Striped Bass Spawning Season Regulations Started

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Photo by Mac Davis … Please report any and all seal sightings when they come onto land. MERR wants to keep an eye on them so they do not get into harms way. A seal was hit by a car on the Inlet bridge this past weekend. You can contact MERR for any marine mammal sightings or strandings at 302.228.5029 … Thank You

The days are getting longer and warmer.  Daffodils are popping up everywhere, the trees are budding, and purple henbit in the fields.  My old salt buddies get excited when this happens, they use that as a sign that the flounder are here.   The water temperatures are slowly rising, the surf hit forty one degrees today for the first time since December, and fish are becoming more active.  The Delaware upper bay is forty six degrees in Delaware City and the inland bays are about the same.  Striped bass are moving around the Delaware Bay and Inland Bays.  Keep in mind these are resident fish, but the Nanticoke River has seen some migratory fish move into the area from the Chesapeake bay for spawning season.  April 1st is the beginning of spawning season in Delaware and the regulations are now in effect, these are from the Delaware Fishing guide put out by DNREC  …

Striped bass Spawning season ….. The spawning season for striped bass in Delaware is considered to begin at 12:01 a.m. on April 1 and continue through midnight on May 31 of each calendar year. It is unlawful for any person to take and retain any striped bass during the spawning season from the Nanticoke River or its tributaries, the Delaware River and its tributaries to the north of a line extending due east beginning at and including the south jetty at the mouth of the C & D Canal, or the C & D Canal or its tributaries. Catch and release only during this season; no harvest is allowed.

Circle-hooks ….. It is unlawful for any person to fish during the striped bass spawning season on any striped bass spawning ground with natural bait using any hook other than a non-offset circle-hook when said hook measures greater than 3/8 inches as measured from the point of the hook to the shank of the hook.   The Division recommends that circle-hooks always be used when fishing natural baits because of their proven ability to reduce hook and release mortality for striped bass and other fish species. The circle-hook’s design usually results in fish being hooked in the mouth, simplifying hook removal and reducing injury to the released fish.

Charles W Cullen bridge, Mac Davis Photography, iri bridge, spring,
Charles W Cullen bridge photo by Mac Davis

There have been ample catches of short striped bass up and down the Delaware River coastline and Delaware Bay coast.  On both sides of the Big D, my buddies from Pennsville NJ have been hammering shorts in several places over there, and just shy of keeper sizes (28 inches is a keeper).  The bay beaches here have been active as well as some of the tidal rivers, Murderkill, and Nanticoke to name a few.  Perch are also on the hit list and small minnows or grass shrimp have been the best bait for those.  Bloodworms and clam have been the choice baits for striped bass.  James and his boys were plugging in Seaford the other day and ran into a plethora of shorty striped bass.  Bombers were the choice that day.  I just reloaded on deadly dicks and am looking forward to slinging some metal this week.  I have a few favorite spots I like to hit up for shorts and the occasional keeper.  I am advocating more catch and release this year, so we can have more striped bass for the years to come.  Please practice catch and release, let the females go, especially the bigger breeders.

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Trash collected at 3Rs beach this weekend

The beach clean ups have been going well.  This Sunday we worked on 3Rs beach.  A few folks showed up and some friends of mine from the 3Rs beach crew.  It was good to see everyone.  I am looking forward to Sunday fundays this year, and a few over nighters.  We cleaned for about two hours and then the rain let loose, well actually it poured.  Everyone was drenched, but we managed to clean most of the beach and pick up a couple hundred pounds of trash.  This weekend we will meet at Fenwick Island State park Bathhouse at 9 am and work on those beaches.  Every weekend there will be a beach clean up, the last one will be the weekend before memorial day weekend, and then we will move them to weekdays, and possibly in the evenings.  We encourage people to please clean up your area when you are out there even if it is not your trash.  That includes any area you are fishing or visiting public or private.  Primo Hoagies in Rehoboth has volunteered to feed the clean up crews after we are done, they have some great food.  I really appreciate them offering to help us out, that was very nice of them.  The weather is getting better and better, it will not be long now until toes in sand.  Don’t forget we have a tournament April 12th in Delaware Seashore State Park, that will be a fun day in the surf.

DNREC … Trout opens April 5th …..  “Delaware’s spring 2014 upstate trout season will open at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, April 5, with six designated trout streams in northern New Castle County – White Clay Creek, Christina Creek, Pike Creek, Beaver Run, Wilson Run and Mill Creek – stocked and ready with thousands of trout, including some trophy-sized fish.   Anglers looking to catch trout in White Clay Creek should be aware of a change for this season: Due to safety concerns with the new Pomeroy Trail, DelDOT has closed both sides of Hopkins Bridge to parking. Anglers and other park visitors can continue to park in designated parking areas or along Creek Road between Wedgewood and Hopkins roads as they have done in the past.  Anglers also should be aware that park entrance fees are now in effect”.

Fish On!!

Rich King

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