Striped bass are always around, we have resident bass that live in the bays. Our buddy Dave caught a 28 inch summer flounder on a fly the other day. He was shocked to catch one that large, this late, and on a fly. He was getting some striped bass fishing in during vacation. Drop shot on a 3 way swivel with a fly on a 3 foot leader, what everyone uses long lining the rail. This set up can catch fish at any distance, you are just using the weight to get the fly to the bottom where the fish are feeding. Different color combinations work better with different tides, time of day, and water conditions. Darker flies work better at night, more colorful flies during the day. This is not an exact science, just try to match the bait. Some anglers will add a small plastic curly tail grub to the “array” or display. Once you figure out what color is “hitting” then it is up to you to do some catching. The same concept as “bucktailing” … a lot of weight to get down to the bottom, hair or bucktail for the “fly” affect, and a soft plastic for added attraction. Whichever you prefer, that is where you will be fishing this winter, on or near the bottom. Bouncing along shoals and sand bars is a great place to find fish. Also the “eddies” of up currents and back currents near the rock walls at the inlets. During an outgoing tide, look for fish near the small outlets or “guts” from the marshes. Especially winter flounder, I have a friend that used to catch them with canned corn when he was a kid. He never could tell if it was the color or the scent, but it worked. Many fish will feed the grass “lines” or marsh edges, on an outgoing tide, as the “food” moves out of the grass. Winter flounder are already here, but the season is not until February. Summer flounder does not open until after 12/31/12. Getting your fishing license this year on the 1st is easy, if your local shops are open. “The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section would like to remind the public that 2012 Delaware fishing licenses expire on Dec. 31, so anglers will need a new license before going fishing in the new year. The 2013 recreational fishing licenses are available for sale on January 1 and can be purchased at DNREC’s license desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover (starting Jan. 2), at license dealers throughout the state, and online at www.fw.delaware.gov/fisheries. Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and/or boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580.” If a shop is open on the 1st, you can get your license locally. The DNREC offices are closed on the first of January, reopening the 2nd. Purchasing your Delaware fishing license online is a snap, and then you always have it on file. Print a few of them and keep them in your glove box, you never know. This is my preferred method, so I have a copy at all times.
Steve Williams lost a nice keeper striped bass on Christmas Eve at the Indian River Inlet. His Penn reel blew out a part that he recently replaced, he is still a tad bummed, and is now shopping around for a better reel. He knows he has the winter to look, and I am in the market as well. My gear has basically “had” it from wear and tear. We are going to look at some different reels, and put up some surveys to see what we and you think throughout the winter. There are several new models coming out for 2013, and a new rod from TICA I am looking at as well. I really need to get one now, so I can go out with Kenny and Mark. they have been doing great on the troll. Now Mark is making his famous fish chowder, and I am dying for some! We will have to get him to show us how to make this, it is the best fish chowder I have ever eaten, and I know getting the recipe will never happen. They did have a blast getting the main ingredients I am told. We will work on the rest of that recipe this winter, Mark makes really good seafood dishes. The boys have managed to limit the boat out a few times this past week and a half. Striped Bass are still on the move, and there are always the residents this winter. The tautog action is still good with some decent sized catches. Captain Chuck Cook of First Light Charters had another successful trip the other day, and he keeps bugging me to go on one. If the weather turns again I am all over it, but today it is pouring rain, and I am comfortable inside, warm and dry. Be safe out there, the weather is horrible today.