Striped bass, sea bass, and herring … oh yeah!!

This is dedicated to my Uncle, Jim Davies, whom passed suddenly this morning.  I am going to miss him, and wish I had more time to see him.

striped bass, masseys landing
Bob and Rob Kutay with a striped bass they caught on live spot

It has been an eventful few days to say the least.  The fishing has picked back up thanks to temperatures increasing and baitfish availability, something that has also increased.  Every time I am at the Inlet the birds are working the water.  For the past few days I was near or crossing the Charles W Cullen Bridge, and I can not go near the Indian River Inlet without at least looking around, and checking the rocks for life.  This habit of mine has nothing to do with the website, just my own insatiable angler’s curiosity.  “Oh look! Water, let’s check for fish“.  We all do this at one point or another in our angling lives.  Monday I was fishing the back North wall near the marina, and product testing Guides Secret Lures, recently sent to DSF, and I have a lot of them to “play” with.  That area was easier to see the lures in the water.  A few friends have “volunteered” to help test them out with me soon, I could probably charge for this trip.  These are great plugs, and so far the action is a huge plus.  Less of a “tail” motion, and more of an entire “body” motion.  That is a lot of action for attraction.  I look forward to showing them off to a few fish.  I flung the Mucho Minnow Shore Catch Series at 4.5 inches and 3/4 ounce in Chartreuse, around for an hour.  I was not expecting to catch fish with a spring color, and I was not disappointed by said expectations.  The fish coming off the walls have been on or near the bottom, farther out than i can cast, and mostly on flies long lining.  I can load these plugs, or use a drag sinker to get them down and out there,  maybe even troll one with a mini planer.  I will probably try the drag weight first, I do not want to compromise these plugs.  Big thumbs up for this new line of lures, like I said, I look forward to using them this coming season surf fishing.  Thanks to Alan Rosenberger for loaning me a rod that can fling plugs, a nice Tica, my gear is all junk and shot out.

indian river inlet, bubble gum beach, striped bass, rockfish,
Konstantinos Nikolaou “gus” with a striped bass he hit long lining a fly

Striped bass in the past couple of days have been caught out front on the troll on “stretches”.  Live spot and eels have been working as well.  The fish are a bit more active, and we have baitfish everywhere.  Some boys saw a lot of bait “spools”.  I have been bouncing around Massey’s Landing for a few days as well.  The other day I was in Rick’s Bait & Tackle chatting with Mike, and a few folks dropped by… as Mike put it “A meeting of the minds” was at hand.  The boys were all looking for sea bass, and they apparently found them.  Cory and Gil went out the other day and caught a lot of nice fish on clams.  In over 200 feet of water, and wayyyyyyy out there.  That is a long boat ride to catch fish, and the fish have been easy …  to hard to find, depending on whom you talk with.  Fishing, you have to love it.  Bob and Rob Kutay brought a nice keeper striped bass to the boat ramp at Massey’s Landing yesterday, they were using live spot at the inlet.  This fish hit at slack tide just after the tide turned from the outgoing.  They were excited, and at the same time they came in, the clamming boys all showed up.  All day it was quiet down there, and at the same time all 4 boats on the bay come in.  It was a tad comical at one point.  I took a picture of the clammer’s haul.  Today one of the boys asked, “Were you the guy that took that picture yesterday? … Yes, sir that was me …  “Cool, I saw it on Facebook.”  Then we had a long hysterical conversation about Facebook et al.  I meet a lot of people everyday, and it has been good times.  Today was a little busy down there, the DNREC plane flew over, we are assuming for Phragmites control surveys.  She was fifty feet off the deck, Nick and I looked at each other, and said … well this could be bad.  That was before we realized they meant to fly that low, and when a plane comes around the corner at the tree line … well … you just don’t see that everyday.  One of the clammer boys had some engine problems today, and his buddy towed him in, normally we would pick on someone for a “ride-of-shame”, but this is the winter time.  Going out with 2 boats is the smartest thing you can do.  I have broken down in the bay before (don’t ask), and could walk home.  However, it is a tad cold out there for that, this time of year.  We helped him land the boat, after I took a picture, of course.  I may or may not post that one, no reason to pick on hard working watermen.  However, the rest of you are fair game for the season’s coming entertainment featuring … you are doing it wrong!  Be safe and smart out on the water in the winter, buddy up!

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I spoke with John Clark of DNREC this morning.  He said the debris at Massey’s Landing will be evaluated in the next day or so, and dealt with.  There has been a path cut through the debris, which is better than walking through pet waste soaked flotsam and jetsam.  We were also concerned with the debris on the pier rotting the wood, and causing damage.  Many of us love that area to fish, we clean up after those that do not, and just watching the activity in the “ditch” can be pure comedy gold.  Exciting things can happen at Massey’s Landing, even in an off day in the winter.  Yesterday I watched a Keystone cop routine trying to boat a trailer, and today we had a fly by of A-10’s F-16’s, the DNREC prop plane, and a boat was towed.  Exciting times at the ramp.  People pull in and out of there all day, talking fish, walking dogs, checking out nature, and fishing.  The “buzz” on campus is the striped bass that have been hitting hard the past 2 days, and the fact the herring are here, and have been for a few days or longer, species to be determined tonight.  Last night I watched tiny squid and grass shrimp whirl around under the lights at Massey’s Landing.  Today the algae on the rocks, at low tide were teaming with grass shrimp, minnows, and an unknown fish fry.  There are oysters growing all over the rocks, below the mean low tide line.  Something the tide has surpassed the last few days.  I don’t think I would worry as much this time about the King Tides, no relation to yours truly.  Last night the water at the Indian River Inlet was so low, and still going out, that I could have walked the sand at the rail like a beach.  The exact opposite seems to be happening, the “low” is lower than normal.  We will see over the next few days if the King Tides roll in more water.  The heavy winds last week did not help the water levels.  So, in review … fishing has gotten a little better, and the clamming is good.

Starting Monday night at Old Bay restaurant we will have our first meeting for the DSF fishing club.  This will be a “loose” or “soft” get together for suggestions, a meet & greet, and to get organized.  I will have all online store products available.  We will have monthly speakers, and possibly weekly meetings.  I will talk to Zach King about doing a club only special, otherwise it is $12.95 rib night, which are fantastic.  The $5 appetizers can fill you up rather well.   It will start around 5-6 p.m. until 8-9 p.m. and will have final times for you soon.  Everyone keeps asking us to do a club, so we decided to do one for ALL anglers.  I don’t care if you hate saltwater fishing and only fish freshwater.  Come out and tell some lies, while we tie some flies.

Fish On!!

Rich King

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