Lot Of Fish Being Caught And More On The Way

Water temperatures in Masseys Ditch have been increasing a couple degrees a day with the recent warm up. Topping out at nearly 60 degrees.

Fishing this spring has been getting better and better. Location and tide has been important in some cases, but for the most part if you get out and fish you will more than likely catch. There is always the possibility of the skunk, and that has happened. Low tide in the surf has been the worst time to fish. The last couple of hours of the incoming tide into the outgoing tide has been the best and that is usually the preferred tide for surf anglers.
Water temperatures are on the rise, the surf is averaging fifty one degrees, and the inland bays are the warmest at low tide. The Delaware Bay is about the same as the surf. Since most of the water in our surf comes out of the bay that makes perfect sense.

Sand flea snagged on a spoon

There is a lot of food showing up in the surf for the striped bass to feed on, we have seen sand fleas. We are even catching fleas on our spoons on the retrieve in the shallow part of the the surf. They get hooked on the spoon’s treble. I leave them on the hook, can’t hurt to add a little bait to the mix. If you dig for them in the wetter part of the sand you will find some, they are not in huge numbers just yet, but they are there.

Short Striped bass caught on DS Custom Tackle pink pill float rigs by Suzanne Martin in Cape Henlopen

The striped bass “shorty” or “rat” action in the surf has been good for many anglers. Fishbites has even been working, but bloodworms are the preferred bait. Swim shads, bucktails and jigs with soft plastics are also getting the job done. The Indian River Inlet is loaded with short bass along the rocks. The large migratory keepers are up the Delaware Bay and River. Port Penn bait and tackle has been reporting a lot of striped bass catches on bunker chunks. They have fresh bunker daily at the shop.
The netters have been filling their quotas really quick. That is a lot of lost eggs for the spawn, and I get they have to make money. Seems to me though it would be smarter to catch the fish on the way back down, so you could keep more fish and have more meat, instead of those eggs also adding to the weight quota or limit. More meat and fish means more money, isn’t that the idea?
Striped bass schools are off the Jersey coast and the usual head boat slaughter has begun. Just ask any of the fishing pages on Facebook. The striped bass stock assessment will be out soon, but don’t expect ASMFC to move fast to protect the striped bass stocks.

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beach, low tide, naval jetty, cape henlopen state park, delaware, sussex county
During the dead low tide in Cape Henlopen you can walk around the front of the Naval jetties. The Cape Henlopen beaches have a lot of sand this year. Finally washed north from the Rehoboth Beach replenishment.

The hot bite at Beach Plum Island state park has been white perch with short striped bass, and anglers are hoping the drum will run through soon. That run we had a few years ago was epic. Bloodworms have been the bait of choice for perch and bass. Putting out a rod with sand fleas or clam would be a good idea in case a big drum does swim through the area. They are hitting at Assateague Island in the surf.

Everyone is also waiting for the gator bluefish to show up, a few have been caught near Atlantic City. Not sure how either of those runs are going to play out this year in the surf. The drum are hitting in the surf in Chincoteague. There have been some puppy black drum caught in the back bays near Fenwick Island and Ocean City.

bait fish, mummichug minnows, bull minnows, inland bays, delaware, sussex county, rosedale beach.
Mummichugs swimming along a bay beach in the shallow water, looking for food and avoiding predators.

The flounder are hitting readily now south of us in Wachapreague and Chincoteague area. Look for flounder in the shallower warmer waters hunting for mummichugs and other bait fish. The will not be in the deeper water and channels just yet, there isn’t as much food there. The bait or food is in the shallower areas where the water is warmer. Bait needs to eat as well as spawn. Flounder action south of use has started up in the back bays and in the inland bays. Creeks and tidal rivers have seen a few caught as well. With the temperatures increasing so fast everything is going off at once.

Put out different baits for the variety of catches in t he surf. Bloods for bass, clam or fleas for drum.

Fish On!
Rich King

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