Fishing the rough surf for blues


mahi, black sea bass, hotdog, wreck fishing,
David Lecates …. Sea bass caught on top of a wreck bout 30 miles out and the mahi trolling near the hotdog

The past few days the surf has been a bit angry, bust mostly on the southern beaches.  We fished 3Rs yesterday the froth in the surf looked like a double latte with cheese.  The waves were heavy and came in fast.  We still managed to catch bluefish despite the conditions.  Casting was a chore with small metals so I upgraded to my surf rod and a four ounce deadly dick.  That was still hard to cast in the surf and the retrieve was sketchy at best with the fast current.  The tide was incoming in the late morning, we did best on mullet rigs and top and bottom rigs with cut mullet for little blue fish.  They have been either real small or in the fourteen inch range.  Not bad for eating size but still a tad too small.  It was still a great day in the surf.  We decided to head to the point in Cape Henlopen after fighting the wind and waves.   We dropped by the inlet and it was was rough with lots of birds working the end of the north wall.  We could cast just about to the fish from the south wall, but no one was catching.  After a little while we decided to pack that in and head north to the point.  before we left we watched several people pull in monster sized croaker on the inside of the bridge area.  Croaker are huge this year and a lot of fun to catch.  many people like to eat them and these larger ones make for some great meals.  Bloodworms and squid are the best baits for the croaker.  Blue fish have been in the surf on all of the beaches, you just have to wait for them to show up and they will produce for a couple of hours, the incoming tide at the beginning of the tide change seems to be the best time.   Mullet have been the best baits for blues and I have been doing well with metals and spoons.  The fish at the point were hitting my lures on the bayside just before the drop off in the surf.   They were hitting the mullet rigs forty feet or so from the beach.  The point was like a calm lake and compared to the southern beaches it was like night and day.   The heavy Northeast winds have made for some rough surf and heavy waves.  You should expect to see that wind shift to the southeast by Saturday and the waves will be three to five feet with about a seven second delay.  Holding bottom will require heavy weights.  We were doing okay in the same seas with six ounces on Wednesday.


blue crabs, augustine beach, delaware river, salem I,
Nick Chieffo crabs from the upper Delaware river area (Augustine Beach area)

Boating will be better farther up the Delaware bay.  Out front in the ocean it will be a rough ride.  The back side of the outer and inner walls will be decent places to get out of the wind and heavy waves.  Lewes canal should be good for fishing and drifting for flounder and croaker.  You will probably find some short striped bass to small keepers in the canal as well as some weakfish.   Keeper striped bass are being caught in the Indian River bay on live eels.  When yo run into a school of them just stay on the edge of the school so as not to spook them and the fishing should be decent.  You can try some swim shads as well, however the live eels will catch much better and you will feed more fish than you catch.  I know of a few forty inch fish have been caught and released in the bay.   The keepers are ranging from twenty eight to thirty one inches.  There are a lot of shorts in these schools as well.  The fish seem to be schooling up add getting ready for the fall run.  With the water temperatures steadily dropping that is probably triggering them to get excited for the fall run.   Several live squid are showing up in the inlet and the bass go crazy for them.  However finding live squid is a chore to say the least.  Sand fleas are a great bait to use on the walls of the inlet.  You will need a bucket full to fish like this, toss in a handful of fleas and then follow that with one on a hook.  Think of it like feeding pigeons and the bass will hit the hooked flea.  Sheepshead and small puppy drum are showing up at the rock walls but the best places have been the inner and outer walls with a few triggers here and there.


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bluefish, deadly dick, the point,cape henlopen state park
Bluefish at the point

Flounder are still the hot ticket and are all over the wreck and reef sites, walls, canals and inland bays.  The surf will produce and it is best to jig for them or use sand fleas just behind the first breaking wave.  Minnows are the best baits, but croaker strips and bluefish strips are working well.  Jig heads with chartreuse gulp work for the surf and the Henlopen pier.  Look for fish closer to the pylons at the pier.  Spot are heavy at the pier at times with croaker.  The spot are also huge this year, and are a great bait as well.  Also known as striper candy.   With the falling temperatures in the bays the crabbing is sure to slow down.   The inland bays temperatures have been steadily dropping all week but have leveled off a bit around seventy two degrees at the peak off the day.  The bays are warmer at low tide and cooler at high tides.   The cooler nights have been a nice change of pace and are getting everyone excited for the coming fall fishing.  We are just hoping the temperatures do not just steady plummet and chase all of the fish away.  We are in the transition of summer to fall fishing which always makes for a variety of catches.

The off shore bite is still seeing released marlins, mahi, and black sea bass have been decent out there.  Don’t forget black sea bass season has been extended until the twenty first of September.  Hopefully the next few days will see some decent catching.   Everyone have a great weekend and we will see you in the sand box.

Fish On!!

Rich King


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