Located in Sussex county just off route 1, is Slaughter Beach, a small Delaware Bay beach community founded in 1681 and incorporated in 1931. It was once the place for Milford residents to summer. At one point back in the day there was a boardwalk, hotels, and a dance hall. Once Rehoboth beach became more popular to visit, Slaughter beach turned into a sleepy fishing community. Today it has a small population of year round residents and a much larger summer population. There is a public beach access area with a parking lot and overflow parking lot near the public park. A small bath house is near the public access, and it is open during the summer season. Carry in and carry out is the main rule for the public, leave nothing behind. There is also a small pavilion behind the bathhouse that is great for small picnics and some shade.
The town was named Slaughter beach, and there is an on going debate about the origin of the name, it depends who you ask. Some say it was the last name of William Slaughter, a local postmaster who lived at the beach in the mid 1800s. Others say it was from a massacre of Indians, that occurred on the beach, but this legend is also attributed to the Murderkill river’s name at Bowers Beach. Slaughter neck is near by and old maps show a Slaughter creek to the south just above Prime Hook Beach. One theory is when the horse shoe crabs come to spawn thousands die from getting stuck on their backs, dying from exposure, or eaten by the foxes and raccoons,the after math is a lot of dead crabs, a slaughter. There are many theories about the name. Despite some of the more gruesome ones, Slaughter Beach is a nice quiet Delaware Bay beach community. Surrounded by some great places to visit and there is a state boat ramp nearby to the north. Great access to the Delaware Bay.
You can’t drive onto Slaughter Beach to surf fish, but you can walk on. Just be mindful of swimmers. The fishing there is pretty decent. In the spring the big black drum that come into the Delaware Bay can be caught off Slaughter using surf clams for bait. There are “coral” beds not far offshore from the beach. That structure helps bring fish in closer to shore. Just north of Slaughter Beach is the Mispillion river outlet and the Cedar Creek marina area. Those jetties hold a lot of life and fishing around them is good as well. Lot of flounder have been caught near the jetties. The beach produces some flounder as well using jigs, minnows, or bait. Otherwise the fishing is the typical Delaware Bay fish; croaker, puppy drum (black), bluefish, striped bass, spot, white perch, dogfish, skates, rays and of course sharks. Migratory bass will come close to the beach and even move into the Mispillion river and ceder creek areas during the spring run to spawn. During the fall run the short striped bass schools are all over the beach area and the river outlets. Catfish can be caught closer to the rivers,the water near the beach is much saltier this far south. Low tide exposes a lot of beach.
Boaters can use the state boat ramp at cedar creek for access to the Delaware bay. The Dupont Nature Center is also located above Slaughter beach near the Cedar creek marina. That is a great place to take the kids to learn about the Delaware Bay and surrounding estuaries. Slaughter Beach is a nice quiet little place to visit. There are also visitor accesses at the end of some of the roads. Just be respectful of the fact you are visiting a quiet community.