Surf Fish The Hurricane Ian Storm Surge But Watch Your Six

This is walk on surf fishing don’t bother driving

People always ask should I fish this (every) storm, and they absolutely should. We always fish nor’easter conditions in the fall for striped bass. Hurricanes aren’t much different except the intensity. Bait fish will be pushed into pockets and against structure.
The resident striped bass love to feed in these conditions. The food is disoriented from trying to avoid heavy currents and rough water, as well as amped up predators. You will want to walk in to fish most beaches today, parks will possibly close the drive on accesses for high tide concerns, which is around noon and midnight today and into weekend to about 2 PM. Early morning and evening low tides. Use The Beach Web Cams To Check Conditions

Watch for rip currents, which are the best areas to fish. STAY NEAR THE ENTRANCE. Don’t stray to far from the entrance to the beach. If the water comes in as a huge surge you may need to get out faster than usual. Being near the entrances helps a great deal. I would walk on and fish this is not drive on beach buggy bingo. Delaware Walk On Surf Fishing Locations

Low tide at north beach 6:45 am this morning Sept 30th, 2022

Striped bass short to keeper sized, these are resident bass don’t get excited. They are in the wide wash of the surf zone, feeding on sand fleas and bait fish in twelve inches of moving water. You can actually see them if you pay attention. Bluefish will do the same. May see some red drum rip through there you just never know. Yes there are sharks in the ocean too.
Mullet are starting to move into the surf zone and flats at Cape Henlopen State Park. These sudden water temperature drop triggered the resident short striped bass to school up around the inland bays and feed heavier. The fall run is coming, the bass need to feed. Fish need energy during storms to keep moving in the currents. They will feed. You just have to decide how wet you want to get for a fish.

Debris washed up on beach during storm surge if this washes up behind you it will take out your legs

Watch your back if you are wading the surf wash. Which is the only way to get a line out there in this wind and heavy surf. Boards and debris always wash up and can take your legs out from under you. A large piece of wood moving through a wave’s backwash will have some serious force. A board with nails will be even more dangerous. Just watch your six (back), especially with water washing behind where you are standing. Waves will get bigger as the day progresses. It is best to do this type of surf fishing with a buddy for more safety. Who doesn’t want a friend around on a hold my beer moment.
Use The Beach Web Cams To Check Conditions

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Bethany beach 7 AM Sept 30th 2022

Indian River inlet anglers, the bait fish and fish will be hugging the rock’s. Predators will be feeding on those bait fish. You will lose more gear in rough water than calm water. Jigging works but pay attention. Small swim shads to mimic mullet should produce.

It is wet and windy as hell out there, gear up for the weather. Watch your back at high tide if you drive onto the beach. Not recommended on the incoming tide at all. The water will most likely hit the dune lines at high tide. Expect parks are close some of the drive on beaches ahead of time, but you can walk out and surf fish. Now would be a good time to try the town beaches. Delaware Walk On Surf Fishing Locations

DS Custom Tackle 6/0 Circle Hook high low rig for striped bass

To rig up for the hurricane surf zone wash we use pencil sinkers, inline trolling sinkers, or bank sinkers. This is beyond rough surf fishing this is targeting the surf wash zone, not the waves. Sputnik sinkers and surf claws will not hold at all. You can use them for this technique but it puts a lot of wear from the heavy weight on your gear and you. We are going lighter gear and an easy to manage rig.
You only need one rod that is comfortable to hold. At the end of a DS Custom Tackle Striped Bass Hi Lo rig with 6/0 circle hooks. Hook up a couple sand fleas, mullet chunks, or whatever bait you have. You will want your bait on you, this isn’t bring a bucket fishing either. Ever have a pocket full of sand fleas? Get in the top of the wash you’re gonna get wet. We prefer waders. Barefoot is fine but the debris is an issue at least wear old shoes or sneakers. Better to have protection, yes we are still talking about fishing.

Cast towards the current. Keep the line tight, that is not easy. You want the sinkers to roll along the bottom and “drag” that rig through and across that surf wash. The weight has to be at the bottom of the rig to keep the line tight anything after the weight would tangle. Use two to four ounces. The less you use the easier it is to cast and the faster the rig moves. That call you make on scene. The rig will move fast across the area you are fishing and then you reel in and cast again. Its like fishing a rip but you’re on the beach surf fishing in twelve to eighteen inches of fast moving water. That is almost a hundred feet wide at times and hundreds of yards long. If your rig is getting tangled up go down to one hook about a foot or so from the drag or bank sinker.
Add a swivel to the sinker end of the rig to help keep the line twist to a minimum, there should be a swivel on top of the rig already.

Good luck, watch the waves!

bank sinkers, bank fishing, drift rig weights,
Bank Sinkers

Marine Forecast Discussion

.MARINE...
A Small Craft Advisory is now in effect for all waters today as the 
northeast winds increase to 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt this 
morning, then 25 to 30 kt later today. For tonight, a Gale Warning 
is in effect for Lower Delaware Bay and the Delaware and southern NJ 
ocean waters as wind gusts of 35 to 40 kt will develop. SCA 
otherwise on northern NJ and upper Delaware Bay. VSBY restrictions 
in rain tonight. Isolated thunderstorms possible as well.

Outlook...

Gales continue on the southern waters into Saturday afternoon, and 
then a SCA will be needed thereafter. SCA conditions then on tap 
through Saturday night.

A Gale Warning will likely be needed for Sunday for widespread 35 to 
40 kt gusts.

VSBY restrictions in rain and isolated to scattered thunderstorms 
through the weekend.

Monday...Gales likely. Northeast winds 20-30 kts with gusts up to 40 
kts. Seas 8-12 feet. Winds and seas will begin to subside overnight. 
A chance of rain.

Tuesday...Small Craft Advisory conditions likely. North winds around 
15-20 kts with gusts up to 30 kts. Seas 7-10 feet. A chance of rain.

Rip Currents... 

Onshore flow strengthens with northeast winds around 20-25 kts. The 
period will increase as well getting near/over 8 seconds. With a 
medium/long period northeast swell, and breaking waves around 3 to 5 
feet, there is a HIGH risk for the development of dangerous and life 
threatening rip currents at New Jersey and Delaware ocean 
beaches.

Due to prolonged onshore flow and high surf, an elevated rip
risk is likely to continue through at least mid week next week.

Given prolonged elevated risk of rip currents, we are currently 
evaluating if we will extend the issuance of the SRF beyond what 
was scheduled to be the final SRF forecast this morning.

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