Spring Fishing Has Been Great This Year
The weather is awesome, well it hasn’t rained in a few days so there is that. The pollen has been miserable. Check on your friends with allergies, we are not okay. Every rain the roads and puddles turn yellow. The water temperatures are rising slowly thanks to cool nights and warm days, as well as the ton of rain we have seen. I am good with that, a nice long spring slide into summer is fine by me. Much more preferred than cold to nuclear hot summers, like the past couple of years. The fish are certainly enjoying the slower transition.
If you are living under a rock then you probably don’t know the bluefish showed up in full force. The action has been epic, the crowds not so much. Best advice is fish away from the crowds and you will still catch fish, they (fish) tend to move around. Granted they will sit in one area for a few hours on the tides, but they do move. The southside of the Indian River inlet has been packed daily with anglers busting blues from the beach. Ocean City inlet has some serious action as well as the Indian River Inlet. Night time fishing has been great. Daytime has been just as good on the incoming tides at the beaches and inlets. The inland bays and tidal creeks are holding a lot of bluefish now as well down here in Sussex county. The May The Fish Be With You Surf Fishing Tournament saw a good amount of bluefish caught.
Broadkill River and Canary creek are holding bluefish. striped bass, and flounder. YOu are going to need a boat for Broadkill or a kayak for Canary creek. You can fish the bridge and banks at canary creek on Pilottown road beofre the boat ramp in Lewes. You can fish the banks of the Broadkill at Bech Plum Island State park or the end of Oyster rocks road. Wear boots it gets muddy at high tide. You cna fish the canal in Lewes at the park or the area under the bridge. The toewn docks are off limits but people fihs there anyway. Running a yak around the area near the park is a great way to fish the sturcture int he canal. FIsh the coast guard station at night with a yak or boat under the lights the fihsing is hot in Roosevelt Inlet area.
One thing about these bluefish, and all bluefish, but especially these skinny spring gators. They are feeding heavy, and food competition is a real deal when they are this hungry. Anglers are getting lines cut a lot and losing fish and gear. These fish will follow a caught fish and try to rip whatever is in that fish’s mouth out for food. They are fighting for that food, competition is fierce. If you aren’t using steel leaders you will lose gear. If you are using shiny leaders and swivels they will hit those and you will lose gear. It barely takes a tap of a bluefish tooth to cut a line. If you are fishing a school fish the side of the school closest to you so you don;t have to drag a catch through a school of angry hungry fish with razor sharp teeth. The surf is easy fish close to the beach, not very far out.
You can take advantage of the food competition if you are fishing with friends,l or people who are cool with this if you ask them first. We do this all of the time. When someone in your crew hooks up, cast near the fish they are retrieving, without interfering with their line and retrieve. Nine times out of ten there are fish following that caught fish, trying to get their food (your lure). If you cast a plug, spoon, or bucktail near that fish the others following will hit your rig. Hold on too, that is one seriously hard hit, and a whole lot of fun! Make sure your fishing neighbor is cool with you casting at their retireved fish.
Striped bass action has been great in the Delaware River up near Port Penn and Augustine area. Boats are having the best luck, but some anglers are hitting keepers from the banks. Bunker chunks have been the go to bait. Big bass like bunker heads. They usually cherry pick the bluefish schools for food, and the only part the blues don’t eat are the heads. The bass love to gobble those up from below. Big bass (cows) are lazy, until you hook one up then it is fifty pounds of angry fish. I am talking the big fish not the average keeper. There have been a few keeper bass caught off the Delaware beaches and Assateague Island beaches.
Black drum action is still hot and heavy at Broadkill beach and other Delaware Bay beaches. The boats are now going out into the bay and catching. One thing. these big fish, like striped bass, need to be handled correctly if you are going to release them. Holding a 30 plus pound fish by the gill plate can kill it. I have seen a lot of fish handled wrong and there have been many dead drum found along Delaware bay beaches this week. Those are the ones that make it to shore or are found. Sand fleas afre abundant in t he surf just dig, the drum are tearing up fleas. Clam is alos working but fleas have been the ticket.
Surf fishing is producing its share of skates and dogfish. There are northern puffers out there as well. Everyone is throwing big bait for blues and striped bass. You can use top and bottom rigs for the little fish but the blues, when they move in will destroy your gear. Keep a spoon at the ready on a good casting rod for that action too. I love catching big blues on three ounce silver gator spoons. The action is fun and the hit is nasty when they grab that spoon.
Flounder action in the Lewes canal and inland bays is really picking up. Anglers are using pink Gulp, minnows or silversides. Drifting rigs along the bottom has been the best. You can also catch them in the surf jigging the cuts, and rip currents areas. Even Broadkill river and Canary creek in Lewes area is seeing some nice catches. Not surprising since those waterways are all connected at the Roosevelt inlet. The peir has been good actiona s well and seeing some decent keepers. There were flounder lying in the sand along the surf edge the wother night. You ccould scoop them up by hand. Time for some gigging.
Crabbing is really picking up with trot lines, soaking pots, or hand lining from piers and boats. The pot poachers of Pot Nets are in full force too, don’t let your posts soak too long. Usually a left behind buoy and float with no pot is from a boat hitting the line, but not always. Make sure you have your turtle guards the diamond back terrapins are plentiful this year. Don’t put your pots in deep water at low tide they will move when the tide comes back up and stay out of the channels.
Freshwater fishing has been great in all the ponds and waterways. Nothing like a day of pond hopping and worm dangling. The fly fishing has been a lot of fun. There will be a fly fishing tournament in September at the beach in Cape Henlopen. That will be a lot of fun.