Kayak Fishing The Pier

kayak fishing, cape henlopen fishing pier, lewes, delaware, sussex county, the flats, flounder, weakfish
Jason Schuster in the yak with a weakfish … photo by Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle

Any day fishing is a good day in my book. I get excited every time, waking up early, getting all my gear ready. My name is Jason Schuster and I grew up and still live in Newark, Delaware. I’ve been fishing, crabbing, and hunting all my life. The plan for today was to head down to the Cape Henlopen fishing pier and meet up with my buddy Gage. I made good time and got there around seven in the morning. It was going to be a hot one, ninety-six degrees with a ten mile per hour southwest wind. Fishing with a kayak means you have to pay very close attention to the weather, it’s no joke out there.


summer flounder, delaware, sussex county, cape henlopen fishing pier, ewes, the flats, gulp, jigging for flatties
Jason Schuster’s keeper summer flounder.

Any time I go on a fishing trip I like to set goals for myself, like catching certain species or limits. Today was no exception. I wanted a keeper Flounder, triggerfish, and maybe a weakfish. Fishing with a kayak means you have to be prepared and keep things as simple as you can. I bring three rods, all rigged up for specific species or types of fishing. Today I had my triggerfish/baitfish rod, a six-foot six-inch rod with a 3000 size reel. Just a top and bottom rig with very small hooks on dropper loops. My Flounder rod, a seven-foot Cabelas fish eagle (very good rod for the money) paired with a Penn Clash 4000, with thirty pound leader.  I have a teaser rig, bucktail and a gulp swimming mullet on the bottom and the teaser was just a gulp shrimp on a bait holder hook. Also my back up rod was another six foot six inch Abu Garcia rod paired with a 4000 Penn fierce. That rod had a thirty pound leader with a jig head and a pink soft plastic.

cooler full of fish,  weakfish,flounder, spot, trigger
The day’s haul between Gage and Jason .. spot, trigger, flounder, and weakfish
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So I launch from the beach and paddle out to the old pilings. The wind was blowing about fifteen to twenty miles per hour and it was pretty rough. Always add five to ten miles per hour to the wind forecast when you’re going to be heading to the water. The tide was coming in hard and was ripping making jigging for flounder and paddling tough. Gage caught a triggerfish off the end of the pier, so I ended tying my kayak to a post and dropping some squid down. I could not get my triggerfish! Tiny Black Sea bass we’re everywhere and some little pigfish as well. Since I have my kayak secure I can cast out my teaser rig and jig for flounder. A couple of casts and boom I’m on, it’s a Weakfish! He hit the gulp shrimp teaser and was fifteen inches. I was excited to get one of my targeted fish, I wanted to get a clean release but he was hooked so badly he just went into the box. The wind finally died down and I was able to kayak around the old pilings and jig but could not get my flounder! I did hook into a large Eagle Ray, that was a fun fight but I broke off a bucktail on him. By now it’s almost one hundred degrees. Wearing the right clothes is essential to protect yourself from the sun. I wear long sleeve Huk shirts and the Cabelas guidewear pants, and a fishing hat. Pretty much keep the exposed skin to a minimum. I would have been burnt to a crisp with out them!

weakfish, weakie, trout, summer flounder, kayak fishing, delaware, sussex county,
Weakfish and summer flounder heading to the dinner table

The heat wore me down, so after eating lunch and getting more fluids in me I decided to throw the kayak on top of my Jeep. I was going to walk out to the end of the pier and fish with Gage for about an hour before I called it a day. I only brought two rods, my triggerfish rod and my Flounder rod. I switched to a single bucktail rig. It was a three-quarter ounce chartreuse bucktail tipped with a chartreuse gulp swimming mullet. Put some squid on my trigger rod and dropped it down on a piling and stuck it in the fence. I dropped my bucktail straight down off the pier and was vertically jigging in one spot. Within five minutes I was hooked into a large flounder, Gage was able to drop the net down as I prayed the flattie didn’t shake the hook.   I nervously dragged him into the net and we got him! A nineteen inch flounder from the pier! I guess my kayak was allergic to flounder today. I hooked another short Flounder that popped off a couple casts later, and then the bite died as the tide ran out. I was happy with my sea-trout and Flounder so I called it a day, I was beat. Until the next fishing trip when I wake up excited all over again!

Jason Schuster

bubba blade, delaware, sussex county, filet knife, lewes, summer flounder
Bubba blade gets the job done clean and fast.

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