Fishing Is Fun And Productive Despite The Weather

You aren’t going to catch from the couch, put down the computer, get outside, and enjoy the winter fishing action.

Warm to cold, Sprinter for the win. The beaches are deserted, it is wonderful to be out there and all alone. Skates and dogfish for the most part, but still a day at the beach.
The weekend weather is looking a lot like last week, mild temperatures in the fifties. The water temperatures are a little lower than last weekend, but the fish are still biting. The water temps in some areas went up dramatically with the mid week warm up. The surf zone at the beaches and Delaware Bay are in the low forties. Check the Coastal Water Temperatures from NOAA buoys for real time updates. The offshore buoy station 44009 is indicating warmer water than closer to shore in the upper forties.

masseys ditch, water temperatures, long neck, delaware, sussex county, inland bays, rehboth bay, indian river bay, assawoman bay
Massey’s Ditch Temperatures this past week

Short striped bass are hitting flies during the day in the deeper water. Swim shads at night in the shallower water around the Indian River Inlet. The rips around the inland bays are producing, but that is a chilly boat ride. The Massey’s Ditch dredge project is still underway, be careful in a boat with that floating spoils pipe. That is now scheduled to last until February 24th.

delaware, sussex county, tidal creeks, grass shrimp
Grass Shrimp scooped up at low tide in a tidal creek in February.

White perch is the catch off choice from Delaware Bay beaches up and down the coast into the rivers and creeks. Bloodworms have been the preferred bait. Icehouse bait and tackle … “We are selling them as fast as we get them.”
Grass shrimp make great bait, just have to catch a bunch with a fine mesh net. You can set a minnow trap too and pick up enough for fishing. At low tide in tidal creeks grass shrimp are easy to spot and catch. Look around the rocks at Massey’s ditch and the inland bay beaches of Pot Nets. Scrape the bulkheads in marinas and around bridge pylons.

White perch, delaware bay, canary creek, broadkill river, tidal sloughs, sussex county, delaware, winter fishing
White perch

Yellow perch action is starting to pick up finally. Small jigs under a bobber, mepps or spinners will work well for the “neds”. The pond hopping has been fun all winter with these mild temperatures. People are catching you just have to put in the time. That for most of us is the fun part of fishing. Just being outside and enjoying the day, catching is a bonus.

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Gannets have been spotted a couple of times around the Indian River Inlet. Only way to tell if there are fish to catch under the birds is try to catch one. Bunker have been seen around the inland bays in small schools. No the migration has not stated yet don’t get excited, but the short resident bass have the feed bags on.

northern gannet, bunker, indian river inlet
I finally get the perfect northern gannet drop in shot in January 2020

We didn’t get any frozen over water this year. Which makes for better fishing, but enticing a pickerel to try and nail a spoon through the ice is funny to watch. Even cooler when they bust through the ice and nail that spoon. Good news on no ice for the trout ponds, a few years back they froze over and that season had to be delayed.

Winter seasonal clamming is still decent if you have waders or hit an area at the really low tides. Still going to get a little wet. Check the clamming maps for the closed and open areas for this time of year. Clams casino is a favorite dish, or you can just steam them up with lots of butter.

DNREC, 2019 Delaware Fishing Guide, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, new castle county, kent county, sussex county, creel limits, regulations, state fishing records, clamming maps
2019 Delaware Fishing Guide clamming maps

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