Summer And Spring Fishing

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Crooked Hammock Brewery Actively Fishing Lager and Beach Escape Session IPA seasonal craft beers

Summer is in full swing, but the fishing has a combination of both seasons!  The weekends have been crowded, but if you know how to fish the crowds you can do well.  The easiest and best time is to fish when everyone else is still asleep.  Predawn hours or after dark into predawn hours is a great time to look for striped bass in the surf, big ones. 

Dillon Walker with a burrfish from the surf. They are big this year.

   I don’t care what the tides are doing, when that sun cracks the sky, most of the fish start feeding.  When you wake up in the morning you are hungry, plain and simple.  The tides certainly affect fishing, but I have noticed in the surf, when the sky starts to stir nature, she feeds.  A great cue are those morning, loud annoying marsh birds.   
  When that fishing dies off in the morning is about the same time the beaches fill up with people at the drive on.  That is when we leave and go look for other places to fish, crab, or clam away from the crowds.  Grab the kayaks and hit the out of the way  creeks, coves, back bays, and ponds.  We go where the boats can’t.  It makes for a fun day on the water.

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Crooked Hammock Brewery Actively Fishing Lager and Beach Escape Session IPA seasonal craft beers

  When evening is about to roll back around we will head back to the beach.  Once the majority of the crowds leave to go stand in line for dinner.  We hit the beach, break out the grills or open the subs we brought and fish into dark, even the following morning. 
    The drive on beaches are pretty much cleared out by 7 PM in the summer. 

Ralph Rispoli got this blue at Broadkill Beach. You just never know when or where the blues will show up

 The fishing has been changing up from the spring madness of the bluefish to a melee of summer fish.  Kingfish, burrfish, sand perch, and northern puffers have been a frequent catch in the surf now that the blues have calmed down.  Spot and Croaker just showed up over last weekend.  Anglers have been doing well using squid, fishbites, bloodworms, clam, and sand fleas.  Top and bottom rigs.  We use DS Cutom Tackle rigs, they are made with Owner hooks, a very sharp long lasting hook.  Locally made by anglers for anglers, ask for them by name at your local shops.
 Don’t buy cheap gear, it is all made in China with the cheapest components, the last thing you want on a rig is a cheap hook.  Once these cheaper hooks get wet they get a tiny rust spot and hooks start snapping.  They are not made to last, they are one and done rigs.   

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    Don’t panic there are still some bluefish around.  They have been showing up in the surf randomly and the Cape Henlopen fishing pier.  For the most part they are along the Delaware Bay beaches, in Canary Creek and Broadkill River. You can fish the kill at Beach Plum Island State park or the end of Oyster rocks road.   
The bluefish should push out of the river once the temperatures increase.  This mild spring has really kept the water temperatures at premium levels for better fishing.   Mullet rigs are working great for blues when they are around.  The Modified Mullet Rig by DS Custom Tackle is saving anglers bait and catching more fish. The mullet stays on and you get more hook ups, total win win for any angler.

Kevin Golden Jr catching weakfish at Broadkill Beach

The drum action has died at the beaches, but is still okay out in the Delaware Bay on the coral beds.  The Lewes charters have been seeing some action.  Many of the boats are switching over to flounder fishing.

Spot and croaker have just shown up at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier the last few days.  The surf around Lewes is seeing a little hardhead action, they are small but still a fun catch. Use lighter gear, it is that time of year. Ultralight gear with top and bottom rigs and a one ounce bank sinker for some fun pier action.   

Weakfish catches are increasing and up to five pound fish are being caught.  There are schools of weakies around the Delaware Bay and the bay beaches. Broadkill and Beach Plum island had some excellent action with the onshore winds last few days.

The weakies are running the tides, and when there is an on shore blow anglers are finding them close to shore in the surf.  I sure do miss eating trout.  Maybe we are seeing a comeback for weakfish. This may be due to the striped bass numbers being down, trout these days tend to be food for the bass. Clam has been the preferred bait but they will hit just abotu anything. Jigs with pink soft plastics work well.

We are still seeing some decent striped bass action, though random and not as plentiful as the past weeks.  The short bass action is always fun around the waterways, just fish rips on moving tides with small swim shads or bucktails.  Keeper striped bass are random and even a surprise for some anglers.

    Offshore action is picking up for yellowfin tuna, big eyes are hitting the docks now too. Anglers have been going out a lot the past week.  This weekend is going too be some rough seas offshore.
Black sea bass action has been excellent for the charters and head boats.

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Masseys Ditch temperatures have been steady bouncing around but have been holding at great temps for fishing.

Flounder fishing is better all around the area, but everyone has been favoring the Lewes canal.  The inland bay action is picking up and the Cape Henlopen fishing pier is seeing some decent action with a few bigger sized keepers.  Flounder have been averaging around 18 inches for the most part.

Crabbing is much better.  Pot Nets residents are already complaining about stolen crabs, that is usually a good signal the crabbing has picked up.  
  Most of us wait until the crabs shed out a couple of times to get away from the “mud”.  After the crabs emerge from their winter rest, they are full of mud.  We like them to get cleaned out a  little before eating. 
I also clean my crabs before I steam or cook them.  I don’t like the mustard, yeah I know that isn’t popular, but I know what is in the mustard and I am not eating it.  I steam them, but I also will pan sear a few in butter and white wine with garlic and all kinds of combinations.  The crab meat tastes just as good but I like to play with flavors.  Putting cleaned crabs in spaghetti gravy is the bomb!   Yes, I also just called sauce, gravy.

Have a great weekend. 

Fish On!
Rich King

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