Delaware Surf Fishing Report

Delaware Fishing report for May 6th 2021

When did summer get here?  My pseudo beach grass looks like the burnt yards of August, dry as a bone. Until those spring storms rocked us and the garden growth explodes.  Hopefully a cool down is incoming soon.  But the good news, that heat up cranked up some fishing.  Just as we hoped. 

     The short striped bass action has been on fire in some usual spots.  As well as up and down all the Delaware and Maryland beaches.  Southside Indian River Inlet is still a hot spot, but there are plenty of other places with more room, and fish. “Dude I got tired of hammering shorts in a crowd and started concentrating on flounder”
The big keeper migratory bass are still up near Port Penn, Augustine beach area.  Boaters are doing well landing keeper and out of (above) the slot limits for striped bass.  All hitting on fresh cut bunker.  If you need an exact location go see “Kingy” at Port Penn Bait and Tackle, and get that daily fresh bunker.  A few keepers have been caught along the beaches and the Indian River Inlet.  

stripd bass, delaware surf fishing,
Mike Sassano caught this nice short striped bass from the surf on bunker chunks

   Social media has been fun with the early catches.  You always get location questions etc.  This week’s is my favorite.  The folks on the group page for Delaware Surf Fishing love to have fun.  This exchange was hilarious and all for fun.  
  David D’Ignoti (jokingly asks) …. “What bait did you use? What time was this? What weight did you throw? What beach is this? What shirt were you wearing? What shoes did you have on? Where exactly were you standing? “
Mike Sassano (epic response) … ” The one on the end of my line. Daytime. A heavy one. One with sand. I was naked. None. And I was standing in the sun.”
We probably have too much fun on that page.  I wanted to know how Mike was holding his face when he cast.  That is key information.  

  Northern puffer catches in the surf are picking up.  Once that really picks up they will be around the inland bays spawning.  They are showing up at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier.  Still the occasional northern kingfish.  Water is still chilly but warming up.  Even saw a summer ray caught in the surf, which is early. 
The pier is seeing some decent flounder action.  Check out the boys in the Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle shop there for the daily reports.  Clamming at dead low tide is good there and the crabbing is picking up.  
Flounder is picking up all over Delaware and Maryland won’t be long now for more action.

flounder, cape henlopen fishing pir, delaware surf fishing, lighthouse view bait and tackle
Tyler Graden nailing flounder at Cape Henlopen fishing pier … photo Lighthouse view bait and tackle

Tautog action is picking up for some anglers on bay reef structure or the walls and haystacks (breakers).  The inlets are mostly throwbacks.

Shad are running the bays, beaches and Delaware river.

Crabbing is great around the inland bays and just getting better.  Especially with the lack of thousands of crab pots out there.  Summer will change that.

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  Catfish action has been off the hook for many anglers targeting the bigger cats.  I like using old bunker for catfish.  It really stinks. Many will just use the fish in the area as cut bait too.  Make sure you are using a legal fish to cut up.  Just sayin. 

White perch still a hot catch for dinner.  

Snakehead action has been great on top water now.  Once you find a nice spot for snakeheads might want to keep that to yourself.  The place will get mugged real quick.  Sadly most anglers who catch snakeheads release now.  They like the action.
The bucket biologists don’t understand the detriment of these invasive species.   I bury them in the garden for fertilizer.  The fish not the bucket biologists.  Though that might help too.

    Black drum action along the beaches has been okay. Not like years past, but fish are being landed.  The boats are starting to see more action on the coral beds.  Clams for the boats and sand fleas on shore.  Using orange floats or adding some orange Fishbites sand flea, clam or crab will help.  The orange mimics the sand flea’s orange egg color on their underside.
  DS Custom Tackle has a great drum rig or their surf rigs.  The surf rigs also have the legal circle hooks you need for targeting striped bass in Delaware and the entire east coast.  Pretty sure one of the few, if not only striped bass legal rigs in shops right now.  Every other company is backed up trying to “retool” their rigs.
  Available at:
Captain Bones Fishing and Hunting (Odessa)
Treading Water Bait and Tackle  (Milford)
Dan’s Tackle Box (Milton)
Broadkill Store  (Broadkill Beach)
Icehouse bait and tackle (Lewes)
Fenwick Tackle  (Fenwick)

Bluefish, let’s talk about why they aren’t here.  Easy answer.  The gators aren’t coming like the past few years.  If they were you wouldn’t see the small fish action we are starting to see here.  Not to mention the crazy small fish action south of us.  When the big blues hit the surf there wasn’t a single small fish you could catch.  That is very telling of whether the big blues are here.  There have been a few caught and that is the typical spring action we have seen for decades before the great bluefish invasion a few years ago.  Anglers keep asking and we keep telling them this and they just say okay I’ll check in next week.  Brother, you need to just go fishing.  It is the only way you have any chance of catching one.  It is one report you cannot chase.

Thar be whales. 
Several whale spotted this week just off the beaches by surf anglers.  Really cool to see when you are surf fishing or just toes in sand chilling. 

This is a cut on a Delaware Bay beach at the Cape Henlopen Fishing pier. Great example of how they work and look. This is a miniature version of what you see on ocean beaches.

  Surf casting for bass or any other fish.
  Learning to read a beach first is key.  Then you want to cast along the shoreline at about a thirty degree angle.  Most people who tell you surf casting doesn’t work in Delaware, don’t know what they are doing.  The fish are in close most of the time, unless you are on structure (jetties, storm drains).  Then you cast along the structure, but that is obvious.  The best way to surf cast is park the truck (parking lot) and start walking a stretch of beach.  Cast across a couple cuts at that angle.  This works better on weekdays, when the beaches aren’t packed like weekends.  You need some space.  Which the drive on beaches on weekends already are now, just packed. Is it July already?
  I do this on crowded fishing beaches, but you have to know how to fish under set lines. 
 Town beaches are great to walk and surf cast.  Just check their rules.  When the lifeguards are off duty that is when we throw.  Poor folks, they don’t even get the words out they are done, or off the stand, and we are throwing lures.  This time of year no one is swimming anyway.  If you walk far enough you will find stretches of beach empty.  Because no one wants to walk that far. 

Fishing action is changing daily, hot one day, not the next.  It is still spring and some fish are early.  It gets everyone excited and increases the crowds a bit. 

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