Gator blues have invaded Delaware
You always hear about that one time your friends caught an epic blitz or run of fish. You know how it goes, you miss the trip and then your phone rings or you hear about it later. Luckily today I got there in time to witness the bluefish hammering lines left and right. I am also kicking myself for not getting up earlier, but such is life at times. Alex, Randy, and Jim were on the beach today at Broadkill and they were just hammering bluefish. Not just the normal average bluefish, but nine to eleven pound bluefish one after another. The fish would come in, the lines would blow up, and then it would happen all over again for about two hours. The boys lost more fish than they landed and they landed eighteen. Bunker chunks of fresh and frozen were working equally well, as was whole frozen mullet on rigs or just hooked through the eye on Gamakatsu 7/0 hooks. Now before you go running off to that same beach. While this show was happening, A sixteen pounder was caught at the Cape Henlopen flats near the old pier as well as many others.
Tim was on Herring point beach blowing up blues, and Tom was on Naval Crossing in Cape Henlopen State Park doing the same on two ounce hopkins lures and bunker was working up there as well. The fish were moving with the incoming tide and apparently all over the place. If that isn’t enough to get you excited, they are also up and down the ocean beaches as well from Gordon’s Pond to Fenwick Island. Rehoboth and Indian River bay have so much bunker in them you could walk across the bay. Scott said he saw an area half the size of a football field surface from being chased. Would not surprise me to see those blues around the inland bays as well. Now the real question is where are the big striped bass that usually follow and mingle with these monster bluefish schools? No one saw any striped bass action today, and no one cared either. For Delaware surf anglers this was a dream day of catching. I am hoping plugs and spoons work tomorrow, I want to see a ten pounder crush my plugs.
How long will these fish be here is the next question. They are as far up as Port Mahon in the Delaware Bay and today guys in Jersey at LBI were catching bluefish. So how long is a good question, I am fishing all week until they stop biting. Except Saturday I have to help a friend move, well, unless I can talk him into maybe blowing that off and go fishing. Sunday is our beach clean up at Conquest Beach in Delaware Seashore State Park at 9 a.m. We will be fishing that area early that morning so come on out and then at 9 am we clean the beaches, unless the fish are biting. Kidding! No … no I am not. The free rigs for each beach clean up participant will be top and bottom rigs I will talk to Diamond State Tackle and ask if we can change that up to bluefish rigs, me thinks we may need them. If you are boat fishing, look for rips in the Delaware Bay and fast water or find schools of bunker and fish below them. The wind will be ridiculous on Thursday but we are going to try again. Today was nice until about 2 p.m. then it was just too much to take anymore and we bailed. I hate wind.
If you are looking for action besides bluefish, drum are showing up and a nice behemoth was caught near Port Mahon on clam. We did have some trout or weakfish in the area, but as soon as the bluefish showed up rumor has it the trout headed north into the Delaware River and Upper Bay area. Basically trying to out run the freight trains with razor teeth, would be a good assumption. The blues that were cleaned today were full of bunker. Yes several were kept, I catch and release most of the time, but I like a good bluefish meal. I have seen a lot more released fish (especially striped bass) this season than last and that is great.
For those that are complaining that people should let all of these fish go, the creel limit on bluefish is 10 fish per day. Bluefish are not in as much trouble as their counterparts the striped bass, and better eating in my opinion. We tried to start up a organization to work on changing creel limits, hardly anyone wanted to help, funny that the same people that didn’t want to help then, are complaining now. Oh well, it is what it is, if you want to keep a fish great, keep responsibly, there is no reason to keep too many fish or even the full creel limit if you know you aren’t gong to consume that much fish. As far as striped bass, I personally think they are one of the least flavorful fish out there, chefs love them because you can make it taste like anything. If I am going to keep one, it will be just legal size, and only one for the year, that is my personal preference. Anglers are free to make their own choices. Back to fishing … Clam would be good to use for the drum, but I don’t know if any (drum) are around with these blues everywhere, but you never know. Only way to know is get out there and fish, ain’t gonna happen from the couch. Have a great rest of the week, I am not going to be able to sleep tonight, today was like Christmas. Check out the Business Directory bait shop section for a shop near you, we also are adding charter boats this week. The shops on there are loading up with bunker and clam for the upcoming weekend. I think they heard about some bluefish in the area. Now get out there and go fish a catch!