The fishing has been great in many places these past few days, the weekend had some rough winds. There have been a lot of people sending in pictures of their kids fishing, something we encourage. Getting them involved with the outdoors is much better than glued to a TV playing video games. If you can get kids interested in the outdoors they will always want to be outside. Mikey was down over the weekend with his kids and they fished all over the place. Taylor caught his first bluefish from the rocks at bubble gum beach and they hit a nice shorty striped bass. They did well at the Cape Henlopen pier, and Mikey managed a nice keeper weakfish at Massey’s Landing. There have been a lot of blue fish in the Indian River Inlet, mostly on the incoming tide. I watched the blues turn on thick for a couple of hours the other day. Shad, weakfish, flounder and a few keeper striped bass have been pulled as well. The big striped bass have been few and far between, especially in the surf, but are still out there. I know people that are targeting big fish specifically, if you put out a rod with top and bottom rigs you will easily catch croaker, kingfish, ling, puffers, and spot on all of the beaches. Dogfish, skates, and rays are a given this time of year. I would put that spot back out there and see if you can get a striped bass. If you just target striped bass and large bluefish it will be a long day waiting, or catching rays, skates, and sharks … just sayin. Mullet rigs work the best for bluefish, and chunking bunker for striped bass. Summertime fishing is upon us, so it will be squid, mullet, bloodworms, and fishbites for the rest of the year. Minnows and gulp for flounder in the bays. Weakfish are hitting pink soft plastics on lead heads, for the most part. Bucktails are always good for the bluefish, so they do not tear up your gear. Swim shads are still working for striped bass as well as poppers and plugs. The drum fishing is still hot in the Delaware bay, such as the ones we caught when we fished with Captain Brian Wazlavek of Delaware Family Fishing. That trip was on Outdoors Delmarva this past weekend and you can view it here online. Thanks again guys for great trip and a killer time. I had a blast and will always remember that trip.
Saturday I met Alex, Zane, Lidya, and Jane at Faithful Steward in Delaware Seashore State Park (commonly referred to as Savages). Bill and his family met us down there, we had tons of lines out, the wind was heavy out of the south, and no where near what was predicted. We were barely holding bottom with five ounces. the current was strong, and the water was 62 degrees according to my pool thermometer I carry around. Jeff Wildonger met us down there later in the afternoon. We fished the area where the breach occurred from Hurricane Sandy. The replenished sand there is horrible to drive through, and you can wave to the cars that go by on route one. When Bill was ready to go he tapped the gas and his vehicle immediately sank to the axles in the sand, in seconds. Not his fault at all, the sand is loose like sugar in a bowl. Alex was excited he could finally use his new F250 to pull someone out, he got stuck trying to pull out Bill. I pulled him out with the Trooper, I stayed on the packed sand to do this or I would have dug in as well, and then we went to work on Bill’s truck. It took 2 hours to dig it completely out with the help of a few rangers, then pull it out with the trooper and everyone pushing. Be careful in loose sand you can sink fast regardless of airing down. Soon the beaches will all be replenished with sand, and this is going to be a nightmare to drive across, not to mention it will close beaches as they move up the coast. Make sure you are aired down to at least 20 psi, if need be go lower, but not so much that you pop the bead on your tire. The sand replenishment is going to make fishing interesting to nonexistent in many areas of Delaware Seashore State Park. I know my buddies at the Surf Rider Foundation are none too happy about this replenishment as well. This will change the way the waves cut or cross the beach and make for some dangerous conditions for swimmers as well. The waves will just suddenly roll and crash into the beach, known as the neck breaker. Eventually we all packed it in for the day. I wanted to get to the nearest TV, and watch the drum fishing show on Outdoors Delmarva. Aside from flashing lights and lots of police cars, we all like to see ourselves on TV.
