Fourth Of July Weekend Fishing


Fireworks, fourth of july, cape henlopen state park, fishing pier

well as far as I am concerned this is the halfway point for the summer season, fourth of July weekend.  The madness gets a little crazier, and eventually we hit August and then the summer season is over.  It seems a lot more crowded this year, which is good for area businesses.  Summer hibernation is in full effect.  That is when the locals don’t go near the beaches or waterways on weekends until after September first.  We may venture out early in the morning before everyone gets up and moving to get last minute stuff at the stores.  I will hit  a beach at four in the morning and leave by nine just so I can get home relatively easy.  Weekends are for mowing grass, yard work, and entertaining guests with fire pits, and four wheelers.  Early morning and late night fishing happens as well.


yellow fin, tuna, delaware, sussex county,charterboats, indian river marina, delaware,
Mike Eckert’s yellow fin caught aboard the 3 Amigos.

The water temperatures are topping out in the high sixties along the coast, the low sixties in the deeper areas near wrecks.  The Delaware bay is in the high sixties near Lewes and Cape May, and in the upper seventies near Delaware City.  The Inland bays are fluctuating between the mid sixties to mid seventies.  Off shore anglers are looking for that warmer water to find the blue fin tuna.  Yellow fin has been decent action for many boats and tough for others.  Apparently the hot dog to the hambone has looked like a parking lot.  That hasn’t stopped the 3 Amigos from boating some nice sized fifty pound class yellow fins.  Mahi are hitting out there as well just have to find them.  Sharks are always a given and sometimes will feed on your tuna catch on the retrieve.  Many of the charter boats are doing well so book your trip today.


short striped bass, rock fish, delaware, sussex county
Short striped bass at IRI Susan Krepshaw

Short striped bass action at the Indian river inlet at night has been rather good.  Using bucktails, swim shads or bombers.  Sand fleas is a local favorite, you just have to go catch a five gallon bucket full of fleas to have a decent amount of time fishing.  Put a flea or two on a four aught hook, and then toss in a small handful of fleas to get the fish excited, then cast into the free floating fleas.  You don’t need weight on the line just let the fleas weight do the work.  Shad action has been fun on ultra light gear with spec rigs as well.  Lot of oyster crackers and small sea bass along the inside rock wall where everyone is flounder fishing.


blue claw crabs, steamed crabs, delaware, sussex county
Wayne Rickrode Jr. It was a good day for a steam.

Summer flounder action has picked up at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier.  The inland bay action has been okay to fair.  The Lewes canal has had some great action.  Not everyone catches so don’t get disappointed if you aren’t.  In fact if you aren’t catching, move, try a new spot.  Fishing the same spot over and over again with no results is the definition of insanity.  Look for moving water and rips along the banks, look for hard bottom (mussel beds), fishing near crab pots is good structure that holds minnows the flounder will feed upon.  Bay flounder are lazy feeders since the bays are loaded with food.  Also make sure you are not drifting too fast, the slower the better.  Minnows on flounder rigs have been working great, and Chartreuse or white gulp.  Pork rind is  traditional favorite and yes, that means you can use bacon to catch flounder.  Haven’t seen any action on red twizzlers yet this year.


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scuba diving, wreck diving, spear fishing, delaware, sussex county, delaware bay, del jersey reef land
Ronald Newswanger speared a sheepshead on a wreck and this flounder. He said the water was 64 degrees. I haven’t seen as many flounder this year as last but more sheepshead than I ever have.

The smaller fish bite has been good at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier.  Croaker, spot, kingfish, and weakfish or spike trout all on bloodworms, squid, clam or fisbites.  The Delaware Bay is seeing the same action in the wreck and reef sites for the head boats.  Lot of skates, rays and dogfish in the mix for the head boats as well as oyster crackers.  Believe it or not they are good to eat, just a little tough to clean.  Northern puffers are still hitting and we have trigger out there as well.  Clam is the best bait for triggers, also tough to clean but very good to eat.  There have been some decent sized weakfish caught around our waterways.

The surf has been the best action for kingfish on bloodwomrs. There is an abundance of sand fleas in the surf as well. They make great bait on top and bottom rigs use the smaller ones.  Lot of sand perch out there hitting bloods. Skates, rays, dogfish,and sharks.  Stop beaching the sharks!  ninety-nine percent of them are prohibited species you cannot remove form the water.

Crabbing has been excellent around the inland bays.  Despite the reports in the Chesapeake we seem to have an abundance of crabs.  DNREC doesn’t do a survey on blue crabs for the inland bays, but from what we are seeing people are doing well catching crabs.

Spear fishermen are seeing a lot of sheepshead, more so than they ever have on wrecks.  The ocean City Inlet and Indian River inlet are producing some decent sheepshead catches.  Use sand fleas for bait.

Have a safe and happy holiday, slow it down you will get there.  I hate seeing bad accidents on a holiday weekend, or anytime for that matter.

Fish On!

Rich King

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