Delaware Surf Fishing Report

Fishing is picking up and so is the weather.

(May 26, 2021) … We got robbed by the cloud cover to see the lunar eclipse. That’s okay it is striped bass weather anyway. The fishing slowed down a little as the weather cooled down for some species. Now that we are warming back up it is turning back on. With a new arrival to boot.

usgus survey station, Masseys ditch, water temperature, long neck, delaware surf fishing, inland bays
Masseys Ditch water temperature from the USGS survey station.

Water temperatures dropped during the cool down. That is helping fishing despite dropping the bite a little. We don’t want to warm up too fast. Better to have a wide variety of fish here than just the summer smallies. We have rain off and on for the next five days. My vegetable gardens are going to dig that rain. Going to be windy too, not surprised a bit. The surface temperatures for the Delaware bay are low sixties near Lewes to high sixties farther north up the bay. Surf is in the low sixties. Inland bays are fluctuating about five degrees between tides.

striped bassd, 3rs, delaware seashore state park, rockfish, bunker chunks
43 inch striped bass caught on a top and bottom rig with bloodworms by Callen Gilbert

The croaker have arrived in the surf and the Cape Henlopen Fishing pier in the last few days. Bloodworms have been the best bait but Fishbites is working as well. DS Custom Tackle top and bottom rigs (high low) or the spot rigs for the win. The northern kingfish are hitting more and more too.
With the croaker arriving and the sand perch already here as well as spot. Shouldn’t be long till we see southern kingfish. Sand fleas are abundant for bait in the surf. Northern puffers, spike trout, and burrfish are being caught. The summer fish are here minus pompano, which at this rate of early arrivals, maybe mid June? We will see.

striped bassd, 3rs, delaware seashore state park, rockfish, bunker chunks
striped bass at 3RE’s

Sharks are arriving. Threshers already hitting the scales at Indian River Inlet Marina. Mark Sampson owner at Fish Finder Adventures has been tagging Makos off the coast. The sand tigers are in the surf. Make sure you know the shark fishing rules for Delaware and the surrounding states. People are already dragging sharks up the beach in videos on social media. We aren’t the moral compass for the community we merely give information to educate. Knowing and following the fishing rules, that is the angler’s responsibility. If you have an issue and need enforcement use the DNREC tip app.

Bait getting snagged while fishing

More and more migratory striped bass have been caught in the surf this year. Great to see that action. No matter how random the action might be. One guy was fishing with a top and bottom rig for kingfish and nailed a forty-three inch striped bass. You just never know what you will catch this time of year. Plenty of short bass action along the beaches and inland bays.

weakfish, delaware state fish, cape henlopen fishing pier
Weakfish landed at the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier pier by Tyler Graden

We have a lot more of the state unicorns being caught too. A lot of the big weakfish being caught are loaded with eggs right now. Good to see some monster tide runners. If you can let them go to keep building the numbers up. Lot of spike trout in the surf and area waterways now.

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Flounder action has been picking up more and more. It dropped off a bit during the cool down. For this time of year the action is decent. It isn’t “going off”, but if you put in the time and actually fish you should catch. Jigging with gulp, or using minnows on the drift. Jig the cuts in the surf too. Plenty of flounder along the beaches.

summer flounder, lewes canal, roosevelt inlet, cape henlopen fishing pier
Ethan’s catch of the day at the pier Tuesday.

Black drum fishing is still decent for the boats. It has slowed down in the surf and land based. That is to be expected as they move further into the Delaware Bay to roam the coral beds. Any of the Fishbites crab or clam bait in orange (color) is good to try for bait or add to your arsenal. The sand flea formula is orange and helps mimic sand flea eggs as well. Some surf anglers prefer using orange floats for drum for the same reason.

saltwater fly anglers of delaware, fly fishing, cape henlopen state park
Saltwater Fly Angler of Delaware club member casting out

The Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware club had a meet and fish at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier on Tuesday. The club members were catching croaker and short striped bass from the bay beaches. Always fun to catch fish on the fly.

The charters and head boats are killing it on sea bass. Soon they will go offshore for Tuna etc. That action is slowly starting too.

“There just aren’t that many big fish around anymore, it is very random” Steve said this yesterday, ain’t that the truth. Why?
I give you bluefish for an example. We have a creel now of three fish coastwide. Bluefish action sucks this year. I’m talking the regular normal bluefish spring, and summer action. Not the gator blitz, that is done. This is what happens when we whack all the big breeders (gator blitz). We get less baby fish after the spawns. We have plenty of examples; Weakfish, striped bass (twice), and now bluefish. Porgies used to be the hot Delaware Bay catch fore the head boats then it shifted to croakers. Anglers used to catch porgies in the inland bays near Masseys Ditch. When it was thirty feet deep. When a fishery shifts so does the catching. Just food for thought on keeping and killing too many fish.

summer flounder, lewes canal, roosevelt inlet
Adam Aguado landed his best flounder of the year so far.

Have a great week and weekend.

The water is warming back up and so is the air. The fishing shut down a little bit wiht the cool off buot

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