The seas have calmed down and the water is clearing up rather fast. The beaches are still flat in most areas but the sand bars and troughs will be reshaped. Every incoming wave adds a little help. And the waves never stop coming. I have been working days and fishing in the evening as long as we get off early enough. Waiting for the end of the day is a bonus. Walking the beaches or hitting the rocks and rails is a treat. Sore feet from climbing ladders all day and walking roofs, the pain goes away with a quick trip tot he water’s edge. Wet a line smell, the brine in the air, and the screams of the gulls. I saw an osprey today in the back bays, fishing a pond. Reminded me we don’t have long till they all migrate to the south. Winter is coming but the fishing is just starting back up for the better. Many anglers wait all year for the season’s change. I get fifty messages a day, “When will the bass be here?” I answer them all the same, “when they arrive”. The hunter’s moon is up in the sky now and it will not be long. This is the full moon most of the old salts wait for, then they start to get excited for large striped bass. I wouldn’t even waste time trying to “call” a time frame for arrival. Besides if they get here too fast they will leave just as fast. Then we will all be waiting for the spring run!
Striped bass and big bluefish are not the only fish out there this time of year. Ling cod will be thick this winter if all goes well, and there is nothing like freezing your laurels off on a beach in 20 mph winds and cold water spray from waves, surf fishing. Tautog are in thick and the catches have been very nice. The wrecks out front are producing well for the Lewes Charter boats. I watched over thirty anglers today hammer tautog at Indian River Inlet. They (the fish) are just getting warmed up, Massey’s Landing has produced some nice keepers. Green crabs and sand fleas are working well for baits, and it is not too cold for tautog. Their arrival which was roughly two weeks ago is all a few of my angling buddies would talk about. (Me) “Fishing has been good” … (them) “yeah, but it will be better when the tog arrive, that is all I am waiting for.” The same can be said for some striped bass anglers. I have been tossing metals (Deadly Dicks/green/2 ounce) for bluefish and shorty striped bass. We do have a large resident population of rockfish. A few nice shorties were caught recently in the surf at Delaware Seashore State Park. Spot are still out there and big as ever. Have not seen many croaker in the past few days. Puppy drum are still here and there. Cut mullet and bunker have been the choice cut baits, no you don’t need to scale the baits when chunking, the fish is already cut into pieces. In fact that makes it more difficult to keep your chunk bait on a hook, the scales help hold the bait on the hook. I would try some bluefish if you can get a bait sized one to use. Summer flounder are still around, and last year were being caught up and until just after Christmas. The waters just need a little more time to calm down. Birds have been working the Indian River Inlet hard on the incoming tides in the evenings. Some decent blues have been caught at IRI and small snippers in the surf. In short the storm hit us hard, but the area waters will recover and produce more fish soon. Many were hoping the storm would blow in fish. There has to be fish out there to blow in, that is the only catch. (pun intended) The beach combing has been excellent for shells and sea glass. I found a rivet from the old bridge tonight as well as a lot of concrete chunks and asphalt on the south beach near IRI, just not enough too make a driveway or patio. Might explain why some surfers call it re-bar beach. Be careful those concrete chunks were large, and could take out a toe. Have fun this weekend and we will see you in the surf.