Somebody Caught A Bluefish Now What Should You Do

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Matt Dammeyer was high hook this morning with this nice big bluefish. ( May 2017)

This has been the question of the week/month/year. Are the bluefish going to show up and when? Beats me we haven’t gotten their itinerary yet is usually my answer.
No one ever knows exactly when, that is a guess at best. Over the last three years it has been around this week. The black drum are early, there are kingfish at Assateague, there are blowfish in the surf at Fenwick Island according to Fenwick Bait and Tackle.
​At least with less bluefish more fish are able to make it up the coast alive.

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One of my bluefish from the surf at 3Rs (2015) when the epic run started the first year

Usually you can get an idea when the fish will arrive here by what is being caught south of us, but the one fish we have seen little of this year are bluefish. Lots of small snappers in the surf in North Carolina, but that was about it. Then the rumors started.

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Suzanne Martin with a big bluefish from the surf in Cape Henlopen State Park (2018)

Last weekend a guy got one at Lewes beach in that bad weather we had. I know the report was solid, but a picture is always nice. Then there was rumors of some in the foot size range here and there caught near the inlet mixed in with the striped bass, which is believable. Again pictures speak a thousand words. However some sources are solid despite not having a picture.

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bluefish caught at southside during the Chillaware tourney guy was not in the tournament May 7 2018
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Dave Beebe, owner of Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle at the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier is one of them, he saw a guy load up a bluefish today at the pier in Cape Henlopen, that was caught in the surf somewhere in the park. “He didn’t want his picture taken and I don’t blame him”. Dave posted that on the shop’s Facebook page, and the internet goes wild! Now all of the stores are going nuts talking about one fish, hoping to get people to buy, and my messenger feed is lighting up like a Christmas tree on meth. So what is really happening? Dave’s reports are always solid, he saw a foot long blue caught at the pier the other day. He has been there at random times the last week doing inventory. There could be a lot more going on there than anyone knows because hardly anyone has been fishing.

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Bluefish at the Southside on Memorial day weekend

So what is actually happening with the bluefish run? If we hold to tradition then it should be starting right about now. So get your narrow ass off that couch and hit the surf. The report chasers are just waiting to hear about the blitz, along with the time, and place they should show up to catch. That isn’t fishing, but here we are in this day and age. Hence the naming of the pier beach “head boat” beach last year. People shoulder to shoulder trying to hook big blues as they circle the flats looking for food. I’m guilty of running down there when they would show up, I like hitting big gators on a spoon or plug, and then let them go. The wholesale killing of your 10 per day bluefish limit is one of the reasons there aren’t as many fish. Why people don’t get that is beyond me. The run of these blues has gotten less and less each year, due to the fact there are less fish. In a way that is a blessing for the summer fishing, we might see more spot and croaker this year and earlier than later. Those blues eat everything and I mean everything.

Corby Fulton with a snapper and the stretch for a bigger fish picture. Summer blues at the point

There are schools of gators moving up and down the coast, or headed up the coast, or moving around in a circle in the surf feeding. They are showing up in Jersey above us and probably below us as well. What they are actually doing no one knows, except eating everything in their path as they migrate north. What I do know is if you are not out there fishing, you are going to read about it before you even get a chance to experience it. Anglers going for small bass are bringing back half of their soft plastics after a hit, those are bluefish, size to be determined. Switch to metals as soon as that happens, you will just feed them a lot of plastic.

Go fishing, and maybe you will catch. That is how that guy Dave saw today got his blue. He went fishing. He didn’t wait for a report or anything like that, he just went fishing, hoping for a catch. He was using a popper, fishing for blues or big striped bass. He put in the time and was rewarded with a great catch, that ladies and gentlemen is fishing.

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Bluefish this morning near Lewes hitting green … Chris Ranney

The weather is going to be horrible tomorrow, I would still go fishing if I had the time and didn’t care about the weather. If it is thundering and lightening I would not go fishing. Then again I am stubborn enough to try in a storm anyway.
Those big blues and striped bass will hit in the rough water, they actually prefer those conditions. Easy pickings when the smaller bait is more worried about not getting tossed around in current than watching their back for predators. Use metals and plugs. Bait should work as well, fresh bunker will be the ticket. You will probably need a small brick to hold bottom.
I prefer lures, they allow you to move around more, carry less, and I already own a metric ton of lures. So I don’t need to buy bait.

Fish On!
Rich King

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