see into the water, does not mean there is nothing there. My favorite thing to tell people … if you fall out of the boat just stand up, eighty percent of the time you are in 4 feet of water or less. Be careful this year is all I am saying, I saw children thrown from the front of a boat last year when it hit a sandbar. The two children on the boat were bow riding with feet dangling, which is illegal, yet people do this anyway, not knowing the dangers lurking ahead of them. If the sandbar had not stopped the boat, they would have been run down, by their own family. I know that is a horrible description, but it is the cold reality of when things go bad on the water, they can go bad fast. If you find yourself on one of these sandbars, especially near Massey’s Landing. Be careful, the water moves fast there, can pull you right off the bar, and take you for a ride. From which you may not recover. The blow out tides made some neat looking glacier like ice formations at Kite Beach, and clamming was much easier that week. I have not seen many signs of hard blue crabs yet, but that will change soon as well.
The full snow moon arrived this week and filled the bays back in to the brim and then some. We had some extreme high tides this week from the full moon. The water is just now starting to clear up from rain and heavy winds. We are anticipating fish to show back up soon, especially flounder. A friend of mine caught his biggest flounder last year on March 3rd, near Burton’s Island. Where will the first be caught this year? We will just have to wait and see, won’t be long now, that I do know. CJ Jarrell of Striper King Gear and DSF Pro Staff along with myself, will take a few trips this week. We are headed to some different areas to fish. I will have all kinds of information for you this week. That is another reason we took some down time. In the summer you are all here on vacation, and DSF is at its busiest, working. I needed a bit of a rest or downtime to recharge for the coming season. This is going to be a very busy year for myself, and Pro Staff. We have some tournaments we are working on, and fundraisers. Everyone has asked when are we starting fishing lessons, and the guided tours. Once I hear back from the state, and the parks we can get that started. Lessons we are starting soon regardless, I do not need to be in the parks to teach someone how to fish or cast, nor does our Pro Staff. We can do the guide service the way it is set up now, but wanted to get the parks more involved, otherwise we have a plan. As much as we help the state and parks raise money one would think reciprocation would fall into place. I can guarantee you we helped sell an extra 1,000 tags last year into this year so far, that is a lot of money in the park’s coffers. We will let you all know as soon as these are set up and in place, I know local businesses that do this in the parks, so I see no problems for DSF.
Last Saturday Alan and I headed to Lewes for another Saturday session with the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware. The boys were all there and had storied of their adventures at Cabellas. Alan tied up a bunch of flies he was still stocking up for the flea market, the kid is a machine. Mac found the Evolution Jighead and tied up an interesting fly. I was impressed and am curious how it will do in the water. Looks like a fish killer, but time will tell. Joe was tying shrimp with a plastic body, made from a cereal bag. We dubbed this fly The cereal shrimp fly, a real fish killer. Roy kept finding bent hooks in his boxes of new hooks, in fact all of the boys say they find at least one hook that is bad. Unfortunately quality control allows for a percentage, but to find 2 hooks in one box is rare. Bernie showed me a popper he made out of the soft plastic he used on a fly the week before. It looked like a gummy worm on a popper head, and I know it will do well, color and action should be great. He even had a popper he tied with a spinner. Looked like a fly with bling. I spent most of the day chatting with Roy Miller, while he tied redfish flies for a trip coming up in Georgia. Yes, that would be a small red drum, or redfish, or puppy drum. In fact any immature drum is referred to as a puppy drum contrary to some folks whom incorrectly think otherwise. Roy tied up a variety of colors and involved me in helping choose colors for patterns. Honestly it was flattering having someone with Roy’s skill ask my opinion. When Roy is tying specific flies he can be meticulous in design, but like a kid in a candy store with anticipation of the trip. I spent most of the time bending Roy’s ear about regulations and some of the upcoming DNREC and fishery meetings. Roy used to be head of DNREC , he is a commissioner for the ASMFC (Atlantic Marine Fisheries Commission), and works for the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB). It would be safe to say Roy knows what is up, when it comes to our fisheries and tidal waters. Now you know why I like to bend Roy’s ear, he is a wealth of information. I am not going to talk about what we discussed, since I told him it was all off the record. Just two anglers trading stories and tying flies. I now understand the issues with setting creel limits, and many of the rules the fisheries have to deal with, a job I would not wish on anyone. Roy thanks for your time on Saturday, it was great chatting.
