Delaware Surf Fishing Report
We are coming out of a heatwave. Extreme heat is no fun, even at the coolest times in the outdoors.
The pool is a bathtub, it only feels good when the heat index is 105. The surf is warmer and the bays are heating up. It is that time of year. But the fishing is still pretty good and anglers are having a great time filling the coolers. Some have resorted to sitting in their coolers. Morning and nighttime fishing is the best right now to avoid the heat. Catching is occurring all day though.
Bloodworms are still a little up in price but stores are managing to stay stocked pretty well. If a place gets them make sure they are looking good. Pick out your own I always say. It is easy to keep them alive for a week or so in the fridge. Just keep turning the bag. Sometimes it is good idea to wash them and the algae (seaweed) with them and rebag. Also throw away the “seaweed” when you are done do not throw it into the water. By the way seaweed is a generic term like sea gull. Seaweed is a macro algae, not a plant or weed.
Fishbites bloodworms are a great alternative. As are many of the other flavors or formulas. That new fish gum has not impressed many of the surf or pier anglers we have testing it. Lot of work for little results compared to Fishbites
The surf fishing action has been on fire most days for spot and croaker. Water temperatures jumping up are not helping. The southern beaches have slightly cooler water than Cape. Check the water temperatures before you head out, there are several sites for that information in real time.
Kingfish are in the mix with some sand perch. Pompano made an appearance recently but that has been slow this year. With this warm up we might see them in larger numbers soon, or hardly at all. Hard to call the tropical fish catches.
Bloodworms, fishbites, cut bait, and sand fleas have been the best baits. DS Custom tackle top and bottom rigs, spot, rigs or kingfish rigs have been hooking up better than the typical cheaper mass produced cheap Chinese name brand gear. “We use quality hooks for making our gear that is the key for catching fish, the hook.” .. David Okonewski owner of DS Custom Tackle.
The usual suspects are also present in the surf, skates rays, and sharks. Bluefish are moving up and down the beaches in schools following the bunker schools or mixed in with them. Mullet rigs are the best for the bluefish and fresh mullet are available in a few shops, Icehouse Bait and Tackle for one. The DS Custom Tackle modified mullet rig will catch more fish and use less bait, thanks to the bait holder hook.
Cast netting mullet is easy this time of year once they move into the shallows of the Delaware and Inland bays. Look for them in the tidal creeks and canals.
A spoon or sting silver at the ready for any bluefish schools swimming by is always recommended. There are still Spanish mackerel i the surf, check the bunker schools swimming by. The video of the bunker schools the other day is wild to watch.
Delaware Bay beaches are seeing a mixed bag of spot, croaker, flounder, weakfish, skates, rays and sharks. The farther north you go the spot and croaker dominate.
The offshore action has been great for yellow fin tuna. Boats are limiting out and then finishing the day off with mahi on the way back to the docks. Marlin and swords are being caught. A few sharks in the mix. Getting out has been relatively easy with better weather days. The White Marlin Open scales will not be open for public viewing, instead you will have to watch that action online.
The inshore fishing is still hot for flounder and sea bass. Trigger are now in the mix with the usual blues and weakfish. Gulp is the preferred bait for flounder. That is another product that has been in short supply. Strips of pork rind on a jig head work nicely. Minnows will produce or frozen silversides. Mummichugs don’t live long in saltwater but still work offshore.
Hoping to see trigger closer to shore at the inlets and Cape Henlopen fishing pier. A few were spotted picking food off the pylons at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier last week. Never know what kind of tropical fish will show up this time of year. August is always exciting with the odd catches.
Small black drum (puppy drum) and sheepshead are being caught at the Indian River and Ocean City inlets. Keeper sized drum, not just the summer little ones. Good eating size. Sand fleas have been the preferred baits. Some spade fish are around as well inshore and offshore.
The inlets, Indian River and Ocean City are producing a mixed bag of catches. Using sand fleas for bait will produce a variety of catches. Casting spoons will catch shad, spanish mackerel, and bluefish. The fun part of fishing inlets is you never know what you will catch or see. Jigging for flounder along the rock walls in the shallower spots like Bubble Gum beach (northside) and near the condos (southside) will produce.
The inland bays are producing croaker, spot, puffers, flounder, and bluefish. Fishing the mussel beds is a great place to find fish around the inland bays. Deeper water or moving water is helpful this time of year
Short striped bass on the rips and along grass banks on the outgoing tide. The occasional keeper striped bass at night at the Indian River inlet. In the evenings if the water is glassy you can see large schools of fish feeding along the surface.
Water temperatures are fluctuating around the inland bays. Climbing as high as eighty-eight degrees a few days ago dropping to seventy seven at high tide. The fluctuation is six to eight degrees between tides. The surf is a balmy seventy-nine degrees.
Indian River Inlet Tides …