Delaware Surf Fishing Report

(April 23, 2020) … At least we can still fish, hike, hunt, and walk the trails and some beaches. That is about all we can do in the outdoors and frankly it is one of the safest activities. Delaware is one of the few states allowing fishing, so be grateful not hateful. The surf fishing restrictions are still in effect, and we are lucky we got that access as well. We too wish you could walk on and fish the ocean beaches and bay beaches.
Shopping is a little scary right now. People need to get into the outdoors more, instead of going outdoors to shop indoors. The stay at home order doesn’t prevent you from getting some air and exercise. Going to the store will not fix your boredom get outside and get some air.
Who else is getting five days to the gallon on gas?

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Autumn Tkachuk caught this northern pufferfish on clam with a top and bottom rig

Commercial anglers are catching fish, catching crabs when the weather permits. Lobsters will be up soon and sea bass. The public can connect with the commercial anglers through Delaware Sea Grants’ website. They are helping the commercial anglers supply a necessary market right now, the local market. I’m looking forward to lobster with my bluefish, while staying at home. Lobster season opens in a week and I am looking forward to some local seafood. You not only can shop local, but you can eat local and support the watermen in your area.

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Ted Proseus catching bass just short of keeper size at the Indian River Inlet

There have been a few bluefish caught or so says the rumor mill. Sizes change daily and are upwards of thirty inches to snappers. This happened a few days ago along the surf on the ocean beaches and at the Indian River Inlet, I heard tell.
It is about that time for the yellow eyed devils to make an appearance, if they stick to the same timing from the last few years. By the time you read this I hope to be deep into bluefish. The new creel limits are three fish per angler, and five fish on for hire boats. Charters and head boats are still not allowed out until this order is lifted May 15th or sooner.
Want my prediction? Summer is going to be short for a lot of people. Delaware can’t just hit the switch and let the state fill up exponentially with people. On the flip side if we don’t open up some things soon they will not exist anymore. It s double edged sword at the moment.

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Ian Murphy caught this drum lat week on a Delaware Bay beach

Despite the stay at home restrictions, anglers can fish and are catching. The dinner plates and freezers are filling up with white perch. Great fish for the table. Ten dollars of bloodworms can fill the table for a month.
We have a new kid on the block to fill the freezers. The “chicken of the sea” has arrived. Northern puffers are being caught in the surf. Fishbites bloodworm formula (the red package), clam, and squid have been the baits of choice Shrimp will work well, right from the grocery store. Great fish to eat, fun to catch. They run in schools so where there is one there are more.

Short striped bass action has been decent at the Indian river inlet, inland bays and canals. The rivers and creeks have decent action mostly at bridges and on rips. The migratory bass action on the upper Delaware bay has been good with bunker chunks. Lot of fish going back in the water due to size. Some are making the dinner table. You need bunker chunks and a boat. Fishing from land has been productive, in the areas you are allowed to fish from land. There has been the occasional keeper in the surf.

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Dave Furio caught this drum in the surf last week on an ocean beach.

Black drum are being caught but it is slow and the ocean beaches are the best action. Clams for bait, sand fleas or crab. It is random action not like all of a sudden here comes a huge school of drum, that usually happens in May.

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Trout fishing in the rivers has been hit or miss. No one knows the stocking schedules but when a stocking truck is spotted it makes the social media rounds. DNREC wants to keep the crowds down so they are not announcing the stocking schedule. Good call on their part.
Stephan Talabisco … “Went to a new location today a little creek that runs into the Brandywine. Again there were plenty of fish. But they weren’t biting. Story of my life. My main mission was to get my daughter to land a trout. We spent three hours or so with a few bites. Finally Ruby hooked up a nice trout. She also landed a creek chub and a sunny”

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Ruby Talabisco with a trout for the dinner table from Brandywine creek.

Crabbing has been excellent around the inland bays, canals and creeks. Clamming has been decent too, but the water is cold. You will need waders, and walking n form usual areas is now allowed get the boat.

The inland bays water temperatures have been nearing the mid fifties on the warmer days. Dropping to the lower fifties on the flood tide. The beaches and Delaware bay are averaging in the low fifties. We need a few day warm up with little wind.

The Damn Fly Meter (DFM) is going to come into play soon. Look for it on Delaware Surf Fishing, the app is hosted on the website.

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Cody Croswell shot the lyrid meteor shower the other night and caught a few. Not an easy task.

Flounder fishing is slow but fish are being caught. Not a lot of boats going out right now. The Coast Guard Indian River Station is placing the buoys around the inland bay channels and other waterways this week. A list of way points will be announced on the USCG Light List Volume 2.

It is difficult times for a lot of people. Check on your neighbors. Never know when someone could use some help, or just some conversation. Social distancing is easy when you stay outdoors. We have friends infected with covid 19, we drop food and supplies off on their porches and talk through the storm doors. It is tough on everyone.

Besides the fact we can fish, this is an amazing time to finish all of those rainy day projects, because brother it is pouring.
If you need a project to occupy your time that is easy. I have been working on those projects shelved years ago. Like that old piece of wood you saved for something, now is the time to find that something. Either get those projects done, repurpose the components, or it goes to the trash. Trash, and the firepit have been filling up and I finally used those pieces of wood I have held onto since 2004. They were for that shelf I never made.
I have also been learning more photography and other fun stuff. The lyrid meteor shower is active and peaked the other night.
Cody Croswell set out a Go Pro 5 to catch some shooting stars. Also while trying to learn to shot the stars. It has been an education trying all these techniques. He manged a couple meteors and a killer shot of the milky way … with a Go Pro. Because why not. Looking forward to learning more with all this free time.

Fish On!
Rich King

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