Summer Fishing Has A Nice Variety


sharks eating fish on the retrieve, kingfish, cape henlopen state park, delaware, sussex county
Ron Swanson … 1.5 kings. Felt a little pull, then a big pull!

The temperatures have shot up around the inland bays to eighty-two degrees and drops to around seventy-four at night.  We are in the bathtub temperatures of summer.  The fishing has been decent but you have to put in some work for some fish and others are just a bonus catch people don’t necessarily target.  The baby smooth hammerheads are still being caught in the surf.  Massive hound fish are around the inland bays and the surf.  Those two fish you don’t target, they just happen to bite.  The hammerheads are hitting cut baits on top and bottom rigs.  The houndfish will hit cut bait and mullet rigs.  Everyone wants to know where the croaker are and we just haven’t seen too many.  Small ones here and there.  Maybe this weekend that will change, you just never know.

The hardest fish to catch of any decent size around the inland bays are flounder.  It has been great for some, but mostly donuts for others.  Lewes canal is producing but it is also hit or miss.  Minnows or gulp have been the best baits.  The white six-inch swimming mullet gulp is working the best.  Some are using both just to double down on their chances.  The Henlopen pier is seeing mostly throwbacks but some decent action for flatties.  Bowers Beach Jetty area is producing some  flounder and a lot of spike trout (small weakfish).  Delaware Bay wreck and reef sites have been good for the charters.  Offshore is still the best action at the Old Grounds.


Bowers beach, delaware, sussex county, kentcounty, summer flounder, fluke, flat fish, delaware bay, jetty fishing, murderkill river
Jim Davis with a 21 inch flounder from Bowers Beach

Spot are getting bigger in the surf and around the Cape Henlopen pier.  Hitting fishbites and bloodworms on top and bottom rigs.  They are the perfect cut bait size or several will make a nice fish taco.  kingfish are thick in the surf hitting the usual baits and even mullet rigs.  They are definitely tasty, so much that sharks are slamming them on the retrieve and people are reeling half of a fish.   That is happening in the surf and at the pier.  Lots of small sandbar sharks out there, be careful not to remove them from the water.  Spotted hake are still in the surf and the bays.  Cusk eels are starting to hit more and more, these are great to add to the life list but not to eat.  Live lining one might pick up a striped bass, they love a good cusk eel meal.

Slot striped bass action is great in the Delaware Bay and tributaries.  The action at Bowers around the jetty is great if you like ten inch fish, but there have been some bigger caught.  The inner and outer walls have some decent slot action.  Lewes canal and Canary creek are producing as well.  Swim shads, bucktails, and rattle traps are the best lures.  Sand fleas are working great at the Indian River Inlet for short striped bass and even a keeper here and there but that is late at night.  Sheepshead are being caught on fleas at Indian River Inlet as well.  Bluefish action there has been decent and same with the shad.


s-peckled trout, specs, delaware, sussex county, cape henlopen flats, pier, harbor of safe refuge
Speckled trout caught by Jake Powell
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Jake Powell caught a speckled trout near Cape Henlopen Pier in the flats on a fly.  He is a member of the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware club.  Those specks will hit pink soft plastics on jig heads.  Nice to see a few specks in the area, good eating just like weakfish another unicorn we rarely see with good size.  Weakies are a dime a dozen for the spike sizes all over the place.  Not much for decent sizes the last couple of weeks.  There have been some small fifteen inch keepers here and there, the creel is thirteen inches.  The little silver fish in the surf with yellowish fins are American Silver perch and there are a lot of them out there.


cusk eel, delaware, sussex county, fenwick island, delaware seashorestate park, cape henlopen state park
Sean Cleaver caught this cusk eel at Fenwick Island

The offshore action is on fire for Yellowfin, mahi, bluefin, and marlin.  The action has been Masseys canyon to Poormans and the surrounding area, but that keeps moving around a little bit.  I think the Delaware Jet Ski crew is headed to the Washington canyon next weekend, that should be interesting, and we might be tagging along this time.  I haven’t been offshore in a long time.  The charter boats have been dong great now is the time to hire one and get out there.

All in all it is decent action out there with a variety of fish.  You just have to get out there and put in the time.  The heat is not making it easy, so stay hydrated and in the shade if you can.  Have a great weekend, stay safe, and be smart.

Fish On!!

Rich King

Tide IRI … 

07/15 Fri 05:37 AM 2.28 H
07/15 Fri 11:28 AM 0.49 L
07/15 Fri 06:26 PM 2.88 H
07/16 Sat 12:36 AM 0.66 L
07/16 Sat 06:28 AM 2.32 H
07/16 Sat 12:11 PM 0.43 L
07/16 Sat 07:13 PM 3.01 H


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