Not much has changed this past week in the fishing community. The surf has been slow to random for keeper striped bass. One day it is good for a few anglers and the next day it is donuts by the box. Bunker has been the best bait, and the boats are doing well with stretch 25’s at the Overfalls and Sea Colony area. Live eels have done well too, even for some flounder here and there. Redfish have made another appearance in the surf, caught on bunker chunks as well while people have been fishing for striped bass. I have been hitting a few favorite spots in the back bays and catching shorty striped bass until my arm turns to Jello. Cast catch a fish, cast catch a fish, cast catch a fish … for hours at a time. Small swim shads, bucktails, plugs, poppers, and spoons work very well on these shorts. Most of the fish have been twenty five to twenty seven inches. It is a blast to jump in a small boat or even my buddy’s canoe and do a little early morning fishing before work, or in the evening into the dark. The back bays are hot in many places you just have to find the fish. They are in schools and move around, once you find them, following and catching is simple. You won’t see any keepers and there may be a few mixed in but that is rare. I just like the fact you can hit one after another, and it seems they will hit just about anything. Good times for a few hours of fishing, and if you are into catch and release this scenario is a blast.
Saturday morning my phone blew up and it was Ben Smith and his crew sending me a picture of a nice thirty five inch bass he just caught in the surf. “Dude get down here were are into some nice bass” … The boys were gathered for their annual surf fishing excursion. I teased Ben and asked him if he was going to try and break the state record again this year. He said that would be nice but i came out ot have fun with the boys and hopefully catch a fish. That is the best way to go fishing, if you go out expecting to fill a cooler or hammer the big one, you will easily set yourself up for a disappointing day. I met the boys in Delaware Seashore State Park at conquest beach. They had rods spread out over a hundred yards or more hoping to catch a few more fish. They day before they hit a few shorts, farther south. Saturday they managed a few shorts, one microbass, and the thirty five inch keeper. The waves were rough and the beach was carved out from heavy surf. The boys were having a hard time holding bottom with eight ounce weights. They were picking up a lot of grass and seaweed, probably enough to make a life sized Sigmund the Sea Monster. The boys packed it in later in the afternoon, and were going to head back out the next day. They skunked on Sunday but had a good time up until the snow turned to rain. Many of us tried fishing on Sunday, but the weather was a bit crazy outside, flipping from snow to rain and back to sleet all day. Many did fish but very few caught in the surf. Traveling was tough and people up north were walloped with snow and no warning how bad it would really snow. It happens, always be prepared for the worst during possible bad winter storms.
Boots was at Cape Henlopen State park the other evening and saw a seal in the surf at the point. Our winter visitors are starting to show up so keep an eye out for them. If you find one stranded or in distress please contact MERR or a park ranger. The southside parking lot is closed at Indian River Inlet so the park renovations can continue, and will be closed until Memorial Day Weekend. You can park at the lot across from the campground and that may close soon too they are doing a lot of work down there. Complaining to the parks will do no good they are not in charge of this work. I do not know if it will open earlier, and hopefully it will but I would not hold my breath. The Coast Guard contacted us last week and wanted us to let everyone know the buoys in the Indian River bay will remain throughout the winter, unless ice becomes and issue. A big thanks to the Coast Guard for asking the boaters opinion in a recent survey we did on the Delaware Surf Fishing Facebook page. Just a heads up too, the Coast Guard has been keeping an eye on the 3 mile mark trying to keep people from illegally fishing for and keeping striped bass. It is illegal to target striped bass and especially keep striped bass beyond the three mile mark. It is a shame they have to use their resources to keep people honest, but there are bad eggs in any industry. Poachers really irk me especially the ones that make money from fishing and knowingly break the laws to make money. In the end this will catch up with them. Fishing is supposed to be fun, even when it is a business. Fishing dirty takes all of the sport out of this great past time. Monday meetings will resume this evening at Delaware Distilling Company at 5:30 p.m. and will continue into the spring every Monday night. There are a lot of interesting subjects we are working on, I have a few folks interested in doing presentations, and any suggestions are always welcome.