Leaves are falling and trees are turning colors. The driveway is under a blanket of fresh leaves, and it is the perfect time to rake them up, but as usual I will blow that off and go fishing instead. Then after a good three or four rains and the leaves have all packed together, I will cuss them and myself for waiting that long. This happens every year, sound familiar? Yup fall is definitely here when the leaves gather on the ground, blow across the yards, and fill in those hard to reach places on the front porch. The fish are moving around more and they do not have to care for leaves and such. Mostly they only care about when they are leaving with the fall migration, which has yet to even begin so don’t get excited just yet. Short striped bass with keepers in the mix are schooling up and down the East coast getting ready to run. There have been a fair amount of resident fish caught in the inland bays, indian river inlet, roosevelt inlet, Lewes canal, Broadkill river, basically they are everywhere. Pick a place and there are striped bass schooling up and feeding. In the surf, mostly on the incoming tide and the same for the inlets. If you are fishing the inland bays and canals look for the grass lines and fish them when the water is receding during the outgoing tide. Bait fish swimming out of the grasses make easy meals and the fish tear into them. Fish the grass lines and mud banks with small Tsunami swim shads and white bucktails in the two ounce range. If you find a school do not drive the boat right over them, keep your distance and cast towards them, you will hook up left and right until your arm is jello. The video we shared is from Dennis Schirmer … 16-18″ striped basss… in tidal water at the confluence of the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay. That is a pretty sight to see, lots of fish schooling up and getting ready to go, but some will stay and become residents. We have our own resident bass in Delaware that have been caught recently in the forty inch range. Yes, I know where, no, I am not telling. You need a boat, and you have to go find them. Live eels have been working well and live spot for the bigger fish as far as baits. Surf clam will be the bait of choice in the surf, as well as bunker. Right now if you chunk bunker you will see more skates and sharks than striped bass in the surf.
Bluefish are still around and depending on what you get into they are either the small snippers that destroy your bait on mullet rigs, or they are in the pound to pound and a half range. The big blues are still up north, but that will change soon enough. There are a lot of kingfish out there, real bloodworms, fishbites, squid, or clam is working well for them on top and bottom rigs. A stargazer was caught in the surf the other day on sand fleas. We still have a lot of fleas in the surf, you just have to dig for them. Tautog are still hot for sand fleas and green crabs. If you can find white leg crabs, tog will tear them up like a kid for candy at Halloween. Finding them is the tough part around here you have to catch them. Black Sea Bass opens Saturday (Oct 18), 12.5 inches (excluding caudal filament), and 15 per day is the creel limit, this season lasts until December 31st. Croaker, trigger, puffers, sheepshead, blues are on the sites, wrecks and walls the tautog are hanging around. Flounder are just about over, you will find a few stragglers, but no where near the action we have seen as of late. The water will be rough this weekend, and we are going to see a massive drop in the air temperatures on Sunday. So expect rough seas this weekend, and be careful on the surf at high tide in case it is higher than normal. Nothing like getting swamped on the beach. The video below is a great example of what to look for in a rip current. Fish the heavy cuts and rips this weekend for better luck finding fish and be careful, this was a couple of weeks ago and the cuts are not as exaggerated, but they are out there.
I dropped by Bowers Beach today on my way back from Dover. The water was calm, it was quiet, and relaxing. It is such a peaceful place in the fall, hardly anyone is around. I saw a guy catch a small dogfish and I caught a short striped bass on a two ounce deadly dick. The tide was coming in and the Murderkill river had a steady but easy current. Bowers always reminds me of the fishing towns or villages you see in the movies, I don’t know why it just does. It has that “feel” and is definitely a place I could live forever. After I left there I dropped by Broadkill Beach, and saw an old friend. We fished a favorite spot for a bit and didn’t have much luck. The flies were the only things biting and they were a tad ruthless. Broadkill beach at high tide was just a strip of beach. The dunes are washed out for the most part and it is just in rough shape. It has taken a beating ever since hurricane Sandy. What replenishment has been done since Sandy is long gone. The beaches in the southern ocean towns and parks are a bit carved up from the recent heavy waves and that will continue until Sunday. Monday is supposed to be nice and that is how it always seems to work out. Beautiful conditions all week and then it looks like a washing machine on the weekend. Look for rip currents and heavy cuts to fish this Saturday and Sunday in the surf. Monday we are taking the boat out, because there is simply no way on this earth the boys will get me in a boat this weekend. Hope everyone has a nice few days, and we will see you in the surf. This report was brought to you by Diamond State Tackle our newest sponsor and gear supplier. I have been product testing a lot of rigs and some of the boys are on deck to help me with that, and they just found that out.