Delaware Surf Fishing Report
Gas is how cheap and we can’t go anywhere? Well not true, you can go anywhere within the state to get outside and get some air. I’m still getting four days a gallon.
A lot of people seem to have taken up fishing. Whole families are getting out and trying their hand at fishing. It is a great way to get outside, social distance and maybe fill the dinner table.
The fishing has been good, well the catching has been decent. Fishing is always a good past time, especially right now.
Anyone else getting all those long overdue projects done? I found an old pole from the pool brush or vacuum. Drilled a few holes in it, used a pool stick section for a spline, and drilled the boat net handle. Now I have a pier net and boat net combination, with an extra slightly longer and larger handle for the net. Otherwise that pole was headed to the trash. Pick it up, find a use, or to the trash it goes. Besides projects that need doing, I am just fishing. Where ever and when ever I can. It has been quiet in most places as far as crowds. Typical this time of year. Some areas though are more crowded than ever. We need some walk on areas opened up to spread people out.
There are very few boats out and those that are going fishing or boating are in the same household. Once in a while you see people in boats wearing masks. The drive on beaches are typical of this time of year. Very few vehicles on miles of beach. That will probably change a little this weekend. Nicer weather coming, and the fishing has picked up a bit.
Bluefish the smaller snapper size are making an appearance at some of the beaches throughout the day. The choice of tide depends on the angler. Some prefer incoming to outgoing and others prefer the opposite. I find the falling tide is the best, but that is just me. There are to many other factors to accompany the tide; temperature, wind, etc etc. The choise come sdown to when you have time to go and hope the tide coincides.
Short striped bass action around the Indian River Inlet, the beaches, and Delaware Bay areas. The migratory bass are being caught by boat anglers up near Port Penn. White perch are still the preferred catch for the table. Definitely easier if you are fishing from land or pier. As the weather gets better, it would be helpful to see more fishing access opened up, especially for walk on anglers. Bay beaches and ocean beaches have plenty of room for walk on anglers.
Black drum action is random. There have been very few from the surf. Clam is usually your best bet for bait, but crab and sand flea works well. That is mostly what the drum are feeding on in the surf as they make their way into the Delaware Bay and farther north.
Crabbing is excellent around the inland bays. Pots, rings, and trot lines are all doing well. A two day soak on a crab pot will yield a good amount of crabs. There have been some crab pot thefts in the pot nets areas and one of the creeks.
The boat traffic is minimal and the water is clearer than it usually is this time of year. Nature is really bouncing back in some areas. Air pollution is down dramatically. People are staying put more and traveling less. many businesses are shut down completely. Things are at a standstill. It is odd to drive down route 1 mid day, mid week and see the outlets closed. Rehoboth just removed the benches on the boardwalk and throughout the town. The place looks like winter. Thankfully we still have the outdoors. and fishing. Charters and head boats are still shut down.
Clamming is good around the inland bays. Water is still coooollllddddd. Keep that in mind for clamming and if you plan on kayak fishing. Falling out of a kayak right now is going to be chilly and dangerous if you are not geared up correctly. Check water temperatures before you head out. The surf and Delaware Bay waters are in the low to mid fifties.
Flounder action has been slow around the inland bays. Anglers are catching flounder. Drifting with minnows or gulp is the preferred method. Jigging the surf should produce, if you fish the cuts. Many small fish are showing up in crab pots. Good structure to hide and to feed on bait fish, doing the same. The Cape Henlopen pier should be producing flounder any day now.
The Indian River Inlet has decent tautog action mostly short but some keepers. There are striped bass at night and shad. Small spoons and surf bullets are doing well for the bass and shad.
surf fishing has been decent for this time of year. Some bluefish finally showed up the snapper size not the big gators. That could change an hour from now. Puffer fish are hitting clam, fishbites, squid, or cut bait on DS Custom Tackle top and bottom rigs. Mullet are working for bluefish. The action is slow, but just picking up. Those puffer fish are delicious. Skate and dogfish are hitting cut baits and are also good to eat. If you haven’t had skate now is the time to try it. Cleaning them is a little tough, hit up the internet for recipes and instructions. Leaving the wings on the skate, so you have something to hold onto is a good tip.
Black sea bass are being caught and sold commercially. Recreational sea bass starts May 15th. Hopefully charters and head boats can head out by then. New social distancing protocols might be needed for some outings of large people. I know some head boats are looking at operating with reduced numbers in order to have space.
The public can purchase some fish and lobster at Hookem and Cookem located at the Indian River Marina or check the Delaware Sea Grant website for a list of commercial anglers to contact.
Captain Wes Townsend is now bringing in Lobster, they were delicious. Buying local seafood will take the strain of the grocery stores, keep you in smaller crowds shopping, and support local watermen.
The Cape Henlopen fishing pier bait shop, Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle, is open on the weekends. Call ahead to any shop to see who is open.