Surf Fishing report
Finally some new fish to catch and talk about
(August 27, 2021) … Summer fishing rarely changes, just the frequency of catches. Some weeks it is pointless to do fishing reports, NOTHING changes. What does change are the water temperatures. Now we are in the bathtub month.
Flounder become more frequent along the surf. Spot, croaker, and the usual small fish still abide. Kingfish have been scarcer recently. You have to go a little farther out (cast) and deeper on the higher tides. Using a little heavier pyramid sinker or move up to a frog tongue. The current moves faster farther out especially along Cape Henlopen State Park.
Fishing the surf at a dead low tide in the middle of the day in the summer is pointless to some. You can catch, but it is brutal. The surf’s water temperature is eighty degrees. Even the pompano have slowed down.
Now we finally have the puppy drum in the surf. The little juvenile black drum that many mistake for sheepshead. Same baits and DS Custom Tackle top and bottom or spot rigs holding with pyramid sinkers. Same rigs and set up we use for the other small fish. Fishbites has been the easiest to bait, bloodworm availability is random. Sand fleas can be dug up or use the fishbites sand flea formula. Puppy drum can still be caught in the surf and waterways as late as November. The black drum showing up marks another incoming visitor I love to catch in the surf, Albies are inbound.
North Jersey to central Jersey and lower has come hot for albies in the surf. They are a blast to catch on spoons and other metals. Cast and reel very fast, like wrist crushing fast, they blitz bait. Deadly dicks are perfect for that action, spoons will surface too fast.
Finding Albies is easy just wait for them to come by in schools. The water will boil a little like bluefish, but it is different looking and easy to spot. The birds help too, they will follow albies more than the bluefish schools. The albies will also porpoise while chasing bait, which is a really good indicator. Based on reports up north I’d expect to see them in a week or so in Delaware waters. The Delaware bay boat anglers will catch them sooner than the surf anglers. If you are out on a weekday and the beach is empty, grab a rod for casting and be ready to move the vehicle in the direction of the fish.
The water temperatures are fire right now. Bathtub conditions which is perfect for more vibrio blooms. The inland bays recreational water advisory Be careful wading in hotter than usual water, and bathe or wash off afterwards. Wear old shoes walking the inland bays for glass and shells to prevent cuts.
Masseys ditch water temperatures are fluctuating between seventy-nine and eighty-four degrees. Fish early mornings and late evenings for better luck at catching. The drive on drinking beaches will be just that on the weekends at this point. This is why we like the point open soon, much better water to fish. Deeper, cooler, fast moving water. We do have schools of fish (bunker mostly) all over the place. You can check live Delaware bay water conditions on the Delaware Bay Operational Forecast System (DBOFS) . Just click on any of the red pins and it will pull up a page of all kinds of data; wind, tide, salinity, and water temperatures live. This is the Lewes or Cape Henlopen data page.
Peanut bunker schools are numerous around the inland bays. The striped bass, flounder, weakfish, and bluefish are hammering them for food. Yesterday at the inlet I was watching dead peanuts float by the rocks. There have been a lot of peanut bunker washing up on 3R’s and the inland bay beaches too. The predators hit a few peanuts to feed. Some get knocked out and die in that process. Using peanut bunker is great for bait but, cut the guts out of the fish. They are hard to keep on a hook though, thin fish with soft meat. A cast net can fill a five gallon bucket in one throw.
Mullet schools are around the cape henlopen fishing pier, the bay beaches in Delaware Seashore State park.
Schools of the adult bunker are numerous with bluefish following these around too. There have been some decent bluefish action on a few beaches. Not as heavy as year’s past but occurring. A few fish caught does not make a blitz.
The offshore anglers are doing well on the usual suspects. Flounder fishing is better offshore for larger keepers and more of a keep ratio.
Night fishing has been the best for striped bass even in the keeper range., The slot season for the Delaware Bay ends the 31st of August. Anglers are using sand fleas or “fleaing” for striped bass. Floating eels under bobbers works well too in the creeks and canals. Especially near the outlets. Bluefish, flounder and striped bass action has been decent at the Indian River Inlet, The how is the same, the where changes with the tides. You will have to figure that out on your own. Bucktails or jigs with soft plastics, mimic the bait fish (peanut bunker). Everything will hit a sand eel lure. “Long lining flies” is a skill not for the faint of heart or those that hate to lose gear. A few weakies have been caught mostly at night too.
“Fleaing for bass” is fun. Get a five gallon bucket of sand fleas at the beach. Then seed the water with a handful to stir up the fish. Kind of like feeding pigeons in the park or gulls at the beach. Put a couple fleas on a 4/0 to 6/0 hook. Toss it into the same area you seeded. No weight on the line, just let if drop down and a striped bass will hammer it. The hit is a blast then reel in a fish. On occasion you might just get an almost barely keeper.
Stay hydrated, one water for every two beers on the drive on drinking beaches this weekend.