Gettin That Christmas Bass


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Matt Adams with migratory 46 inch striped bass caught off the Delaware coast

We may not have a white Christmas, but there will be black and white stripes for some.  The short striped bass action has been great in the back bays, especially around structure like the marinas in the creeks that feed into the inland bays.  Under the lights at night you can catch short bass after short bass, it is a lot of fun and for some of us that is all the action we need. The surf is quiet, but there have been plenty of dogfish and skate to satisfy a line tug.

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Jimmy Young with a 45 inch striped bass caught off the Delaware Coastline

As John at Dan’s Tackle box said yesterday,  “The 2017 Delaware Dogfish run is in full swing.”  There has been the occasional keeper striped bass caught from the surf, but that has been few and far between.  You have to fish at the right time for the surf.  Near the Indian River inlet or beaches south of there after dark or before dawn on an incoming tide is the best time to look.  If you must drown bunker remember you will catch a lot of skates and dogfish.  You can avoid that mess by casting swim shads, plugs, and spoons.  You will not hook up as much, but skates and dogfish do not hit lures that often.  The beach replenishment project at Lewes is not helping the fishing in that area.  The canal, Broadkill River,and canary creek have some killer short bass action.


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Temperatures along the east coast at the NOAA buoys

There are migratory bass schools just off the Delaware Coast from the rips off Cape Amy in the Delaware Bay to the Rehoboth area closer to the Indian River Inlet to Ocean City.   You just have to find a school.  Some boats are hooking up others are leaving with the skunk, only to hear the baitfish, birds, and whales showed up just after they left, and so did the bass.  There are still bass as far up as Montauk, and as far south as Virginia Beach.   The water temperatures are almost the same along the New York to Virginia coastlines.  The bass have no reason to leave the north just yet, there is still plenty of food and optimum water temperatures.  The inland bays are fluctuating between forty one and forty four degrees.


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Joe Yack with a striped bass from the Chesapeake Bay .. Joe says release the big ones!

Some anglers are out ghost hunting but have yet to hook up any tuna.  There have been sightings of schools breaking up the water chasing striped bass for dinner.  Keep in mind of you go ghost hunting you can’t target the striped bass if you are farther out that the EEZ which is three miles.  Getting a tuna to slam a popper is a trick in and of itself, but is an amazing fight.


Sea lice close up off a bass caught off the Delaware coast line. Migratory striped bass schools from the ocean are covered with sea lice. These are not bad for the fish or humans.

Charter and head boats are still doing well on tautog and sea bass.  It is that time of year.  if you wanted a good chance at Bass this weekend from the surf, try Delaware Seashore State Park and lower into Fenwick Island.  The Oceanic Pier and Ocean City Inlet has some decent action and so do the bridges in Ocean City

Fish On!

Rich King

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