Surf Rats, Blues, Skates, and Dogs
Well the bite is seriously on and doesn’t seem to slow down. Either it shuts down for a little while or we walk away leaving them chewing. There are a lot of small short bass in the surf,”rats” and the occasional keeper is landed. The fish are mostly hitting white colors for flies, swim shads and bucktails. Some days they will hit any color and others they are a bit finicky. The Indian River Inlet has been rather popular, but that is not the only place to catch fish. The water north of the inlet at the beaches is stirred up and sandy, with a nice mix of pollen. South of the inlet the water is much cleaner. I watched a few guys catching and releasing small stripers today. I wasn’t the only one paying attention tot heir catch. A couple of osprey would stay just above them and when they released a small bass the bird would dive in and retrieve the fish. Not a bad way to get an easy meal, smart on the osprey’s part. They were literally diving six feet in front of these guys it was really cool to watch. Anglers with speck rigs and teasers on shads were pulling in short bass two at a time. Same with top and bottom rigs with bloodworms. A word of advice, if a bunch of people are casting for bass, do not drop a baited line in the mix. That throws off everything. Move farther away to use the baited line since it is just going to sit there, or roll around in the current.
There have been gannets galore in front of the beaches the past week and a half. Mike Duncan from Helly Hansen in Rehoboth, and I were fishing that heavy weather the other day, and hundreds of gannets were raining on baitfish. We were yanking stripers out of the melee one after the other. All mostly shorts, but a lot of fun to catch. I also got to see just how dry my Helly Hansen gear keeps me and I am pleased to say I was bone dry under all that gear. Highly recommend their gear and the Rehoboth store offers a fifteen percent discount for DSF subscribers. Gannets have been as close as the back side of the second waves raining on bait, peppering the water. Today we saw a line of them about two miles out and it had to be a half mile long. Way too far to cast, but good to see that activity on the water. If you find the gannets you need to fish them, there are lots of striped bass under them. Bloodworms are working good for bass in the surf as well as throwing lures. Bunker chunks are not working well for bass they prefer the bloods this time of year. When the migratory bass start to roll through, bunker will work better.
Bluefish are here, but they are the small ones, about twenty inches is the largest I have seen or had reported. No one is landing many because we are all throwing soft plastics, the blues are tearing those apart. Tine to break out the smaller spoons and see if we can hook up on some bluefish action, those are the best eating size. The blues are mixed in with the short striped bass schools. Use a two ounce spoon for best results, with a smaller treble hook. A Deadly dick would be a good choice too or any shiny metal, they usually go nuts for those.
Skates and spiny dogfish are hitting in the surf. Bunker chunks, or any cut bait. Yeah they are fun for a few good pulls but after the fourth or fifth one they do get a little annoying. I saw a store recently selling skate wings for eleven dollars a pound. I have thrown a million bucks back into the water. The dogfish are hitting all baits including bloodworms. You could see the bunker swimming in the big waves today at the beach. The morning has been the best at the beaches, but the afternoon bite has been good on the outgoing tide. Back at it tomorrow!