Keep Calm and Fish On


bluefish, colin herlihy, backwoods crew, delmarva, delaware, sussex county, indian river
Colin Herlihy with a nice set of blues at the Indian River Inlet
matt adams, open aperture ideas, weakfish, spike trout
Matt Adams with the first fish he has ever caught in the surf a spike trout or weakfish … he is hooked

If you haven’t heard, seen or been there, the Indian River inlet has been on fire for bluefish on the incoming tide.  It is crowded down there but for the most part you can find space to fish.  It is rather obvious the hot spots when you get there and the fish are on both sides.  the other day it was so thick with blues you could have walked across the school to the other side.  Bucktails, big spoons, metals, plugs, and just about anything will work for lures.  Use a steel leader.  I saw a lot of light gear and line the other day lose a lot of fish.  The blues are showing up on the beaches near the inlet before the tide turns running the surf for food.  That is random but if you are there when it happens you will hook into one.  The Cape is still seeing them in the Harbor of Safe Refuge, the back areas of the rehoboth bay have been on fire in many areas.   There are not a lot of or any birds working these schools.  The fact a friend of mine cleaned a blue and found a sea-gull in its gullet could explain that one.  I would equate it to flying into a sharknado, you’re gonna get bit or eaten.  These blues have been here in full force in random places for roughly three weeks.  No clue when they will leave, but Masseys Landing is hitting seventy degrees at low tide.  I don’t imagine they will remain in the inland bays or Broadkill river much longer.  The thing no one has considered and are just starting to talk about is … What will be left to catch once they leave?  You have to figure they are eating everything they can find in the back bays, to the surf, and up the Delaware Bay.  The ones tailing in the back bay areas have to be eating crabs and flounder in only twelve inches of water.  These fish have not been here in these numbers, or sizes this close to shore in over twenty years or more, some say upwards of forty years, that depends on who you ask.  You also have to wonder why are they in so close and for so long, isn’t there any food offshore where they normally run?   Honestly I hope they leave soon and leave something to catch behind.  Don’t get me wrong it has been fun looking for them in very random places, but I want the summer fishing to be decent and we will need fish for that to happen.



puffer fish, blow toads, delaware seashore state park
Puffer Fish caught by the Baldwin Family

There are plenty of other fish to catch out there.  Croaker are here in small numbers and in some case, sizes.  Small weakfish, and puffers are in the surf.  These are all hitting fishbites bloodworm formula or just regular bloodworms.  I prefer the artificial, less mess and I can put them in my pocket.   Flounder are in the Lewes canal and the inland bays, you just have to find them and hope the bluefish do not find your bait first.   Minnows and Chartreuse gulp are the best baits.  Bunker and mullet are still the choice baits in the surf and clam is producing stripers and black drum.  The striped bass action has been random at best but there have been some keepers pulled from all ocean beaches.  Right now Assateague is getting hot for striper action and the Chesapeake bay is still loaded with fish.  We should see more of that action soon,depending on how the bluefish cooperate.  Black drum are mostly on the Delaware Bay beaches form Broadkill to Slaughter beach.  Showing up on the incoming tides mostly.


bull mahi, dolphin fish, atlantic ocean fish, weed line, white marlin, delaware, sussex county
Mike Babcock and the Even Keeleigh crew worked 100 Fathoms between the Wilmington and Spencer Canyons Sunday, where Albert Lietzel landed this big cow mahi. They jumped off a white marlin just before hooking the dolphin… photo from Lewes Harbor Marina

The offshore action has just started up according to Joe at Lewes Harbor Marina … “Mike Babcock and the Even Keeleigh crew worked 100 Fathoms between the Wilmington and Spencer Canyons Sunday, where Albert Lietzel landed this big cow mahi. They jumped off a white marlin just before hooking the dolphin. Cool to see stuff happening offshore! ”    Soon the off shore action will crank up and we will have fish everywhere this summer.  Despite what some people think the summer fishing even in the surf is not that bad you just have to find a good spot on the beach, and put in some effort.  Just sitting there with bait on a hook is not always enough.  Jigging for flounder just behind the first waves is a good technique.  I have a rig I make for drifting the wave trough for flounder.  You use a four foot leader with a flounder off set circle hook, a three quarter ounce egg sinker, and a bobber.  Put the leader through the sinker, snell the hook on one end, tie a loop on the other end.  Attach that loop to the swivel and add the bobber to the swivel or the leader.  The bobber drags the rig along with the current behind the wave.   The egg sinker holds the bait near the bottom and allows the leader some slack. When a flounder hits there is little resistance to scare it off.  When that bobber bounces then sinks, you have a fish.  I use minnows, small pieces of cut bait, or sand fleas.  If you use minnows they will not last long in the high salinity of the ocean water  and don’t add ocean water to their container it will kill them.  Just keep them wet in towel or add fresh water if needed.  The drifting by this rig will last for about 20 yards on a calm day and less on a rougher day. If the surf is huge don’t even bother, jig for the flounder.  Bucktails with soft plastics or gulp work well.

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 Ray Halfen and the Donny Reed Memorial Trophy, old inlet spring tournament
Ray Halfen and the Donny Reed Memorial Trophy

The Old Inlet Surf Fishing Tournament was a good time.  I fished with Bruce West the President of DMS, Brandy and Suzanne of Delaware Fisherwoman, Corby, Shaun and Carl.  We had a great time in the fog, caught some fish.  Bruce caught a big striped bass in the first few minutes and then it was random bluefish and puffers all day.  Some of us were burned to a crisp form the fog acting like a magnifying glass with the sun.   Good times had by all.  The results form Old Inlet are as follows …


Old Inlet Spring Surf Fishing Tournament …. 2015 – Results

Congratulations to all the winners!




Open Division

Place …..  Points …..  Angler …..  Prize

First     117 Points     Ray Halfen     $750 and Donny Reed Memorial Trophy

Second     75      Ed Cycyk     $500 and Trophy (largest fish tie breaker)

Third     75      Tom Karpiak      $350 and Trophy

Fourth      71      Dan Reel     $150

Women’s Division  

Place ….  Points …..  Angler ….  Prize

First    39    Patricia Adams     $250 and Trophy

Second    34    Loretta Satnicker    $100 and Trophy

Third     20    Kimberly Cotter     $50 and Trophy

Kids Division

Place …  Points ….  Angler Prize

First    18     John Henry Saurvisitias     Rod/Reel and Trophy

Largest Fish

38 Inch Bluefish …  Tie ….  Ed Cycyk and Rob Thomson $500 Each

Bluefish Calcutta

38 Inch Bluefish    Tie     Ed Cycyk and Rob Thomson $1,250 Each

Grand Slam
No winner



bluefish, old inlet spring tournament
Ed Cycyk 38.5 inch bluefsihh at Fenwick for Old Inlet Tournament

Crabbing is getting better and better with some nice catches from pots or running hand lines.  This weekend we may see the last of the big blues with the warmer water temperatures, but thus far it has been impossible to predict their behavior.  The air is much cooler compared to the beginning of the week.  Especially the other day when we hit ninety degrees, a quick reminder summer is around the corner.  The Lewes Harbor Canal Flounder Tournament is tomorrow (Friday).  Saturday we have the Military Appreciation Surf Fishing day in Cape Henlopen at Herring Point Beach.  It is going to be a busy weekend and will continue from here on out.  Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend and the official start of the summer season.  That Saturday is the Boating and Fishing Expo at the American Legion on route 24, drop by and check it out.  Have a fun weekend and most of all be safe out there.

Fish On!!

Rich King        

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