The Broadkill beach replenishment is rolling 24/7 and is surreal looking. If you are unfamiliar with that area, the beach is small and close to what little dune bases are left from storms. The new beach is literally a seventeen feet or so tall and a thirty foot wide berm in front of the houses and old dunes, and then gradually slopes out almost a hundred feet to the water. The machinery is working day and night to get this project finished. All of the sand is from the slurry from the dredge project in the Delaware Bay channel five miles away. The crews are pumping sand that far and moving it around with huge machines set up to work in soft wet sand. Needless to say these earth-movers need not air down. The birds are certainly enjoying the new sand looking for food, and there is a line of small chunks of coal on the beach just above the project. most likely this is from the bottom of the Delaware Bay since I didn’t see any in other places on the beach. I imagine this beach will turn into a beachcomber and metal detector enthusiasts playground for a years to come. So far fishing does not seem to be effected by the replenishment, but you can see in the first fifteen yards of the surf the fine silt and sands are clouding the water. Such is the nature of sand replenishment. We will see how that plays out in the future, in the mean time it is pretty cool to watch the work in progress, regardless of your feelings towards beach replenishment. I do know the homeowners of Braodkill Beach are excited to not only have a large beach for them to use, but also protection from storm surges.
We had a marsh fire the other day between savages ditch and Old Inlet Bait and Tackle on route 1. I was headed to the beach to fish, when I get a phone call and a dozen messages at one time. “what is on fire across the bay?” and “Dude you need to get to route 1 area, the marsh is on fire”. So much for fishing now, and I headed down route 1. I stopped at Old Inlet and ran to the back parking lot to look across the marsh. The dumpster steps made a nice viewing area. Justin Redefer from iDewey was there and Clark Evans came out of the shop. “I was on my way here, firetrucks are passing me down route 1, then I pull into the parking lot and see a lot of smoke. The fire was moving fast and headed this way, so everyone moved their vehicles to the opposite side of the parking lot just in case we had to get out of here fast. It looked like it could hit the shop if it got out of control. We just stocked for the season, that would not be good timing.” Clark Evans.
The volunteer firefighter crews did a great job controlling the fire and back burning to control the spread. Kudos to the crews, marsh fires can be tricky, they can burn under the brush and grasses and pop up anywhere. The wind was clipping fast and steady making it a bit tougher to control. I have no idea what caused the fire, and it made it out to the edge of route 1 a some point. Needless to say we are glad this did not happen during the holiday weekend. Traffic was bad enough on the day after Memorial day weekend, it would have been harder for crews to get there on the weekend. On my way down they were having a tough time getting southbound on route 1, traffic was rather clogged, but it was good to see that people are moving out-of-the-way more these days for emergency vehicles. They have a tough enough job as it is and getting through traffic should be the least of their worries.
Fishing is still hot at the inlet on the mid part of the incoming tides for bluefish. Action is slowing down but they are still here, not sure for how long. The Oceanic Pier in Ocean City is reporting a lot of smaller bluefish, some burr fish, striped bass, and flounder. The smaller blues are the normal snapper blues we see in the summer time. So we will probably see decent bluefish all summer long, but that remains to be seen. Bunker chunks and mullet are the best cut baits, but squid has worked too. Spoons and plugs are a given and my preferred method, I just love the hit from a slammer on a spoon. The surf was hot in many places this weekend for bluefish. That action is random and not very predictable. My best advice is find a place you like to fish or looks good for a cut, and fish. Striped bass action is still good at night on the rocks at Indian River Inlet and random in the surf, but happening. Clams are the preferred bait for the striped bass but cut bait will work. Spoons, plugs, and bucktails will produce so long as they are there to bite it, but same goes for the bait. Timing is everything in fishing, you have to be there. Cownose rays are here and the dogfish are getting huge. Lots of little dogs out there as well. Skates are a given as well as the rest of the rays. Only thing we have yet to see are large sand tiger sharks. I won’t mention the huge shark that popped up in the surf the other day most likely chasing bluefish, and it was definitely not a sand tiger.
Croakers are showing up in Broadkill River and beach, more so in the river and bluefish are still in the Broadkill River. Fishbites, live bloodworms, and squid are good baits for croaker, Port Penn Bait and Tackle is reporting croakers as far up as that area in the Delaware Bay. Augustine beach has seen some decent action as well as Woodland beach in the nearby tidal creeks and sloughs. Catfish are thick in all of these areas as well as some white perch still. C&D canal is seeing its fair share of fish. Flounder pounders are picking up some fish in the Lewes Canal, Indian River Bay and Masseys Ditch. Jigging a bucktail with a white worm for them in the surf produced a few for Drew Stuchlik as reported by Lewes Harbor Marina. I look for flounder in the surf between the first and second waves usually feeding on sand fleas and whatever else gets stirred up by the waves. That is the best place to find them in the surf and jigging works well. Drew also picked up a nice keeper stripped bass walking the beach and jigging the surf today. Good to see the beach producing some nice fish. There are still puffers out there in numbers too, Fishbites, squid, bloodworms and small clam pieces or cut bait works well on top and bottom rigs for all these smaller fish. Kingfish are getting more abundant, seems the bluefish left some of the smaller fish for us to catch.
Black Drum action is getting better and better, the charters and boats are doing well out there at night int he Delaware Bay. The surf has been random for them on the incoming tide on the Delaware Bay beaches as far up as Slaughter Beach. Check out our Business Directory for Charter Services and a Bait Shop near you. I have been seeing a lot of people fishing the Lewes canal form the floating town docks due to a lack of a pier this year. You could always check out the Oceanic Pier in Ocean City. Looking like a decent weekend is headed our way, we do have some rain in the forecast but this is Delaware so that could change in fifteen minutes from now. It is getting hotter out there, but the water is still rather cool. Crabbing is decent if you can find them, look to the shallows. The offshore action is heating up for yellow fin tuna and deep dropping for tile fish. Black Seabass is still hot with cod and pollack in the mix. I wrote a fishing story for the Cape Gazette Beach Paper this week, check it out, you might like it. Have a great weekend!