Releasing the hounds in the surf

bluefish, mullet rigs, fenwick island, atlantic fishing
Tom Price and Matt Fetters … with some blues from Fenwick Island

Just a heads up, but rumor on campus is Gordon’s Pond will open up this Friday the eighteenth.  That is just a rumor, and has not been made official yet however we have heard tell it is true.  Looking forward to fishing the new Cape Henlopen airstrip again, more room on the beach is always a good thing.  The point will not reopen until September first as usual.  Maybe that will open a little earlier this year, but don’t count on it, however sometimes it happens.  Tautog season opens July 17 (tomorrow) until August 31, 15 inches and 5 a day limit.  I’m sure the usual spots will be crowded, and the charters will start booking up fast.  Great fish to eat, and can be tricky to catch.  Sand fleas are abundant in the surf if you want to put in the time digging, it doesn’t take long to fill up a bucket.  Don’t forget it is still slot season for Striped bass in the Delaware bay and her tributaries.  I have seen some nice catches the past week for slot fish.  In fact fishing this past week has been decent, especially for flounder and croaker.   Crabbing and clamming has been okay when you get into them.  Not as good as past years for crabbing but not bad either depending on where you go and who you talk with.

dogfish head, atlantic fish, fish and chips, sand shark, cape henlopen state park
Anthony Purdy making the beaches safer one dogfish at a time

The flatties are all over the place from the inland bays, masseys ditch, Indian river inlet, Lewes canal, Broadkill river, Roosevelt Inlet, Delaware bay, the old Grounds, and B buoy.  The Henlopen pier has been decent to spotty.  Gulp, squid and minnows have been the best baits.   Croaker and spot are popping up everywhere still.  Spot used for chunk bait or stripped out make decent flounder bait as well.  Some people like to use flounder belly meat for flounder bait and that is okay so long as you have the carcass the belly meat came from with you at the time.  Obviously it must be from a keeper flounder.  Small chunks of bluefish work well too in the surf as well as sandfleas.  fish for them in the first 10 feet of water just behind the first wave.  The flounder are in there feeding on sand fleas and small baitfish.  Minnows work okay in the surf but don’t last long in the saltwater.  Keeping them in brackish to freshwater is the best, and if you do take them to the beach do not add saltwater to their container it will kill them off faster.  Keeping  them wrapped up in a cool wet towel is really the best way to keep the mummichug minnows.

delaware fisherwoman, kingfish, cape henlopen state park,
Carly Breen’s casting has paid off with a nice kingfish. Look out boys she is becoming quite the Delaware Fisherwomen

You will still find skates, rays, dogfish, sharks, and the like in the surf as well as everywhere else.  You can’t get away from the scavenger fish and for the most part they are still fun to catch.  However a day of skating can get old, even on the beach. If you keep running into nothing but skates or scavengers change up your bait and rigs.  Most of your cut baits, if not all, will attract more scavengers.  Fishbites, peeler crab, and clam make for good baits to stay away from the scavengers and more towards the fishies like kingfish, spotted hake, croaker, spot, etc.  Mullet rigs have been producing bluefish the past few days from Fenwick Island state park to Cape Henlopen State park.  The craziest surf catch this week goes to Mike Fetters with a houndfish on a mullet rig.  These look like needlefish but get much larger and are notorious jumpers.  Mike said it leaped several times on the retrieve adding to the excitement.  Houndfish in some cases have been known to jump across the deck of low boats and kayaks, freaking out boaters and in some cases impaling them with their sharp “beaks” .  I wouldn’t worry about that here as much as in the warmer southern seas below North Carolina.

Related Articles
1 of 1,999
houndfish, needlefish, fenwick island, atlantic fish,
Mike Fetters and his houndfish from the surf

The offshore action has been great with bluefin and yellow fin tuna, tilefish, and mahi mahi.  I am sure everyone saw the new state record mahi mahi recently caught.  The charters have been doing well.  The White Marlin Open starts August fourth and many people are already gearing up for the tournament.  Always an interesting time watching the boats come in and see the catches at the scales.  The water out in the deep blue is always clear and looks so much different than close to shore.  Recently we had clear water here and then the winds picked up and it got a little stirred up in the surf.  The water is looking good and the recent rains will stir it up a little more, but we should see clear water this weekend.  The cold front that came in was a relief from the high humidity and temperatures this week.  Hope Everyone has a great weekend, looking forward to some fishing and fun in the sun, despite the rough days working outside, the beach always seems much better.  The water today was a nice blueish green in the surf.  Hopefully that lasts until and throughout the weekend.

There is a fineline between fishing and just standing on the beach like an idiot, steven wright, dsf apparel, funny fishing slogans
Our newest shirt in the apparel shop

We have new shirts available in the online store.  “There is a fine line between FISHING and just standing on the beach like an IDIOT!”  A very true statement if you do as much fishing as we do on a daily basis.  Standing there all day staring at a rod waiting for it to bounce.  Take your eyes away for a few seconds, miss the fish hit, and reel in a empty hook later.  My favorite is turning your back for a minute to flip a burger, or whatever, and when you look where your rod used to be, there is just a nice carved trench from what ever behemoth of the deep just dragged your rig out to sea.  That always makes ya feel a little dumb.  We just thought it was funny to put on a shirt and true on many levels.  Check it out in the online shop and our other apparel, or at Adkins Produce on Long Neck road.  Don’t forget we have the Gneaux More Gnaughty Gnat spray and it works like a charm on the no-see-ums.

Fish On!!

Rich King

Comments are closed.