Delaware Surf Fishing is not just a job, some days it is an adventure!

OTW Sand Sticks, Delaware Surf fishing, 3Rs beach, delaware seashore state park
Chris Barton of OTW Sand Sticks representing DSF

Saturday I met Andres, Sherry, Mark, and Chris on 3R’s beach in Delaware Seashore State Park.  It was a gorgeous day in the surf, beautiful water, and incredibly warm temperatures.  December 1st  was 60 degrees, a light wind, and we had Christmas music!  We surf fished the outgoing tide with at least 12 rods, loaded with bunker, mullet, and spot.  We had a bakers dozen of donuts by the middle of the afternoon.  I headed out just before the A-10’s did a fly by, and headed for the South side of the Indian River Inlet.  There were a lot of folks “tautoggin” and plenty of boats fishing the inlet, the rail was busy.  The tide was still moving out rather fast, there were bird watchers everywhere.  The beaches north of the inlet had 15 trucks tops, 3R’s had 40 when I arrived at 9 ish, and easily 25 when I left.  That is a very popular beach for surf fishing.   A small shorty striper, redfish, and a blue were caught by some folks down the beach.  Our neighbors pulled in some skates, we ate our donuts for lunch.  It was still a nice day on the beach, and catching was optional.  We really didn’t care, it was just nice to be in the sand.  Even when you live here, you still miss the beach.  I left Broadkill Beach a few days ago … I will miss the walks on the beach, and surf fishing the nights away.  I know how you kids feel sometimes, and I am only 20 minutes inland, but near the bay, so life is still okay.

first light charters, captain chuck cook, Massey's Landing, striped bass, linesiders, rockfish,
Chris Walker and friends .. photo by Captain Chuck Cook of First Light Charters

People have been hitting keeper stripers in the Delaware bay, action is on and off, at every shoal.  Friends were on the troll, and found tons of bait, and that was too much competition.  Anglers did better on Sunday than Saturday,and today was not so hot in the surf as well, a lot of skates, and some donuts.  Mike Behney of Rick’s Bait & Tackle said a few customers banged up the tautog wreck fishing, largest at 20 inches.  Shorties are being hit on Broadkill Beach with bloodworms, the real ones.  Don’t forget to dispose of that “seaweed” they are packed with, it can carry invasive species, which can alter our ecosystem.  Throwing it away, keeps the “seaweed” out of our waters as well.  Beach Plum is the drive on area below Broadkill Beach, make sure you have a surf fishing tag.  There is public access and a small parking lot at the general store, which is closed during the winter season, and I have heard tell … they have killer donuts.  Captain Chuck Cook of First Light Charters was fishing the Delaware Bay … “Chris Walker (not admin 1) and friends fished with me on 11/30/12.  We found some deep clean water holding bait and stripers at the mouth of DE. Bay. The group ended the day with a limit of 6 stripers to 41″ Chris Blessoe fished with me Saturday eve. at Indian River Inlet taking home a pair of 30″ stripers on a dark foggy night … Capt. Chuck First Light Charters    302-853-5717.”  Thank you Captain Chuck, good times!  He knows how to put you on the fish.  I was out that same night, but fishing a much different spot … I have always wanted to fish.

delaware surf fishing, indian river coast guard station
DSF fishing the Coast Guard Station.

On Saturday afternoon a friend of mine mentioned he was hitting striped bass Friday night.  He hit 2 keepers out of 20 fish caught.  That is great numbers for the inlet at night in only 2 hours, especially when you have to jockey for position at the crowded rail, on a weekend night in the Fall.  Little did I know… where he was fishing, until I was invited to the rail that night.  “Just call me when you get here, I will have you buzzed in at the gate.”  Yup, I was going to the Indian River Coast Guard station, to fish the rail and bulkhead.  That was 3 days ago, I still can’t stop grinning.   I met my buddy Mike, signed in, and handed the young lady there a pile of DSF stickers to give to the crews.  I had a grin then, you couldn’t wipe off with turpentine.  Mike and I went downstairs, I grabbed my gear, and tried to contain my excitement, so I wouldn’t just run to the rail like a insane child, and get everyone upstairs excited.  I stepped on top of the bulkhead, and looked over the rail, there were fish flashing everywhere.  The shapes next to the bulkhead portion that looks like large teeth. appeared to be part of the structure, until they moved.  Excitement is now contained, I am going to start slamming rockfish, striped bass, a.k.a. the linesider!  Cast a popper into the dark, Mike was tossing a glowing white grub on a 2 ounce jig head.  Nothing hitting in the dark on a popper, he is catching shorties.  I am fishing the corner, from land, under the lights, at the Coast Guard station, keeps playing over and over and over in my head.  This is a once in a lifetime trip, I have to catch a fish, stop thinking, and start catching.  I changed up to a small storm lure that looks like a spot, and it was fish on!  For the rest of the night.

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striped bass, indian river coast guard station
Mike and his keeper he released, you can see how thick the fog was getting.

The first hit was a keeper that threw the lure, but I was stoked.  Basically … I was chatting with mike, and not paying attention when that fish hit, which is par for the course.  We caught shorties all over the place, the marina’s inlet was loaded with them working the bottom.  Following “eddies” and currents up and down the rail.  I could cast well beyond the reach of any long liner at the parking lot.  The corner light was alive with fish, run a boat through and it freaks the fish out.  One of the reasons boats do not do as well close to the bulkhead or rock wall, they are on top of the fish.  The fog started to roll in thick and fast, the bridge and moon disappeared.  We fished for another hour, and were about to call it quits, since it seemed the fish were, when Mike was slammed by a monster hit.  We had an interesting time landing that fish.  Neither of us had a net, and as Murphy’s law would have it, we needed one.  We discussed this earlier, and decided to cross that bridge when we got there.  He had to “walk” the fish along the wall for a bit, and reach down in the marina, me holding my camera and the rod, Mike is retrieving the fish.  He caught it, he gets to risk falling in, besides he works there, and should know how to swim.  🙂  Fish was retrieved, and released for another day.  The boats can’t fish the bulkheads like this, you have to be on land.  I was ecstatic all night.

Thank You!!  Truly an amazing time, and I am forever grateful to Mike for taking me there.  Check a number off my bucket list … fished the Coast Guard Station from land, done.  Hands down, that was the most fun I have had fishing in a long time. Thank You Mike! I had a blast!  I may consider signing up for the Coast Guard just to fish, who am I kidding, the training would kill me.  Besides … I love my job, it is truly an adventure.

Fish On!

Rich King

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