Striped bass are still in Delaware waters

striped bass, delaware surf fishing
Photo by Nick Kiessling … striped bass caught on clam in the surf at Faithful Steward

The weather warmed up over the weekend, not like it was predicted in some cases, but it was still decent.  There were a lot of folks coming this way to go for the striped bass that have been showing.  Keepers were pulled from the rail, rock piles, the bays, and out front on the troll.  There are shorties everywhere.  It was very foggy every morning, reminiscent of the day Ben Smith caught the new Delaware state record.  There were a lot of surf fishing vehicles on the roads this weekend.  Speaking of roads, on route 24 the pot holes in front of the school have been filled.  You know the big square ones that would all but rock your axle off the vehicle?  They are smooth as silk, you hardly realize you drove over them.  I have been all over the place this weekend with Alan Rosenberger.  We hit the inlet one night and met Jason Snead down there.  Alan was hitting shorties, as soon as we started, Jason had been there for 3 hours.  You can imagine the smack talk that ensued after Alan caught his second fish stick.  Jason finally hit one of them “thar” shad with stripes (you had to be there).  He did manage a beautiful cast to the far corner of the bulkhead, just to the outside.  The retrieve over the light pole next to us was entertaining, I almost did the same with a new plug I am product testing.  Dubi dropped by, and the smack talking increased.  It was an eventful night at the rail.  Not a soul down there except the four of us, and then Dave dropped by from Baltimore.  That is one heck of a detour to do some fishing, but he loves the inlet.  It is a lot of fun to fish down there, see people you know, and hang out.  We fished for a while longer and then headed back to Long Neck.  I wanted to catch some of the “bugs” in the water under the lights at Massey’s Landing.

striped bass, indian river inlet, coast guard station, alan rosenberger
Alan Rosenberger with a striped fish stick from the Indian River Inlet … DSF hoodie with a Photo bomb!

When we left the wind was picking up, and it was getting chilly, but everyone knew that warm front would be here the next day.  By the time we arrived at Massey’s Landing the fog was building.  Alan made up a wild looking but effective net, and we scooped up some of the critters in the water under the lights.  There were a bunch of grass shrimp, and an isopod that looked a lot like sea lice.  I have to send the picture to a friend of mine, possibly collect a specimen, and touching it looked like a bad idea.  Last thing I need is an isopod digging into the palm of my hand.  We shot a few pictures, and dropped them back into the water.  The shad quickly snatched them and feasted.  We would have stayed, and caught fish, but it was a school night for Alan.  I would come back the next night to try for the shad.  The next few days I was all over the place, and people were catching fish everywhere.  Mostly striped bass, a few small tautog from Massey’s Landing.  Friday everyone is messaging DSF … where do I get this bait or that bait, and what is working etc etc.  We answered everyone as much as we could, and sent them out armed to fish.  One reader fished the back walls was skunked, but had a beautiful day fishing, just he and his wife.  They had a great time,and that is what it is all about, catching is a bonus.  Bubble gum beach was packed on Saturday and Sunday, almost shoulder to shoulder according to a few folks down there.  Saturday morning Nick Kiessling and his crew hit a 33 inch striped bass on clam, they were near Faithful Steward crossing.  That is the access everyone calls Savages, which is on the bay side, not the ocean side.  Brandy Parker of Parker and Son HVAC was on Fenwick Island and hit a big dogshark on Sunday, and she saw a seal in the surf.  There were many shorties and a few keepers out of the inlet and back bays.  The boats trolling did rather well, mostly South of the Indian River inlet.  I was catching with a friend off his pier, I can’t recall where, or he will kill me.  Boys pulling into the boat ramps had stories of good catches or boxes of donuts.

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striped bass, indian river inlet, bubble gum beach
Jason Snead with a keeper striped bass aka the striped shad … from the rock wall

Jason Snead had a good time catching Sunday with Alan.  They each caught a keeper and had a good dinner for the table.  Nothing like chatting with them while they are cooking bacon wrapped rockfish.  Next time I think  I will just drop by at dinner time for the reports.  I could “hear” the bacon in the background, or my hunger was imagining things.  Either way that sounded excellent, but then again bacon with anything is great.  Neil Parry, a friend, DSF supporter, and affiliate has a fly fishing site almost finished for Delaware.  I am looking forward to working with him this year, and sharing fishing adventures, we have some interesting things planned.  You can follow him now on his Facebook page … First State Fly Anglers … “Welcome to the Facebook home for The website will be up in just a few days, and will include blog posts, articles, fishing reports, tips, tricks and anything of interest to the Delaware fly fisherman. Please “like” us, and join with other anglers in the state to form a community around the sport we love! ”  Good luck Neil!  I look forward to working with you this year, and many to come.  I am doing a “soft” meet and greet for the DSF fishing club tonight at Old Bay Steakhouse 18693 highway 1 at 5:30 p.m.  Plans changed so I will be in town this evening, might as well get started.  Port Dewey beach is now open again after some quick upgrades, and is on their winter schedule …  From Mitch King … Hello Port fans, winter schedule will be Wed -Sunday 5pm opening time. This week:  Wednesday $10 Pad Thai … Thursday: Thai specials for just $10 … Friday: Steak Night … Saturday: Steak Night … Sunday: Chicken & Dumplings $10.99.  Drop into Port this winter and hang with Mitch and the crew.  The air stations at Savages Ditch are being replaced according to a post by DMS … Good news! DNREC is updating the air pump and air stations at Savages Ditch. DSSP Manager Pat Cooper reports that work started on Monday, January 7.  The current air pump is not available.  No air pump will be available at this location until the work is complete.  Preliminary plans show the ability for 4 vehicles to “air-up” at the same time. The new pump and station will be similar to previous upgrades in the air facilities at DSSP and CHSP. ... This is good news, that air station is horrible.  Now if we can get the one in the woods at Fenwick Island fixed, or replaced … that would be awesome.  I would assume upgraded like 3R’s air stations.

Fish On!!

Rich King

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