Flounder fishing has been great in the bays, inlets, canals, and surf. You just have to put in the time, and the shorties are definitely more prevalent than the keepers. The size limit will be changing soon and I will announce that when it does. Tim Bixby and the boys were hammering flounder at Roosevelt inlet the other day and yesterday (Tuesday) there were several caught in the 45 minutes I was there. Massey’s Landing is seeing nice sized keepers and many shorties, as well as the back bays. Minnows, or chartreuse gulp is working well this year. Live sand fleas in the surf are good just behind the first breaker. You can see the sand fleas get dug up from the waves and rush back into the water, the fish know this, and feed just behind that surf break, or first wave. NOAA is always putting out warnings about rip currents for swimmers, that is where you want to fish in the surf. The current pulls food out farther from the shoreline and the fish feed these areas. Reading a beach is not that hard, but the tides can change the look of the surf. Some say that reading the cuts do not matter and fishing is fishing. I agree with that as well, find a nice spot, set up, and have fun. If you want a guaranteed catch there are plenty of seafood stores in the area. Fishing is a way of life, not just pulling fish from the water. For some it is a livelihood and puling fish is part of their income. Not catching for them is not an option, but it happens, and seasoned captains know where they need to be and when. I will say that surf fishing is much easier on a weekday, you have a lot of empty beach to find a good spot, and can move around if you want. Some places will hold more fish than others, one day there can be fish in one spot and gone the next. Fish move. Four people can fish the same area and one side will be better than the other, I have seen that many times, and hear about it all the time. “I was doing okay but the guy next to me was creaming fish, and we had the same rigs and bait”, it happens.
On Sunday I took Cheyenne surf fishing at 3R’s in Delaware Seashore State Park, Zach had to help his family with chores, and I told him that was more important, he agreed. I set Cheyenne up with a striped bass rig and bunker chunks on one rod and a top and bottom rig on another with fishbites bloodworms. The wind was insane, and we were getting sandblasted. Usually I would have bailed, and found a much calmer place to fish, but I wanted to see how she would do reading a rod in the wind. Normally you can see the rhythm of the waves in the line and rod tip. With a heavy gusting wind that changes, and it is hard to see the subtle hits of smaller fish, especially with five ounces of weight locked into the sand. She already knows how to fish and was flounder pounding with her dad on Saturday with two keepers in the box. She said they found a great place to drift despite the harsh winds, somewhere in the Indian River Bay. So the rod is bouncing all over the place with an exaggerated rhythm. She noticed a subtle change, pounced on the rod, and pulled in two kingfish. I was impressed, and she had an ear to ear grin. She rebaited with fishbites and cast out, the wind was not friendly for casting. I decided to help her out a bit and launch it out there. The guys next to us were catching puffers in the first 30 feet of water, the kingfish were much farther out there. Besides I had five ounces on the line, and we have not covered how to cast heavy weight yet, I needed a nice calm day, just like today. Lately the weekends always seem to be the worst times weather wise to fish, Murphy’s Law. Once school is over there will be more weekdays to get Zach and Cheyenne in the surf for some serious casting lessons. She caught a few more kingfish and by then we were both tired of the constant battering of sand. This was the perfect time to take a tour of the area and show her several places we will be fishing this summer. We dropped by the skim board contest, and then checked out the kite boarders on the bay. I showed her the areas we cast net for bait fish and mullet in the flats. Dropped by the southside of the Indian River inlet, and pointed out the eddies in the water. Headed to Cape Henlopen and went up in the WW II tower to point out all of the places to fish and see if there was an area that was less windy. We talked with Chris Barton, and a few other folks airing up, everyone said the wind was horrible. We dropped by Roosevelt Inlet and I showed Cheyenne a few spots there that were good during different tides. Checked out the Kalmar Nyckel, Delaware’s tall ship, at port near the ferry in Lewes. All in all it was a good day fishing and exploring. It is always fun teaching, I think some days I prefer that to actually fishing myself. This weekend we have storms headed this way and it could get rather wet out there with some possible flooding. One of the reasons we took that tour was bad conditions. There are many cool things to do here when the weather is too bad for fishing. Do a little exploring, break out of that regular routine, you would be surprised what we have to offer here in Sussex County.
HEADS UP … There are sharks out there as well, the toothy ones, and most of these you will catch in the surf are prohibited species. Release them and do not remove the shark from the water, cut the line if necessary. Posing for a picture with one can result in a fine, as well as beaching the animal. So take care if you happen to catch a shark (toothy unit). If you do not know the species then let it go …