Spring Is Headed This Way
So the question on everyone’s mind is when will spring be here? When will the fish show up? If you remember last year, at this time there was an ice pack on the Delaware Bay that was creating issues for the ferry traffic and pilot boats. Rehoboth beach had ice almost a mile offshore when the ice pack moved south out of the bay. There were chunks of ice the size of small cars on the beaches and floating off shore. The point on February 28th had ice piled up three feet high along the entire shoreline. The ponds were so frozen trout stocking had to be delayed for two weeks. This year we got lucky and had a much milder winter. Yeah it was cold but that is how winter rolls, yet we only had some severe cold once or twice and only for a few days. We do have a couple more cold snaps headed this way for next week,but I am hoping that will be it for the harsh winter. I wouldn’t even mind some spring snow, so long as the fishing picks up faster this year. Seems like last year everything showed up at once and then the bluefish blitz that lasted seven weeks ate everything.
The fishing this winter is still going on for many anglers. Yellow perch action is hot when you find them. Seems to be more males than females in some areas. The bite has been good on minnows using bobbers. Some of the smaller perch jigs and flies are working well when they are feeding heavy. The white perch action has been decent on bloodworms. You can find fresh bloodworms this weekend at Old Inlet Bait and Tackle this weekend. Pickerel have been hitting hard on spoons and lures. People are still freaking out about the spinner bait used on that state record bass but I know other anglers that are having luck with spinner baits this early in the season. Crappie action is hot in all areas, and many a citation fish has been landed. The freshwater scene is doing well and trout stocking will happen next week in the designated ponds. The rivers up north that overflowed their banks the other day are going to send some very muddy water into the Delaware River and Bay. Catfish are being caught up and down the state on bloodworms and stink bait.
Surf fishing has been quiet aside from skates. I do know there is bunker off the surf and silver perch. Matt Adams found small silver perch washed up on Dewey Beach the other day. That is always a good sign of fish off the beach. Small top and bottom rigs with bloodworms, clam, or squid will catch those. They only top out at nine inches long but enough of them make a nice meal. A bunker was found by George Kalwa the other day washed up in Ocean City, it had a huge chunk missing from its center. The bite looked fresh and so did the fish. Most likely it was the victim of a seal. Always good to see plenty of bait fish in our waters. Now we just need the migratory fish to show up. The beaches are carved up, the swales are still there and high tide in some spots is an issue. Be careful driving, stay out of the wet sand. If you are not sure of an area, walk across it first, if it seems soft to your feet then driving across it would be a bad idea. Swales can still hold water under the sand surface and appear dry but act like quick sand. The fishing structure in the surf from the carved up beaches is going to be excellent for fishing this year. State parks do not do beach replenishment so that is a good thing for the anglers.
Tautog fishing out of Ocean City has been decent for many of the boats still venturing offshore in deep water to look for the bite. Saad Soliman and his buddies hit the Morning Star and fished with Captain Monty Hakins last week. Saad… “Tog out of OCMD had been spotty lately. Captain Monty on the Morning Star ran a group of 16 out deep and we fished for tog in 140 ft of water… Surface temp was 43 bottom temp was 46, it’s a weird scratchy bite but there are quality fish coming up, I went top dog with a nine pounder, there were about 25-30 keepers boated… White crab was the bait of choice” Saad won the pool that day with a nine pound tautog and hit six keepers in under fifteen minutes when the bite turned on. If you can handle the ride and the weather, a day at sea in the winter season can be a rewarding trip with the right captain.
There are daffodils popping up, some trees are starting to bud, and on a warm day you can hear the peepers. Nature is all messed up over this mild winter, and spring can’t get here any faster.