Stripers Still Hitting In Jersey

 

striped bass, new jersey, ocean city, cape may, rockfish, delmarva
Brad Emery …. Striper still coming. Had my best day to date today off of New Jersey

The striped bass just aren’t cooperating for us in Delaware this year.  Boats are still getting into rockfish once they find them off the Jersey coast.  Whales are still all over the area as well.  The Delaware Bay has slowed down from zero to none for striped bass.  The usual places, like the 8’s, are not seeing any migratory fish.  You can still get into shorts up and down the bay beaches and tidal creeks, especially near bridges.  An occasional keeper has been caught from these schooling bass, but that is about it.  The inland bays and Indian River Inlet has slowed down for schooling bass and that probably has to do with the temperatures averaging forty degrees.  Some shad action can still be found at the inlet on shad darts.  The Chesapeake bay anglers are still seeing great catches once they find the fish so there is always that option.  You either have to head north to Jersey or jump over to the big bay.   I got the “call” the other day from Mitch King.  “Grab your gear!  There are birds working a mile long line about a hundred yards off the beach from the inlet to Dewey Beach.”  So of course I dropped everything and headed to the inlet, not five minutes after I got back home from Cape Henlopen.  Lots of gannets were raining off the coast but we didn’t hook up anything.  The surf has been heavy the past few days, with waves breaking farther out than normal making casting beyond them a bit tough.   There were huge bait slicks all over the ocean out front, we were all disappointed we didn’t catch.  There were a few people that pulled into the inlet once the bird word was out.  The boats coming in were marking fish but not hooking up either.

The Inlet the other day, you can’t see them in the video, but the birds off the coast were gannets raining on bait. 

 

cape henlopen fishing pier, delaware, sussex county
So far the Cape Henlopen fishing pier is still open I do not know for how long.

Tautog action has been decent for the charters and boats.  Katydid has done her fair share of filling the box.  Up and down the east coast blackfish anglers are doing rather well.   White perch action has been good in tidal creeks up and down the Delaware coast and inland waterways.  Yellow perch are on the move and people have been hitting some nice prespawn fish.  Crappie action is picking up as well.   Time to dump the rockfish gear in the man cave, and breakout the ultralights and fly rods.  I do love some winter fishing, and with the mild temperatures this weekend it will be nice to be inland away from the heavy winds.  Time to start hitting Seaford at the riverwalk and few other favorite spots to do some tidal river fishing.  There is some great spots inland and the ponds are always hot for pickerel action.  Nothing like catching those on light gear and small silver spoons.  Tackle shops are stocking up with shiners for all the bait anglers, you will have to call to see who has what available, check our business directory bait shop section for a store near you.  The Maryland boys are seeing the same action.

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Calm day at the beach in Cape Henlopen an hour before I got the “call”

katydid sportfishing, tautog, togin, delaware, sussex county
The Katydid’s Wednesday Regulars … 22 tog, largest was 11.13lb and 9.2lb tog. Several other fish over 7lbs

The surf? …  Skating rink and dog pound, but that doesn’t mean you won’t pick up a random short striped bass or even a keeper.  You don’t know unless you go.  Top and bottom rigs with cut bait might produce some spotted hake, everyone has been fishing for striped bass so much they forget to look for the smaller species.  The waves will be heavy this weekend, you might want to trade that rod in for a surf board and wet suit.  Holding bottom in the surf will be tough, I would start at six ounces and see how it goes.  The other day we had a hard time casting beyond the breakers, the sand bars are closer to shore creating a great surf break, but tough to get past with lures and we were standing waist deep.  This weekend temperatures will hit the sixties on Sunday but it will be a tad nautical out.   The surf has been about forty four degrees, the inland bays are topping out at forty two degrees, dropping as low as forty, and the Delaware Bay is averaging  forty four degrees from the upper to the lower bay.   High tide will be around 8 AM Saturday at the Indian River Inlet, and the low is around 2 PM.  We have a small craft advisory at sea until Saturday afternoon and a gale warning Sunday Morning into the afternoon.  Coincidentally it will hit sixty degrees on Sunday.  The Saltwater Fly Anglers Of Delaware’s  Saturday fly tie meets at Lewes Harbor Marina started last weekend.  Come out and learn about fly fishing in Delaware from the club, great group of people, from 8 AM till noonish.  Wear waders it can get a little deep when tying flies and telling lies.  The wizards of the long wand can spin some tales, but teach you a thing or two.

Fish On!!

Rich King

 

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