That Sunday several of us met on the beach at Key Box drive on access. DSF Pro Staff and friends did a little Sunday funday surf fishing. We met about 15 people on the beach, knowing the odds of catching were minimal. We just wanted to get in the surf, and go through the motions. The beaches are flat and elongated like Jersey beaches. You have to stand in the wash to do any kind of plugging or tossing spoons. Eventually they will carve back out, but reading the beaches is even harder. We could tell where the cuts will form from wave action, but otherwise the beaches were smooth. Fish are coming, a perch was caught on minnows in Milton at the spillway from the fishing pier. Wagamon’s pond has been hot for citation crappie as well. There is some catching going on out there, you just have to put in the time. Clamming has been excellent, we put up a picture of some a friend collected the other day. One piece of advice, when we put a picture up on Facebook, it would be a good idea not to comment on the fact you illegally collected over a 1,000 clams in one day. We also do not put up exact locations so people are not on top of one another. If you post your favorite spot keep in mind you just told 100,000 plus people on our Facebook page, where you like to clam. Just a friendly reminder, because the authorities check our site for that type of information. After all DSF is a media source for many anglers and beach goers. We have been saying this for months as well, there are going to be a lot of people here this year so be prepared. Weekends will be very crowded on the beaches, plan for that fact.
Monday meetings have been great at Old Bay Steakhouse on route 1. Everyone attending has been very helpful and courteous towards one another. Like my buddy Josh says, “Dude, I just want to hang out and talk fishing, these gatherings have been great!” He is correct we have a good time, once we actually have some live fishing stories to tell, it will be more better (Sussex county word right there). We have been working on some fundraisers the group would like to make happen. Everyone is excited for the fishing to start. We will continue the Monday meetings all year. Some nights we may just meet at the rail or a pier to fish. Most likely we will all just pack up afterwards, and head some where to fish. That is all we do here anyway, fish, and find more places to fish. Every month we will have a presentation or a speaker. This Monday 3/4 We will have a Shellfish Aquaculture presentation by EJ from the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB). Now is your chance to learn first hand about oyster gardens and what you can do to help the CIB. The center will also receive 10% of the entire night’s proceeds from Old Bay Steakhouse. The presentation begins at 6:30 p.m. Come out for Happy Hour at 4 p.m. and $5 appetizer specials to help us raise money for the CIB. It is also 1/2 rack rib night ($12.95), and they are excellent. Next month we will have Captain Brian give a talk on Drum fishing in the Delaware Bay.
My buddy Dave Eastburn recently headed to the mid east. I met Dave this summer when we were catching sand tiger sharks for DSU in the surf. He picked up a DSF hoodie and a few stickers before he left last weekend. He has been sending us pictures for the past few months from around the country wearing his DSF T shirt, my favorite is the one from the O.K. corral, or maybe the sign in Kansas. The other day he took DSF global, and we are now headed to Greece. I thanked Dave for all the cool pictures, we really appreciate all he does for DSF, and this was his response … “I’m sorry I couldn’t send better pics. I’m getting up early tomorrow morning to get some great pics for you. At the end of my travels I’m going to take a cool pic in front of aircraft with the DSF shirts on. We leave out of Crete in about 10 hours. The only thing I ask in return is to keep doing what you do, every time I go on DSF , it brings me back home” … Consider it done Dave, and thank you for all you do for DSF and this country! A lot of our men and women over seas read DSF so they can feel connected to a place they love so much. We consider it an honor to be one of their favorite information sources, and comfort zones. I have a funny feeling Dave is going to win the Farthest T From Me contest more than once this year. Everyone have a great week, Thursday Bo Derickson is playing a free concert at Old Bay Steakhouse to raise money for the St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital, and Cat Country will be there doing a live broadcast starting at 6 p.m. There will be a DSF license plate, pint glasses, stickers, and T shirts in the raffle they are having. I hope everyone can come help raise money for this event as well. Like I said we have a lot going on this week, and the season has yet to start. Tag number 0001 will have a pink bow above the numbers, and will be auctioned of to raise money for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC). DSF does what it can, when it can for the community, good luck to all that bid. The first report for Maryland Surf Fishing has been posted as well, that site is still under construction, but will be full of content soon. Yes, it is going to be a very busy year.