The Fall Run … Coming Soon to a Beach Near You?


striped bass, atlantic city, one stop bait and tackle, faall run, spring run, rockfish, rock the rocks, fresh bunker
Striped bass caught in Atlantic City from the surf … photo by One Stop Bait and Tackle

So when are the big bass going to arrive?  I think I hear that question ten times a day.  My answer is always, when they get here and then all you can do is smile.  Honestly to call exactly when the fall run will arrive in Delaware is hard, only the fish know.  So you have to watch other sites for reports, and talk to friends up and down the coast.  In the past few days striped bass have been showing up in large numbers in New Jersey.  Last weekend some nice fish were weighed in at a local shop in Atlantic City, One Stop Bait and Tackle.    Today this fifty inch, forty four pound behemoth was weighed in and caught in the surf on Fresh bunker.  So with that being said, when will we see the fall run bass hit Delaware?  They will get here when they get here.  It is safe to say the fall run has begun and as you know it comes in waves.  The first wave seems to have hit Atlantic City already.  Farther north in New Jersey bass are showing up in the surf and offshore.  The fact we have some but not a lot of bait fish along our shoreline and the mullet run was for naught this year is going to be a factor.  We will have to see how close these bass come to shore this year to feed.  Normally the fall run does not heat up until mid November, some will tell you after the first full moon is the optimum time and that has always been a good rule of thumb.  This year we may see everything start a little earlier, since the water temperatures have been dropping dramatically.  Every year after the first waves of fish show up the fishing does get better and better that is a given.  This weekend we have a storm that will roll through like a nor’easter especially in the Northeast, hopefully that will push fish in our direction, and drop the water temperatures even more.  Be careful what you wish for, the faster those temperatures drop the faster the fish will swim south.  Last year we were seeing striped bass here into January.

How long will the striped bass run and stay in Delaware?  We will have to wait and see.  We do have a lot of fish schooling up the past several weeks in the inland bays and Delaware bay.  The route 50 bridge, Isle of wight bay, and oceanic pier have seen some nice action as well.  The Lewes canal has produced some decent fish.  After or during the weekend it would be safe to say looking for fall run bass in Delaware will be a safe bet, but it will not be the full brunt of the run, so the numbers will be low and you will have to put in some time.  Gear up from our sponsor Diamond State Tackle with their striped bass rigs.  Remember as much as we all love to catch these big bass, let the big girls go to spawn again and again.  The ASMFC is meeting today about striped bass, and we will know at the end of the day what is decided.  So far it has been an interesting conference to listen to online.


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Jeff Weaver with a beer can bluefish

The fishing in the surf has been decent for the past few days.  Over the weekend we had a lot of wind and stirred up waters.  The water yesterday out in front of the Indian river inlet was a nice green color with visibility easily to four feet.  Jeff and I did a little fishing and caught some beer can sized bluefish on small jig heads and deadly dicks.  We saw a lot of tautog come off the wall, and watched three boats try to sit on top of the old bridge pylons and fish.  One guy caught a small flounder and it looked like he was fighting Moby Dick  They caught a few but it was crazy watching them avoid each other.  Perch are heavy in Seaford in the Nanticoke river at the riverwalk, kayak ramp, ad bulkheads, they are also in many of the creeks and rivers in our area.  Skates, dogs, and rays galore is the “norm” still in the surf.  A lot of shad and shorty striped bass are at the Indian river inlet.  The surf has seen a lot of small bluefish on mullet and spotted hake or ling on cut bait and bloodworms.  Clam will be a good bait to try at this point as well, fishbites are not going to work as well with the low water temperatures.  The sea bass fishing has been good when the boats can get out to them.  Big bluefish are showing up farther offshore too, which is another good indication the larger bass are arriving, they tend to follow the bigger blues.  Triggers, sheepshead, and flounder are still being caught by tautog anglers.  Even a few large black drum have made an appearance hitting green crabs and sand fleas.  Hope everyone has a good weekend and we will see you in the surf.

Fish On!!

Rich King

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