Delaware Surf Fishing weekend report


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Russell White with his Mahi Mahi caught on the Little Angler

The past few days there has been good and bad fishing.  The other day I took Collins and his father surf fishing.  We caught donuts.  The folks next to us hammered spot for twenty minutes and then that shut down.  For at least a hundred yards on each side of us no one caught a thing all day.  Dave Eastburn and his family showed up in the afternoon, and Vic Minio arrived a little after them.  Dave sent out a sabiki rig, and Vic baited up a top and bottom rig with sandfleas.  The boys and I were using fishbites, cut mullet, mullet on rigs, and live bloodworms.  The only baits that we were seeing action on was the live bloodworms, but nothing was hooked we just fed the fish.  The most action was out front in the form of a lot of dolphins chasing fish like gangbusters.  Which made for some great entertainment, however fish being chased by dolphins tend not to be hungry, and are a tad preoccupied when swimming for their lives.  We saw some cool acrobatics, just like Seaworld, and spent the day chatting on the beach.  Bad day of fishing, but still better than a good day at work.  Vic did have a huge hit, and it was a cownose ray on sandfleas, he fought it for a minute and then it threw the hook.  We all saw huge fish jumping three hundreds yards off shore.  Three to four feet long and jumping completely out of the water.  There are many theories on the identity of these fish.  I have heard cobia, spinner sharks, and tarpon.  The cobia I could easily believe, spinner sharks not so much, and the tarpon … well I have heard form a few reliable charter captains that they have seen tarpon out there in the past.  We are looking to borrow a boat this week, and do a little exploring out front.

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Keeper striped bass slot sizes

The other day Scott, Ray and Russell went fishing with Captain Brian Wazlavek of Delaware Family Fishing on the Little Angler II for a little tuna fishing.  The boys left at 1 am and headed out to the canyons.  The ocean was smooth as glass, and they said there were spinner dolphins following the boat.  They did see a whale the size of a subway car, roughly eighty feet long.  The boys chunked bait and were on the troll, Russell was skipping fish heads like rocks when they were chunking.  He figured may as well have some fun while doing the monotonous task of chunking bait.  They only managed one Mahi Mahi, but had a great day on the ocean.  I was at Roosevelt Inlet when they were headed back.  The guy next to me was catching spot and small oyster crackers.  While we were talking, a ton of baitfish started hitting the surface of the center of the inlet.  I was going to cast a spoon into them to see what might be following, but boats kept plowing through the inlet.  All of the big charter and head boats were headed back from the day’s fishing.  The baitfish started breaking the surface again, and this time you could see they were being chased.  I threw out my spoon, only to see the boys headed back into the inlet at the same time.  I was at the Roosevelt Inlet to take a picture of the Little Angler II coming in for the day.  When I text Scott I was there, he said, “cool we will moon you on the way through”.  Thankfully the moon did not come out, I took some shots, and retrieved my spoon.  Never did figure out what the baitfish were but they may have been mullet, and were definitely being chased by  bluefish.  I loaded up to meet the boats in the Lewes Canal at the marina.

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Clay Harrison with his flounder caught at Indian River Inlet
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The boys were still in the canal when I arrived at Lewes Harbor Marina, so I chatted with Joe, and took some pictures of the catches on the cleaning table.  There were flounder, croaker, spot, sea bass, trigger, and keeper striped bass (slot sizes for the Delaware Bay).  The striped bass bite has been decent the past week in the Delaware bay near the rock walls.  Many resident bass this year are qualifying for the keeper sizes, and I imagine many of these fish will be joining the schools when they migrate south this year during the fall run.  The boys docked the boat, I talked to a few friends down there, and helped them unload.  The only fish was Russell’s Mahi Mahi,but that was better than coming up donuts.  The boys shared their adventure with me, and then I headed back to route 1 to find some food at Delaware Distilling Company.  While I was running around that day a friend was fishing Cape Henlopen pier and said the usual was showing up there.  Croaker, spot, small flounder, and dogfish, but otherwise was a good day on the boards.  Massey’s Landing slowed down the other day as well, it seems the fishing has slowed down everywhere and has been hot in only a few spots.  Crabbing has not been that great this year either. Clamming is good, just wear long pants to avoid the jellyfish stings.  I use old hospital scrubs, they work well and dry fast, jeans are the best for the thick denim, just be careful you don’t get in over your head in currents.  Swimming in jeans or any long pants is not an easy or safe task.  The water temps keep fluctuating from the crazy wet weather we are experiencing.  I try to keep people updated on the DSF Facebook page when large storms cause flash flooding for safer travel conditions and the inevitable traffic jams from summer.  I hope no one minds, I know it tends to fill up your news feeds faster, but people seem to appreciate the effort and information.  Speaking of Facebook if you want to have a good laugh head over to the Delmarva Fishermen Follies page, it is a laugh riot, and send them your best pictures of people doing it wrong out there.

oyster crackers, toadfish, inner wall, outer wall, headboats in Lewes, charter boats, dsf, delaware surffishing
Chris Ennis and his boys did well on the outer wall the other day with Oyster Crackers or toadfish. Notice the triggers in the background too

It has been brought to my attention that I don’t talk enough about techniques and rigs for fishing.  I will remedy that very soon with a tips and techniques section.  It takes a lot of time to run this site, keep up with facebook and other social media, talk to sponsors, office paper work, DSF gear orders, talk with people online and the phone, answer emails, write these reports, collect information and pictures, and all the other tasks that entail running this LLC business, in other words … this is a real job.  Some days I even get to fish a little.  I really appreciate the pictures people are sending to the DSF Facebook page and through email, there is a contact link at the top right of the page.  If anyone has any suggestions on subjects they would like covered, please feel free to send in those as well.  Sometimes I get caught up in the moment of writing reports, and forget details that may help the angler more when out there fishing Delaware’s tidal waters.  For now, use top and bottom rigs in the surf with the suggested baits in the reports, float colors have not seemed to make a difference.  I use top and bottom rigs I make without the floats.  I find that keeping the line tight avoids the crabs on the ocean floor.  Spoons and plugs are a favorite to throw when schools of fish pass the beach, or are boiling the water in the bays.  Personally this is my favorite way to fish.  I like to throw lures, I just like the constant action.  When a lure gets crushed by a fish, that is when you feel the reward of casting constantly.  Many do not like to cast.  I know hardcore surfcasters that spend all day throwing an array of plugs and lures only to come back with one fish.  That is true fishing to me, using your arsenal of gear to mimic the bait the fish are chasing.  Drowning bait is also fishing, but there are obviously different degrees of fishing.  Take fly fishing for instance, that is serious mimicking of bait and patience.  I will cover these subjects more in future reports.   Hope everyone has a good weekend, the traffic is already building up out there.  I recommend finding a nice place to chill and fish.  If traffic is anything like last Saturday moving around Sussex county will be a nightmare.  This is one of the reasons I stay away from the beaches on the weekends.  However, I will be out there this weekend, fishing somewhere.  Be sure to check out our newest sponsor’s eatery … On the Docks Grill located at the Love Creek Bridge Marina on route 24 or the John J Williams Highway.  You can BYOB and eat crabs till your heart’s desire on the weekends with a nice view of the marina.

Fish On!!

Rich King

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