Surf Fishing with Ron Kyle and the boys

the point, bluefish, surf casting
Ron “Jiggy Fins” Kyle casting for Bluefish

Wednesday morning (9/11/13) I hit Indian River Inlet before sunrise.  I was meeting Ron “Jiggy Fins” Kyle that day and I wanted to fish the rockpile and check out the sunrise.  He wouldn’t be here until later in the morning.  The wind was nice out of the south but once down below the rocks the gnats were awful.  The flies have not been too bad, I think the DFM (Damn Fly Meter) has only been a level three, except for the other day when they filled up my truck and I took them all home, don’t worry, I brought them all back the next day.  The sun came up and I took some nice shots, and reflected on life in general.  I was popping bluefish, flipping a little one ounce spoon on the bottom of the outgoing tide.  I tried to take a few fish pictures, but I almost dropped my phone, and decided it would be a good idea to leave that in my pocket.  The catching was good and then all of a sudden it turned off, a lot of dolphins were moving through the inlet.  It was nice being all alone on the rocks, the entire inlet to myself.  Except for the guy at the end of the wall near the tower, but I am sure he was thinking the same thing.  Some boys across the inlet were looking for mullet with cast nets, and a few were tossing lures.  Once the sun was up and I could tell it was going to be a hot day, I headed back into town to meet Ron.  I stopped at a favorite place to catch bait for him, but the water was very low and choppy not much to be had in those conditions.  I decided to hit Sharky’s for some breakfast.  This would be the last hot day we would have in Sussex county until next summer.  Wind was nice, coming off the water, and once the clouds showed up it helped cool things off even more.  We had a few taps, but didn’t catch a thing.  We were on 3 R’s beach, and earlier that morning my buddy Jerry Hirst was catching a few small drum (18-20 inches).  Ron was just happy to be on the beach, watching the waves, and enjoying the ocean.  My friend Melissa dropped by to learn a little about surf fishing.  We all spent most of the morning just chatting and watching the rods move with the waves.  It was very relaxing and I knew that Ron would be here for two days.  I didn’t want to take him on my usual marathon fishing tours.  We finally packed it in around two in the afternoon, Ron went to his hotel, and I went to another beach to fish.  I wanted to see if we would have better luck elsewhere the next day.

dogfish, dsf, delaware surf fishing, mullet rigs
Scott jost with his MONSTER dogfish from the surf

I met Scott Jost and Jonathan Masten at the Point in Cape Henlopen State Park, that afternoon.  We started on the bay side of the point and every 25 minutes we would move, we were playing musical sandbox for an hour until we settled in on an area that looked rather fishy.  Everything was perfect until the dolphins showed up and started feeding in front.  They were out in front of us at 3R’s all morning as well.  I think they were following me around the beaches, everywhere I went there they were.  We watched them feed cast several times into what looked like fish busting the surface.  Scott finally caught a little dogfish.  If you haven’t seen it, Scott has a fourteen foot surf rod, dubbed the telephone pole.  It is rather funny to watch him pull in a tiny fish on that rod.  We had a good time in the surf, regardless of the lack of catching.  In fact no one around me on any beaches caught anything all day.  So, at least we caught something.  I watched the sunset and took a few more pictures, and called it a day.  Fourteen hours in the sandbox was enough for me and I had to be out again the next day.  I stopped for some food at Delaware Distilling Company, and headed back to the home front.  I think I was asleep as soon as my feet hit the threshold.  I woke up the next day very sun burned, and a bit sore from a lot of casting.

sunrise, indian river inlet
Sunrise at IRI on 9/11

I met Ron the next day and we headed to Cape Henlopen, he has been to the point, passed it on the Ferry, but never fished there.  I wanted him to experience this area.  Fishing there can be a bit tricky depending on the tides and how heavy the current is moving.  When we arrived in the distance it looked like the guys parked there were feeding the birds.  I figured oh boy here we go, it is always a blast to park where the birds are feeding, NOT.  Once we got closer we realized the birds were feeding the water, bluefish were busting the surface.  We immediately jumped out of the truck and started casting spoons.  We set up to cast for  bit hitting a small eight inch bluefish, our neighbor Norm said earlier he caught a twelve inch bluefish.   It was just fascinating to watch the birds work the water for almost three straight hours.  We decided to try and fish the bayside after catching a few plastic bags and debris.  We caught our fair share the night before.  While watching our neighbors catch a few spot, I managed a small dogfish.  The flies were not as bad on that side, but the trucks filled up big time.  I now had three times as many as I brought back.  We discussed some MacGyver type inventions to get rid of the flies.  Ron eventually had to start heading back to Maryland.  Before he left he presented me with a beautiful Gerber knife, and I will treasure this gift forever.  It has been a blast fishing with him, regardless of the lack of catching that day.  I hope he can back down here soon for some striped bass action in the surf this fall.

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weakfish, trout, sea trout, broadkill beach, fishbites
18 inch Weakfish caught at Broadkill Beach by Karl Hitchens

That same day Karl Hitchens hit a nice weakfish in the surf on fishbites at Broadkill Beach.  Flounder were being caught at the Old grounds, and spot nearly everywhere.  Croaker have been all over the place as well, from great sizes to the tiny annoying ones.  Oyster crackers galore here and there.  All Hail the Drum King!!  Our buddy Sir Massey of the Landing has been hammering black puppy drum all week long on clam.  Massey’s has seen a few nice shorty striped bass and small bluefish.  The stripers are starting to move around more.  I have friends from Cape Cod to the Chesapeake that are seeing much more action.  Especially the Canal Rats in Cape Cod, those boys have been blasting large striped bass.  That is par for the course up north, they usually see larger sizes than we do in Delaware, and more frequently.  The boys in Jersey are seeing some nice catches chasing mullet schools.  The bait fish are on the move, and the predators are following them.  The Chesapeake has been hot for awhile, but is heating up even more.  The fall run will happen soon, and hopefully we will see some nice catches this year.  We will not know until it happens.  Hopefully I can get Ron back down here for some of that action.  The surf will be a little rough this weekend, we have the storm surge from offshore storms.  We are already seeing an increase in wave action out there.  The waves the other day were rather dirty, and will still be that way this weekend.  The foam level is up as well .  The same foam that is created from rough seas, and heavy winds.  I think the beach replenishment is responsible for the foam and dirty waves.  The water does not have that fresh clean ocean smell.  It is more of a earthy tinge to the nostrils.  Personally I would not get into the water near the replenishment areas, the surf is gross looking and smells funny the closer you are to these areas.

There will be a lot of cool events going on this weekend.  The Ocean City Bike Week has started, so keep an eye out for our two and three wheeled friends.  Drive safe and smart out there, stop texting and driving.  I will have the DSF tent at Adkins Produce on Saturday from 8 a.m until noonish at the Long Neck Farmer’s Market.  I might stay longer if need be, I will announce that on the DSF Facebook page, or you can send me an email if you want to drop by later that day.  I always have my computer with me in the field.

Fish On!!

Rich King

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