Sheepshead In The Surf Blues At Augustine

 

sheepshead, fenwick island state park
Sheepshead  caught by Dennis Thornton .. Photo by Jenn Bowden

Great fishing in Milton in the broadkill river today. The Andie and Opie Parents Fishing with kids Tournament produced a multitude of fish.  Yellow perch, bass, striped bass (shorts), catfish, eels, sunfish, bluegills, and some huge carp.  Oh and  one hubcap.  A ll fish were catch and release so everything and then some is still there, except the hubcap.  Worms were the bait of choice except the carp were hitting dough balls.  We have a great story about that. Over 175 kids and parents had lines in the water for 4 hours.

Meanwhile the surf produced a sheepshead caught on gulp with a chartruesse teaser, Dennis Thornton.  There are smooth baby hammerheads hitting mullet rigs.  Kingfish are hitting fishbites, bloodworms, and even mullet rigs.
Bluefish up to twenty four inches are in the surf and the Indian river inlet.   They are mixed in with the bass at the inlet.  Blues are also around the Bowers Beach Jetty and bulkheads.  Swim shads, spoons and bucktails are working the best.  Flounder at Bowers are decent, lot of throw backs.  Shad at the inlet will hit small spoons and shad darts or speck rigs.

flounder, bowers beach, delaware, sussex county,
Jim Davis hit this flounder at Bowers Beach on the way back from Milton. He helped us judge the tournament.

Weakfish are all over the Delaware bay wreck, reef sites, and beaches.  Speckled trout are around the Henlopen pier and the Lewes Canal has seen a few. They only have a creel of twelve inches which isn’t a very big fish to eat.   The weakies are all small, there have been very few caught in the keeper sizes.  That is only thirteen inches, which isn’t a very big fish to eat anyway.  One of the reasons the limit is so small in size but not number for weakfish is it is not expected for these fish to get much bigger before they just “disappear” like the unicorns they have become.  The fishery in the back bays in Jersey is still good for nice sized weakies but ours is bleak to say the least.  For the most part they seem to either become food for other fish when they run into schools of blues and stripers, dying off for some other reason, or aliens are scooping them up, it depends on who you ask.  Fact is the fishery is in serious decline and has been for years and that is no news to most anglers especially here in Delaware, but is becoming news in more mainstream media.  The days of old catching huge tide runners with live spot in the surf are gone.  One theory is it is just a cycle and they will come back.  If that is the case it would be nice to see, if you want to help that happen, let the keepers go they are too small to eat anyway.  The ocean is a tough place, figure for that fish to survive that long to that size, it had to run a gauntlet of hazards, including possibly aliens, just to grow to a decent size.  Alpha fish make the strongest stock, let them go.  You can apply that to any fish species you feel is in trouble.  It is up to you , you caught the fish, now what are you going to do with it?

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bluefish, delaware, sussex county, augustine beach, delaware river
Little snipper blues near Augustine beach .. Jason Schuster.

Bunker schools are moving up and down the beaches.  With a lot of dolphins chasing them.  Love Creek had some dolphins init the other day,they are chasing peanut bunker and spot or possibly the croaker that have moved into the inland bays.  They are small but fun to catch.  Fishbites on top and bottom rigs will be good for croakers, hopefully they get bigger or bigger ones show up.  Little bluefish are all over just below Augustine beach.  Those little seven inch snipper blues, the ones that nip the bait off the hooks and tails off your soft plastics.  Guys fishing for slot striped bass are getting their plastics torn up, the blues are in with the peanut bunker tearing them up too.

Offhsore action is on fire,
masseys canyon is the place to be
yellowfin, bluefn, and mahi

When is the best time to go fishing? Whenever you can.
The heat has been tough on the anglers and the fish, stay hydrated out there.  Flies were bad Saturday, they  are going t be rough on Sunday, the DFM (Dam Fly Meter) will be around an eight.  Light southwest winds on Sunday, they can be bad offshore a good five miles.  Gneux More Gnaughty Gnats is a great product we use to keep them off of us.

Fish On

Rich King

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