Memorial Day Weekend Fishing Outlook
I keep getting messages, been all day with the same question. What can I expect this weekend, where do we go, what is biting? Well based on the traffic the entire planet is coming here this weekend. Now what can you expect? A lot of wind, possibly some rain. Pretty much what we have been dealing with for the past two weeks or more. The water in the inland bays is a lovely chocolate milk color and won’t get much better. The tides are higher than normal due to the new moon. The low tide should be better this year. Last two years blow out low tides on a full moon were draining the bay and jamming up boats. Which was entertaining to some but not the boat owner. Tow Boat US was making out well. Masseys Landing is bouncing between sixty-two and sixty-seven degrees. The lower Delaware Bay is averaging about sixty-four degrees as well as the surf. I would expect those temperatures to hold all weekend.
So what is happening around the way and waters so to speak. You can expect increased boat traffic this weekend, but please be careful. The word we use for these conditions are nautical to sporty out there. Winds will lay down Saturday a bit and switch to the southeast, but it will be a bit choppy. Sunday winds will switch to out of the east and increase a bit into the mid teens. The old saying around here from the old salts is wind out of the east fishing is the least, wind out of the west, fishing is the best. Which is the exact opposite of what one would expect. It has to do with the pressure systems, or barometric pressure and not really the wind itself. We will see chances of rain all weekend.
Bluefish, Bluefish, Bluefish, where are the bluefish? Have they left? Did we miss them? No you haven’t missed a thing. The Cape Henlopen pier has been great action for an hour or two each day with blitz conditions, then it is sporadic throughout the day. When the water is up they see the most action, but there is still catches at low tide at the deeper end of the pier. The surf is random action with schools moving up and down the coast. When they come by the action is hot. When they don’t there are other fish to catch. Skates and dogfish being the most caught due to the all of the cut bait, bunker and whole mullet being used for bluefish. Bluefish are in the broadkill river big time as well, you just have to find them. The blues are still big but we think this will be the last of them after a week or so, there don’t seem to be any south of us and the smaller summer blues are now being caught. Green has been the best color for mullet rigs. Check out Diamond State Custom Tackle Mullet rigs they come with an extra hook which is key with the yellow eyed devils we have out there. You can find them at Dan’s Tackle Box, Henlopen Bait and Tackle, Lighthouse bait and tackle, Icehouse bait and tackle, and Fenwick Tackle.
Flounder pounding is not as hot as some would like,but the Lewes canal has had the best action. Minnows have been the best baits as well as gulp, drifting the canal and bays. There have been some caught around the inland bays and Indian river inlet. Up in the Delaware bay the action is good.
Weakies, trout, or weakfish our state fish are being caught along the Delaware Bay beaches, Broadkill river, and Lewes canal. Anglers flounder fishing have been picking them up but you can target them with pink zooms on jig heads. The days of old aren’t back but there are some nice catches out there. It would be good idea to release them all to help increase the fishery. Lot of small ones being eaten by bluefish, as well as everything else they are eating.
Striped bass, where are the big striped bass? The migratory bass are as far up as New York at this point there are still bass making their way north form the Chesapeake Bay. The Oceanic pier has seen some decent action. The surf in Delaware is slow for migratory keepers but they are being caught. Night time has been the right time. I expect to see more catches this weekend all around with many more lines in the water than we have seen all year. We have been bailing lots of short striped bass (rats) in the surf for weeks now. Today was no exception. Even with the heavy surf from fast waves as we watched the sandbars move around from heavy current. Striped bass were in the wash feeding on sand fleas. I was catching them with a three ounce gator silver spoon. You could see them moving through six inches of water feeding and they hit like a freight train. The largest I caught was a fat twenty-six inch striped bass. Rat wrangling is fun with an ultralight rod set up, just watch out for the blues.
Black drum action is still hot in the Delaware Bay for the boats and along the Delaware Bay beaches. Clam, peeler crab, and sand fleas are the best baits, with clam being the top bait as usual. Assateague Island is still seeing some decent drum action and even some of the bull reds. Usually night is the best drum fishing but day time has produced some great catches. Incoming tide is usually the best time to catch these behemoths.
Sand tiger sharks are hitting in the surf. Bluefish has been the bait of choice. Remember these are prohibited species and cannot be removed from the water. This is an article I did three years ago on these rules. You don’t have to get in the water with them. They are a bit early this year but then again so is everything else.
Black sea bass action offshore has been great, hire a local charter or head boat. Blue crabs are filling pots. Cownose rays are being caught now all we need are croaker in numbers. Kingfish action is okay once the blues are not around.
By the way Matt Shoup said he is going to have Fenwick Bait and Tackle open twenty-four hours this weekend and through out the summer on weekends.