Nothing Like A Crappie Day Of Winter Fishing


crappie, milton, delaware, sussex county, grass shrimp, tidal creeks, broadkill river
Robbie Payton with his personal best crappie.

The Payton kids went fishing yesterday day with Pop pop.  You have to love these stories, when the kids get all geared up and it is like a spring day outside in January.  It was nearly sixty degrees a couple days after the nor’easter blasted Delmarva.  The kids first went and caught grass shrimp in some local tidal creeks with Pop pop.  You can catch grass shrimp them right now with a small net, just scraping the grass, the shrimp not the kids.  Once they had a bucket full of shrimp, they hit a local fishing spot in Milton and proceeded to fish for crappie.  It was slow going at first but the kids don’t care they are fishing with Pop pop.  Frank Payton Sr. said it was slow but once the fish came in they were hitting like crazy.  “The kids were having a blast, Robbie caught the biggest crappie he has ever landed, his personal best.”  I can attest to that, it was  a nice sized crappie, and made a tasty fish fry that evening.


broadkill river, crappie,milton, delaware,sussex county, grass shrimp, tidal creeks, river fishing, boat basin
Kylie Payton with her personal best crappie

Speaking of kids fishing. I was running around today checking beach conditions after the storm.  Yes, the point is still there and looks pretty good.  I dropped by the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier.  Normally on a windy day like today and at low tide there isn’t anyone fishing, and there wasn’t.  When I pulled up a lady and two kids got out of their car. One of the kids already had a tackle box in his hand, pretty sure he had it the whole time in the car the way he was holding onto it.  I walked out to the pier and looked at the water and beach to see how it held up, it is fine.  When I was walking back, here come the kids and mom.  She said “boys it’s really windy” and it was blowing pretty good today.  I looked  at the one older kid holding the rod, and said “Good luck boys”.  The youngest kid turned around and yelled with the biggest smile on his face “We’re going FISHING!”  It was classic kid excitement.  All I could say was “alright buddy good luck!”  The look on mom’s face was oh my god it is windy as can be, but her boys wanted to fish, dedication.  I told her where to try at the pier, and said more than likely you won’t see anything.  She knew that, her boys just wanted to fish.  This was out of earshot of the kids of course, they were making a “B” line for the pier.  I told her a few spots to try inland that would be out of the wind, and where the kids would have a better shot of actually catching fish.  I knew the kids wouldn’t care, they just wanted to go fishing, two brothers with mom in tow.  You have to love that kind of excitement and determination.  Kudos to mom for that one.


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delaware, susssex county, crappie, grass shrimp, milton, broadkill river, tidal creek
Pop pop Payton with his crappie for the evening

Fishing will pick up a little more once the water calms down and clears up.  it isn’t bad inland in the tidal creeks and rivers. Those areas never clear up anyway.  Grass shrimp are abundant in the small local tidal creeks and make the perfect bait.  I know some boys in the upper Chesapeake are slamming yellow perch.  Yellow perch action around here has been slow, but will pickup soon enough.  Crappie action is on fire when they move into where you are fishing, they move with the tide.  Bluegills are hitting the shrimp readily as well.  I saw a lot of gannets off the point today on the ocean side, diving on bait fish.  No clue what they were eating, but they were out there raining on bait, about a hundred plus yards off the beach.  Easily fifty plus gannets, and the gulls would get excited feeding in the tide pools and swales.  Casting was to no avail, but you have to try, because you just never know.  Long day checking out the beaches after the storm, killer beach combing for a lot of people, they were all over the place lot of whelk shells out there.  I will have the beach pictures, conditions, and all that up in the next report.  The rainbow over the ocean today was a killer bonus.

Fish On!

Rich King

Rainbow over the ocean today off 3Rs beach …


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