Summer fishing fun in the sun
Well that didn’t take long and now we have another heat wave. I was enjoying the fall foreshadow days and evenings, but it is still the dead of summer. One day away from August, and one month away from Labor Day Weekend, which for many of us is when summer vacation starts. So far the crowded beaches have been tolerable this summer, mostly due to the open beaches at Gordons pond and Herring point. If that area were still closed the crowding would be more of an issue. The southern beaches are less crowded on the weekends and there has been plenty of room for the most part. I drove the beaches last weekend looking for friends and doing a little fishing. I was able to see what the rangers see. Apparently people who do not know the website thought my truck was a park vehicle. It was interesting to see people in the distance make sure they had their “stuff” together for that brief thirty-second drive by inspection. The funny part is when someone would yell it’s okay that isn’t a ranger. It was rather entertaining, and makes you realize a few things. The rangers do see all of this, but you can’t write a ticket for it, however it does put you on a mental list to keep an eye on you through out the day. People know they are breaking the rules and obviously don’t care, yet they put more effort into making sure they are legal for thirty seconds instead of just fishing. Anyway, summer “season” is almost over and then we can enjoy less crowded beaches, and hopefully more fish.
If you have ever wondered what an underwater reef looks like in our waters check out this video. This reef was created in March of 2015 by the Ocean City Reef Foundation and is already teaming with life. “This concrete reef was built in March 2015 and sits about 10 miles East of Ocean City Inlet and is home to a diverse marine habitat.”
I have yet to see many of the gulf stream fishes show up, such as pompano but that should be soon. Granted we have seen a manatee in the C&D canal and now one is way up the Delaware River near the Bordentown Marina in the Crosswicks Creek, New Jersey. Probably the same one that was seen near the North Summit Marina, but you never know. No more Portuguese man o wars have washed ashore, which is good for beach goers. The normal summer fishing has been rather disappointing for some folks. Many of us agree the bluefish blitz changed up the fishing this summer. The weakfish catches are almost non-existent. There is a gentlemen in our area working on a tagging program for weakfish and needs to catch a bunch. We are going to try to get him some volunteers to help out with this, if you are interested and are catching weakfish in the Delaware Bay please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org I am sure they could use all the help they can get trying to tag a fish we have barely seen since before the bluefish blitz.
Fishing is not a total bust, croaker are on fire and in some areas are huge this year. You can catch them with bait but jigging with small half ounce jig heads and soft plastics has done wonders for catching. The town docks in Lewes Have been crowded with anglers this year. The Lewes Canal has seen some great catches and well as the Rehoboth bay and Masseys Landing. On a side note, if you are fishing Masseys Landing and want to climb on the rocks, make sure you have proper footwear. We watched a guy in flip-flops take a header the other day trying to crab from the rock wall near the pier, had he fallen the wrong way he would have cracked open his head and then dropped into some very fast-moving current. Those rocks can be just as dangerous as any jetty or groyn in the ocean. Just because it doesn’t look dangerous doesn’t mean it is not. Lot of dolphins have been moving through the ditch from bay to bay chasing schools of fish. the flounder action has been decent at Masseys Landing, and the rest of the inland bays. The hot bait has been gulp … white, chartreuse or nuclear chicken, the latter being the best one. Minnows of course always work and if you can catch some spot or peanut bunker they have been a hot bait for flounder in the bays. Flounder pounding off shore has been excellent at the old grounds and other areas and reef sites. The charters have been doing well, if you are looking for a charter check out our business directory section … Charter Boats. If you are looking for a bait shop near you check the directory under bait shops.
Bluefish schools are all over the Delaware bay you just have to find them, and they have been running the beaches. This is why I am looking forward to the point opening, that is one of the best areas to catch bluefish this time of year from the surf. Lot of bait schools keep running up and down the coast, some have been very close to the beach. We certainly have a lot of food out there, just need some bigger fish following the bait fish to try to catch. Cobia are showing up from the surf and the boats. Mostly random catches while fishing for other species. Always good to see the man in the brown suit make an appearance. Bluefish is a good bait for cobia, and catching one from the surf is some serious fun. The shark action has been hot, and so far it seems that fewer people are beaching sharks ever since the DNREC report came out about people getting in trouble for doing just that, or they wised up and stopped posting them to social media. I still get the occasional picture asking what kind of shark this is, if you don’t know the species do not land it on the shore or boat. Asking after the fact is not a good thing to do, and can still get you in trouble if it is a prohibited species.
The surf has been quiet during the afternoons with random catches of kingfish, flounder, sand perch, croaker, snapper bluefish, skates, rays, dogfish, and sharks. I have yet to see any spot of any size show up in the surf. Afternoon fishing is still off unless you have a nice overcast day. The early mornings are the best, and late evenings. Over night fishing has produced some nice catches. Fishbites bloodworms, squid, clam, sand fleas, and mullet chunks have been the best baits. Bunker chunks will just get you into the large rays and sharks, but is good if that is your desire. Last weekend Corby Fulton watched a guy get stabbed with the tail of a ray when it whipped that around. The tail went right through the side of his foot. It took some convincing but Corby finally talked them into going to the hospital then or they would be there in the morning regardless. Lot of bacteria in a puncture wound like that, and despite the amount of vodka you pour onto it or in yourself, you still need to go the emergency room.
Soon we will all be into fall fishing but I still enjoy the summer. The Henlopen flats have been producing lots of croakers and flounder. Broadkill beach fishing has been nothing but dogfish for the most part, and small ones at that. The replenishment project is keeping the fish away most likely due to silt and noise. The weather is looking nice for the coming days, wind will be westerly so watch the flies out there. Water temps are averaging seventy-four degrees in the Delaware Bay near Lewes. Masseys Landing has been seventy-five at high tides and over eighty-two during the low tides. It is fluctuating a bit here and there but that has been the average. The cooler weather at night has been helping drop the temperatures. High tide at Indian River Inlet was at 9 Am this morning so it will be an incoming tide to the outgoing tide for morning fishing this weekend, which is great conditions, get out there and catch! Have a great weekend everyone and drive safe out there, it is that time of year, when people are taking those last-minute vacations.