Delaware Surf Fishing Report June 16, 2022 Windy Weekend
Kingfish action has been on fire surf fishing
Migratory fish and summer fish all in the same waters. Makes for fun spring fishing. Mostly because you never know what you will catch, along with what you are targeting. The kingfish bite in the surf has been fantastic. I hit six spots in three hours and caught over forty kings Wednesday morning. Didn’t matter where I fished the action didn’t change, and it was really overcast. The next morning was clear weather, the action was a little slower but still great. Fishbites Sand Flea formula worked the best, casting to the “fish highway”, the other route 1. Catching tacos for days.
I save all the fish carcasses for the crab pots or gardens, mostly the gardens for fertilizer. The fresh kingfish heads make great bait for red drum and big dogfish. There has been some red drum action at Assateague last week, haven’t seen much since.
The surf has been decent action for most anglers. Just have to actually fish and put in some time. We don’t always catch, that is part of the surf fishing game. The weekday surf fishing is much better than the weekends. I saw zero vehicles on Wednesday from five to nine in the morning. The two trucks on Thursday were a maintenance vehicle to refuel the bulldozer working the dune sand at the north beach. The other was a ranger vehicle or park staff. That maintenance truck loaded with fuel and side mount tool boxes was really heavy. They drove all the way down coin beach to the Charles W Cullen bridge with zero issues. In seriously loose semi wet sand. Air down and you can drive almost anything on the beach.
Spot. croaker, sand perch, northern puffers, and weakfish are also in the surf. Top and Bottom rigs with Fishbites, bloodworms, or sand fleas have been the best baits. Bloodworms have been tough to get but are available. Once the bloodworms are gone, it is a week until shops see anymore. Stock up on the different Fishbite formulas; Bloodworm, Shrimp, Sand Flea, Clam, and Crab. Bloodworm comes in quarter and three eight inch wide strips. All of these formulas work here and there are color varieties of each formula. I like the electric chicken crab. Shrimp make great bait too, you should salt the shrimp so it stays on a hook better.
Small pieces of squid or cut bait works well but attracts more of your scavengers, such as skates, juvenile sharks, and dogfish. Which will wreak havoc on your lighter rigs, tearing up the line and parts.
The bluefish action has been random for the gator blues, anglers are catching more of the smaller snappers. Mullet has been the bait of choice and modified mullet rigs to save on bait usage.
Spanish mackerel are starting to show up, that is some fun action. Use metals and reel faster than normal. Silver stingers or deadly dicks work very well. spoons won’t because they will “propeller” with a fast retrieve.
Migratory striped bass action is still occurring, but that will drop off to nothing soon. The short striped bass action will continue all year. Looking forward to striped bass summer slot season in July.
The flounder action has been picking up more and more offshore. The buoy areas, wrecks and reef sites have decent flounder. Jigging for flounder in the surf is producing and the cape henlopen fishing pier is seeing the usual action. The water along the beaches is very clear blue-green, especially south of Rehoboth beach. You can see fish in waves occasionally, a picture I keep trying to catch. The flounder are in close feeding on fleas. Put a large flea on a 2/0 flounder hook with a fish finder and short cast it along the “ledge” behind the last breaking wave. A single drop flounder or fluke rig is a good set up to use. You have to hold onto that rod to feel the bottom and reset your line constantly. It is like jigging, but you’re using bait instead and letting the water do the work.
Black drum are still hitting in the surf and the coral beds around the Delaware Bay. They are still being caught south of us in Chincoteague. Clam is the best bait for boat fishing, sand fleas with sand flea fishbites works well surf fishing. The clam will work surf fishing, but casting clam is tough. It has to be tied on with the stretch string. Which is like tying snotty Jello to a stick. The clam will attract striped bass in the surf too and many a scavenger. It is easier to use clam in the boats because you are just dropping the bait, not casting. Not to mention the obvious, clam and crab is what the drum are out there eating. Peeler crab works great too if you can find it, usually Bucks at Assateague is loaded with peeler crabs. Icehouse has them on occasion as well.
The incoming weather for the weekend from this front is a lot of wind and bigger waves. Nice days, plenty of sunshine, but a lot of wind with big gusts. Won’t need the Damn Fly Meter so that is one bonus. Will not be a good Saturday to go out front on a boat, there will be a small craft advisory according to the NOAA Marine Forecast. The crowded weekend beaches are a good time to check out walk on surf fishing locations that are less crowded, due to parking limits. If an area only has X amount of parking you can be assured the crowd will be less. Be a good thing for the drive on beaches too, but that keeps falling on deaf ears. It’s funny, but with limited vehicle access the surf anglers could actually fish. Delaware is actually losing more surf anglers than she is gaining. Due to the summer weekend madness.
Speaking of parking, look for the last high tide wrack line at the beach. The lunar tides were higher this week and these waves will push in more water. Park above that wrack line or you could be surrounded by water real quick. Some of the cut up beach areas that are lower are flooding at high tide. The big swales are still there, don’t park in them this weekend. High tide is around and after noon this weekend, low tide during the early evening.
Sharks are here and several species have been caught or seen. Know your shark fishing rules for Delaware. If you can’t Identify the shark, release it immediately. It is pretty much a given you have to release any shark caught from the surf in Delaware. Most of the the sharks caught land based fishing are the prohibited species; sand bar, dusky and sand tiger. The Delaware Bay area is their pupping grounds, so they are very common catches. You don’t need to kayak baits to catch a shark, we have caught some big sand tigers, just casting out a whole bunker. The big fish come close to shore in the evening and at night, hunting.
The water temperatures are bouncing around nicely. This year’s spring weather has really helped keep the water temperatures lower. Even after a heat wave we get a nice cool down. That is helping the fishing along the coast and around the bays. My gardens are loving this weather. Masseys ditch hasn’t gone over seventy-six degrees all week and hit a sixty-six degree low Monday and Tuesday.
Good luck this weekend.