Memorial Day Weekend fishing update

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Beach Rules Pamphlet front side
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Delaware State Park Drive on beach rules pamphlet back side

Well so far the parks new rules seem to be helping the over crowding issues.   Unfortunately some folks could not find space on the beaches today in Cape Henlopen.  I noticed at 9:00 A.M. the beach was crowded, more so than ever for that early in the morning.  Looks like the word is out, the early bird gets the space to fish.  Cape Henlopen had to close down The point beach not long before noon, due to the fact it was full.   We were on Herring Point beach and it was certainly full.  Everyone seemed very happy to see the rangers patrolling the beaches.  Yes, I am sure a few folks near some people were not fishing, such is the nature of a holiday weekend, and every summer weekend.  A buddy of mine sent me a picture of a guy on a ATV playing on Faithful Steward (Savages Ditch) this morning.  I sent that to the rangers and it was dealt with, the beaches are not a dirt track.  If you need to call a ranger use the dispatch number … (302) 739 4580  If they do not respond right away keep in mind the beaches are filled to capacity and it may take some time.  They have a tough job this holiday weekend. They were handing out pamphlets today explaining the rules and reiterating a few.  Such as … you are supposed to be within fifty feet of your gear at all times.  Because if you are actively fishing you should be watching or attending your gear.  Obviously the new no stacking rule was covered.  All in all it was  fun day on the beach, a bit crowded but everyone seemed to get along just fine.  I had a great time and made a few new friends.  I have met a lot of people this weekend, thank you for coming out yesterday to the Fihsingand Boating Swap, we will have details about that soon.  The wind was horrible toady and you all know how much I hate wind.  Now for the fun stuff … the fishing in some places today was off the hook.  Pun intended.

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One of my bluefish from the surf at 3Rs

Early this morning Herring Point Beach and the beaches further north towards the point blew up with large bluefish.  Anglers were running down the beach with spoons and casting as they ran hooking up fish, apparently it was quite the scene for a solid forty-five minutes.  I missed it by the old adage, you should have been here fifteen minutes ago.  Those fish moved north and eventually made their way into the Harbor of safe refuge and onto Beach Plum Island.  If you know the direction the bluefish are headed, look for striped bass following them, spoons, plugs or a nice bunker head might produce a big striped bass.  If they (rockfish) are not under the schools of blues, like at the inlet, then they are behind them picking up the pieces of the feeding frenzy. The inlet was on fire today and the south side wall was more crowded than the north side, which almost never happens.   The boats were stacked and packed, my buddy Jeff said it was total mayhem.  Friday I saw a head boat drift the inlet on my way to3Rs, the other boats did not look too happy jockeying for position.  Friday was a blast for me, I was at3Rs with Suzanne Martin from Delaware Fisherwoman.

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Yellow Fin Tuna … Grady Kehl and Clay Harrison on the Bill Collector

We watched a bunch of boats coming out of the inlet and after I hit a short striped bass on a spoon, she hooked a small puffer fish.  All of a sudden a bunker skipped across the water like an albacore, and we knew the blues had arrived.  First cast, three cranks and WHAM!!  Fish On!!  I live for the hit on a spoon or plug and getting crushed by these slammer blues is a blast.  In the boat it is fun, but from the surf it is a little extra special, it is not easy landing a heavy angry fish in waves and currents.  I landed the first blue and then the water turned a dark purplish black in front of us, we slammed fish for over two hours.  My arm is sore and numb, and I could not be happier.  We were a hundred plus yards from any vehicles, no one saw us catching these fish except for an occasional beach comber and they all stopped to watch the show.  We lost more than we landed and had a blast doing it.  Best line for that fishing trip was … “what do I use? … Anything shiny and a steel leader!!”

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Randy Gebhart and Kim Weatherwalks full cooler.

The best line I heard so far this weekend was yesterday at Masseys Landing …  “Daddy my fish weighs five inches” and “There aren’t fish here on Saturdays”   Love seeing kids have a blast fishing, even if it is just horseshoe crabs and occasional small fish.  A few blues moved through the ditch once in a while just have to be there when it happens.  That has been the case for every area.  So far the only sure thing is the Indian River inlet is on fire for bluefish.  Striped bass catches are random at night, and not as heavy as the bluefish,but they are there.  You just have to get past the bluefish.  They are feeding on shad and bunker.  The rail looks like the striped bass run of 2011,shoulder to shoulder.  I will wait until Tuesday to get into that.

Off shore action has been hot for sea bass, cod and some pollack.  The Katydid, Top Fin and Anglers Fishing Center has been cleaning up.  The drum run is in full swing as well.   Large flounder are being caught at some of the off shore sites, just have to put in the time for those.  Flounder fishing has been tough in the bays thanks to the yellow-eyed devil’s mayhem.  They are crashing gear like crazy and if you don’t have steel leaders, then you are going to lose fish and gear.  Check the Bait Shop Directory to find a shop that has steel leaders, they are selling out fast.  Further offshore the yellowfin tuna bite is picking up and deep dropping for tilefish.  Today was bit snotty to take a trip but this morning it was not bad heading out according to a few folks.

Crabbing is getting better and an ocean sunfish was spotted in Rehoboth bay today swimming in two to three feet of water.  Hopefully it doesn’t get hit by a boat.  Small weakfish are making an appearance, looks like the blues haven’t eaten all of them.  Croaker are showing up in the Broadkill River and further north to Slaughter beach.  I saw a burr fish was caught at the Oceanic Pier in Ocean City as well as a bunch of bluefish.  If you want to pier fish that is an excellent choice.   Only costs $7 to fish for twenty-four hours and you don’t need a license.   I am sure Ocean City traffic is just as bad as ours, but that is the nature of the beast we call the holiday weekend.

Take time tomorrow to remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice for your freedom and this country.  Again I want to thank everyone who dropped by the booth yesterday, I had a great time meeting everyone and talking golf.

Fish On!!

Rich King

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