Delaware Surf Fishing Report

Delaware Surf Fishing Report for November 8th, 2019

Brrrrrrrr cold enough for ya today? It is a little brutal in that wind, but the fish don’t care. There are fish to be caught you just got to put in some time. It will warm up after the weekend and maybe we will see some snow next week too, or not, that depends on who you are following. It’s going to be a little nasty Monday into Tuesday.

Water Temperatures are definitely down with this cold and that is perfect for fall fishing. Surface water temperatures are much different than bottom temperatures for the bay and ocean. Off the coast Buoy 44009 is reading sixty-two degrees, even with today’s temperatures with a wind chill of thirty-two degrees. The surf is around fifty-eight degrees from New Jersey to Ocean City Maryland. The Delaware Bay is averaging fifty-five degrees up to fifty-eight. The bottom temperatures are around fifty-six degrees, last time the scuba divers went down a few days ago. Masseys ditch has been dropping steadily by about a degree and a half per day over the past seven days. Inland bay water temperatures are fluctuating a couple degrees between tides. Good striped bass temperatures and the catches show that fact.

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Masseys Ditch temperatures as of November 8th, 2019

Striped bass fishing for the resident short bass has really kicked up a notch this week. You just have to find the fish. Looking around rips on structure for the inland bays and the islands is a good start. Structure is a given, but look to rips off sand bars. Something the inland bays are full of right now. Fish the back bay creeks, such as Love Creek and Herring creek along the mud banks. Indian River Inlet is a given, as is the Ocean City Inlet, Oceanic Pier, and the bridges.

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Short striped bass Jimmy Young picked up looking for that elusive 28.1 inch keeper

Surf fishing will produce some nice short striped bass and one bait option that is overlooked for surf fishing is green crabs. Put half a green crab on a surf rig with or without a fish finder. It may seem odd, but it is a food source up north all summer. I have seen some big striped bass taken on green crabs while surf fishing. Bunker chunks are the given for a go to, and the heads are favored more by large bass.
Swim shads, bucktails, and plugs are doing well, white is the color of choice. Tying up a teaser ahead of your lure will help with hook ups and give you a double down on occasion. Teasers trigger food competition. Two ounce bucktails (red/white) tied in tandem like a speck rig will work well too. Use darker colors at night, the ever popular purple bomber.

The water is much clearer now that the algae and bacteria has died off or down. Not to mention less boat traffic. Short bass are averaging twenty-two inches, but there are keepers in the mix just over twenty-eight inches on average, up to thirty inches. Many of those bass will be joining the fall migratory schools at some point. The Atlantic migrations schools are all still in northern Jersey. The Raritan bay anglers up there are killing it.

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Kevin Caudall caught this speckled trout in the surf on Fishbites bloodworms

Speaking of speck rigs, there are an awful lot of speckled trout running the Lewes canal, Canary creek, Broadkill River, and around the inland bays. They are mixed in with some of the striped bass schools or vice versa. Hitting white swim baits and soft plastics. Paddle tails are working well, just about anything with white, mimicking mullet or sand eels. Pink zooms usually work wonders on trout as well. Speckled trout are even hitting bait while surf fishing for some anglers out there putting in the time.

Another visitor has shown up, the red drum are in town. The slot sized redfish are usually in decent numbers around the inland bays and surf this time of year. They will hit lures, but tend to be easier to hook up with mullet chunks or sand fleas, even fishbites. Shrimp is also a good bait of choice for redfish. You can try for some bull reds at Assateague Island, but I prefer the slot sized for the table, blackened, with red beans and rice.

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Matt Adams caught and released this red drum or redfish near the surf in Delaware Seashore State Park. Caught on a white swim shad.

Surf fishing has been quiet aside from the short striped bass with the occasional keeper, small puppy drum (black), kingfish, bluefish, and of course dogfish and skates. You have to put in some time and move with the fish when you find them, they are feeding and following the tide. Good thing it is cold, there is hardly anyone on the beaches, except surf anglers. Fishbites is still working and the red packaged formulas work better in this cold. Sand fleas can be dug up, but that isn’t going to last much longer.

Charter boats have been doing well on seabass and tautog. Flounder are out there, but mostly everyone is going for seabass. There are still the occasional triggers hitting. Tautog at the Indian River inlet has been decent for keepers among a myriad of shorts. Jigging for them is easier than hook, line, and sinker.

Have a great weekend. It is going to be cold out there in the mornings and evenings. Night time fishing has been producing really well especially near lights. big bass don’t like bright light but will sit in the darker areas and slam bait fish. Creepin’ while your sleepin’ fishing is on the menu for this week. Helly Hansen gear for the win to stay warm.

Fish On!
Rich King

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