Hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, and or whatever you celebrate this time of year. It has been slow in the surf the past week. Catching dogfish and skates is a given. Spotted hake or ling cod are possible with squid for bait or small pieces of clam or cut bait. You might also find a random short striped bass. Otherwise the surf has been quiet aside from the sounds of the waves, which are waves are decent sized today and the surfers are having a blast. Everywhere close to shore has been quiet including the back bays. The hot shorty striped bass action I was enjoying has all but turned off but I expect it to pick back up the next couple of days thanks to this warm snap we experiencing. It feels like Memorial day not Christmas thanks to these humid and warm temperatures. However they have not had much effect on the water temperatures for the ocean but the back bays have warmed up considerably compared to last week. We have had nearly an eight degree temperature increase at Masseys Landing. The water is clear for a few days and then gets stirred up by the winds. We will have these warmer temperatures and calmer winds throughout the weekend in case you are looking to get out there and try any new gear you received for the holiday. I received a pair of shark socks, not sure how they will do in the sand. The catching might be at a minimum but it will be nice to hit the beach. If you are looking to renew your surf tags, before the new year would be a good idea. I do not know when the parks will increase their fees (or how much), but that increase will not effect anyone who has already purchased a tag. I suggest the two year tag, so you do not have to deal with any fee increases until 2017. The beaches are in the same shape as last week which is good to see, but it would be nice to see them flatten out a little more and that trough disappear.
The boats have been doing well far out to sea, deep dropping for sea bass. The tautog action has been good on the walls and wreck sites. Getting out there has been hit or miss thanks to heavy seas and winds the past week. Clam is great bait for sea bass and of course green crabs for tautog. Sea bass season ends December thirty first and does not resume until May nineteenth. We have certainly settled in for a long winter wait until spring fishing. The striped bass bite has moved south for the winter, but you can always take a trip to Virginia and get into them. I am looking forward to the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware Club’s fly tie sessions every Saturday starting the first weekend in January. If you want to learn about fly fishing in this area these are the boys to talk with. Bring donuts and waders, it can get deep around there with stories. Which get better every year. It is time to clean the gear and get ready for spring. We will be fishing throughout the winter, on a warm winter day the beach is always a nice place to visit. Winter flounder’s season starts February eleventh. If you can handle the cold and have the gear, there is always clamming.