Fishing was tough this weekend
Well the weekend was a bust for the surf, literally if you tried swimming. The Ocean City, MD lifeguards had to perform over 200 rescues, and Delaware beaches saw their fair share of rescues. At one point lifeguards were not allowing people to swim on the walk on beaches in all of the towns and parks. That didn’t stop many people on the drive on beaches, and we saw many people get pummeled by waves. Swim at your own risk took on a whole new meaning. Never turn your back on heavy waves, you can get swept at the knees and knocked over real fast. I saw many people swimming in rip currents with no clue they were in a rip current, they were just having fun enjoying the fast ride on their rafts. This is one reason why swimming on a fishing beach is not a smart thing to do, but we have heard that argument a million times.
Granted they are multi use beaches, but if you are going to swim in the conditions we had this weekend, you are taking a serious risk. We watched one guy take a paddle board out to the shoals in front of naval crossing. Once he got out there he seemed to realize just how bad an idea that was and when he made it back to the beach, he was a half mile north of his starting point. He also wasn’t wearing a PFD (life jacket), if you are going to choose the way you go, that is certainly one way to do it. The surf wasn’t a bust for some folks fishing.
The rough waves from storm surges and winds always stir up the bottom and you never know what you are going to catch or see wash up on a beach. Kevin Baldwin got into a surf rod blitz, he caught not one, but two surf rods near Faithful Steward crossing. Jeff Biden managed a nice pair of swim goggles, A.J. Jacobs caught a nice beach chair, but the win goes to Barbara Zebrook. “Big catch of the day at Cape Henlopen just now a pair of mens’ underwear. I will say thats a first. If your missing them we are still here, feel free to come claim them LOL.” Just goes to show you never know what is going to show up in the surf.
Holding bottom was possible with six ounces where we were fishing, but in some areas eight ounces wouldn’t even hold. The cuts were so big that sand was burying your weights and gear. The beaches are smoothing out somewhat, but there is still a steep rise to the surf. Eventually the waves will smooth it out, but in the mean time it will collect in pools and make parking an issue in some areas. You will have to park above the pools and walk through them to get to the surf’s edge, do not drive in those pools, some of them have very loose sand. You will sink over your knees just walking through them, I can’t imagine how far a vehicle will sink.
Fishing has been decent for boaters and slow from the surf. The Indian River Inlet has seen a lot of bluefish and flounder action. The blues have been decent sized and larger ones caught at night. There is a ridiculous amount of bait fish along the walls. Anglers are competing with an abundant amount of food, try to match the bait fish. Flounder action is still hot offshore and decent inshore and the inland bays. Minnows, squid strips and gulp have been the best baits. Yes, even the last report of Twizzlers are still working, most likely due to the color and possibly some scent, because who doesn’t like strawberry Twizzlers. There have been some bluefish in the surf and caught when the water is calmer. Croaker are all over the place and as far up as Port Penn area. Seems the larger croaker are in the rivers, streams, and canals such as the Saint Jones River that flows into the Delaware Bay. Smaller croaker are in the bays, inlets, and ocean, which is odd, usually it is the other way around.
The odd summer catches such as lizard fish, gag groupers and snowy groupers are showing up south (Assateague) of us and north of us in New Jersey. I have seen shrimp bigger than mullet showing up in cast nets in Jersey. We are seeing a large amount of gulf stream fish showing up, you never know what you are going to catch. We do not have any creel limits on grouper in Delaware, and most of these are too small to eat,but you might get lucky and hook into a large enough specimen. We have a Delaware fish Identification page on the website to help you ID some of these species and if we need to add more just let us know. It is always interesting to see what kind of bizarre Gulf Stream tropical fish that make it to our waters. Angels, butterflys, lookdowns, just to name a few and all kinds of crazy colorful fish. I have yet to see any pictures of pompano, but I have heard of a few showing up in the surf.
Crabbing has been getting better and better. The inland bays are chock full of crabs you just have to find a good spot and when you do they are hard not to catch. Lil Hoopes has been tearing up the crabs in the back bays near his house from the pier. He caught half a bushel by himself in less than 2 hours the other day. That kid is going to be eating crabs for a while the rest of the summer. I am going to have to drop by and get him to show me a thing or two. I have not done a lot of crabbing this year and it is time to get elbow deep into some steamed crabs. J. Schmidt caught a nice three pound lobster while fishing on the Judy V during the blue moon, that is a great catch and actually more common than people think. We have a lot of lobster in our waters. Tune in tonight to the Delmarva Angler from 7 to 9 PM.