Good Fishing On a Warm Weekend
The fishing over the weekend was great for many anglers. Bait hasn’t been too much of an issue, you can either catch minnows or buy them at some local shops. Grass shrimp is a go to bait this time of year, but you have to catch them in tidal creeks. Another good spot to look is in canals and boat basins around the inland bays. When the tide moves out of the grass beds you can find them along the banks and on bulkheads. Scraping a bulkhead with a fine mesh net will catch enough grass shrimp for an afternoon of perch and crappie fishing. If you get lucky or know where to go, you will find an area with thousands of them and a few scoops will fill a bucket.
The warmer air temperatures over the weekend allowed a lot of people to get out and about fishing. Yellow perch have moved into Delaware’s tidal creeks and rivers; Broadkill, Nanticoke, and Broad creek saw decent action over the weekend. Grass shrimp were the best producing baits, but night crawlers and minnows caught their fair share of fish. Some anglers tie up small flies with soft plastics to catch neds. If you can throw back the ones full of eggs so they can spawn and produce more yellow perch that would be a good idea. The water temperatures are perfect for the yellow perch to spawn right now. These warmer temperatures are allowing the water to warm up especially in the shallow areas with dark mud bottoms. Bass and pickerel action has been really good the last few days. Especially in the smaller ponds around the shallows. A slow retrieve is a must for winter bass fishing, and they are readily hitting flies, so are the pickerel. Giving the wizards of the long wands a lot of fun action.
The schooling striped bass are also feeding and more active. Especially in the tidal creeks up north in Delaware and the upper Chesapeake bay. Anglers are hitting two at a time on top and bottom rigs. Grass shrimp and minnows are working well, but if you can find some bloodworms you’ll have much better luck. White perch are hitting the same baits. The crappie action has really picked up, once you get into a school the action is non stop.
Offshore actin for tautog has been great for the boats that are getting out. This time of year they are landing a lot of the bigger taug on the offshore wreck and reef sites. it is a long trip,but worth the reward. Jigging for tautog is catching on more in Delaware, and anglers are having a good time pulling blackfish from the depths. It is a little different from fishing with rigs, but the results are the same and just as rewarding if not more. You can get tautog jigs from the Lead Pot in Dagsboro. The Indian River Inlet and Ocean City inlets have small tautog and bergals if you want to do some land based taug fishing. You might hook into a short striped bass here and there. The birds have been working the water at the north rock pile,but nothing has been caught under them. Minnows are around the back bay areas in the shallows on the warm sunny days.
One marine creature that did a lot of entertaining this weekend were the seals, anglers are n’t the only ones fishing. Many were seen off the point playing int he water and feeding. There are a lot of them on the inner and outer walls as well as the haystacks. I haven’t seen any at Masseys Landing yet, but the grass on the far bank is matted down rather heavily so they could be dropping by from time to time, especially on a sunny afternoon at low tide. That harbor seal is still hanging around Courseys pond in Milford. We did see one at the Oceanic Pier on Sunday when Brian Asher was diving. There was a seal hanging out on the beach in Ocean City near the pier on Sunday, the Baltimore Aquarium folks and DNR kept people away. They will pull up onto a beach to rest and relax or avoid predators which is one reason to leave them alone. If they are running from a predator or stressed, they need that rest. This one had a large red dye spot on its head where it had been tagged. The Chesapeake Bay bridge tunnel rock piles are covered in seals. Jet Ski Brian is constantly seeing them and whales in the Chesapeake bay.