Spring and Summer fishing collide

strom, coast guard, indian river inlet, wall cloud
Today’s storm at the Indian River Inlet … picture by BM2 Daughtery from the Indian River Coast Guard Station

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by today’s tornado in Kent County, they were hit by a viscous storm and tornado this afternoon.  A lot of rain and hail dumped on us very fast in Sussex county and it was surreal to see some of the pictures people were posting of the storm.  Between the bees up north that were dumped on a highway from an accident and today’s storm I am wondering what is in store for us in June.  Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and the summer season is here, please take care driving and slow it down, you are on vacation there is no need to rush around.  Be safe out there and have a great weekend.

 

atlantic croaker, port mahon fishing pier, delaware bay,
Atlantic croaker caught at Port Mahon by David Okonewski

Fishing the past several days has been great in some spots and not so hot in others, and by that I mean if you like catching skates and dogfish while dolphins are chasing bunker in front of you then it is great everywhere.  There have been striped bass keepers mostly on the southern beaches of Fenwick Island and Delaware Seashore state park.  Bunker chunks and bloodworms have been the best baits.  Blue fish are still showing on all of the beaches and some large ones in the five to six pound range have been landed.  Otherwise they are averaging around twenty four inches.  The Henlopen pier and Indian River inlet have had nice catches, but the inlet has produced more with larger schools on the incoming tides.   Shad have made a decent appearance, and when the birds are working the water the fish are there.  Flounder have been heavy at the Roosevelt inlet, Canary creek, Inland Bays and a few at the Indian River Inlet.  Pink or chartreuse gulp have been the best baits but the traditional minnow has been producing a little better as of late.  Puffer fish are still in the surf and fishbites bloodworms are the best baits, but squid will also work well.  Sea Bass opened the other day and the charter boats out of Lewes have done well and even caught a few cod.  The boats have been hitting the deeper wrecks for more catches.

bluefish, south bethany beach drive on access, surf fishing, atalantic ocean fish, migratory fish, predatory fish, gator blues,
Photo by … Carra Harrison Breen ….
Wayne Harrison 33 inch Blue — at South Bethany Drive On Beach

The Baltimore canyon saw some decent bluefin tuna catches over the past few days, and yellow fin.  The waters are coming alive with a variety of fish, spot as you know are here early this year.  Croaker are in the Delaware bay and as far up as Woodland Beach.  Dave Okonewski was at Port Mahon the other day catching very large croakers at the pier.   We have spring and summer fish here at the same time and it has made for some exciting variety of catches.  Shorty striped bass are in the surf and all over the place.  Weakfish have been the heaviest along the Delaware Bay beaches and Roosevelt Inlet in the six pound range.  Pink Zoom on a one ounce jig head has been a great bait for them or pink gulp.   The big black drum are still heavy in the coral beds and have moved farther north in the surf to slaughter beach and Bowers beach area.  A few are still showing up in the surf of the lower beaches and fresh surf clam is the best bait.  Horseshoe crabs have set up shop on the Northern Delaware bay beaches especially Pickering Beach and are spawning.  If you happen to hook one of them please carefully remove the hook and do not pick them up by the tail.  If you see any on the beaches please place them in the surf or just turn them over they will make their way back to the water.

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DE nest osprey project, raptors of delaware, slaughter beach, delaware wildlands, marsh predators, living fish finder
Photo by the DE Osprey Nest Project …

The other evening I went fishing with Corby Fulton and we watched a lot of dolphins chasing what turned out to be bunker.   It looked like a show from sea world, they were jumping out of the water busting up baitfish.  The osprey were feeding and a lot of other birds.  We kept hitting skates and dogfish like no tomorrow.   It was still a great evening on the beach, listening to the horn from the light house.  The beach was empty as far as you could see, that is the beauty of going out there on a weeknight.  There are very few people on the beaches during the week, except near holidays and closer to the end of the summer season.  Even on the weekends there are less people on the beach in the early morning and evenings, and those are the best times to catch fish.  Hopefully the variety of catches will last a little longer until we are into the summer’s obligatory fish in the surf and bays.

Check out the DE Nest Osprey Project on Utube.  The nest has been very active the past couple of weeks.  Mac and Kent Davis have done a great job documenting this nesting platform and its visitors whom they hope to become permanent residents.  Their Facebook page DE Nest Osprey Project is a great way to see updates.  We will also keep you up to date on this site.

 

Fish On!!

Rich King

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