Masseys Landing

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Fishing pier at Massey’s Landing, Long Neck, Delaware. The boat in the background is in Massey’s Ditch.

Massey’s Landing is a public boat ramp, fishing pier and basin operated by DNREC and located at the far eastern tip of Long Neck, DE. Massey’s Landing is on the north shore of Long Neck at the convergence of the Indian River and Rehoboth Bays and is nearly inline with the Indian River Inlet approximately two miles east. Massey’s, as it is called locally offers numerous fishing opportunities for both the expert salt-caster as well as those new to salt water fishing. At Massey’s there is a well lit fishing pier, two public boat ramps, courtesy float-docks, and ample lighted parking for your boat trailer and vehicle. 

Ryan Henry hit a few of these beasts Tuesday at Masseys Landing on the outgoing tide from the pier.

Driving to Massey’s Landing is simple; take Rt. 24 (north from Millsboro and south from Lewes) to Rt. 23 East (Long Neck Road) all the way to the end. Rt. 23 literally ends in the parking lot of Massey’s Landing. If you are in need of any fishing tackle on the way in, stop at the Rattle and Reel sporting goods shop. They have an excellent selection of rods, reels, lures, terminal tackle and other gear. They are located on the left hand side of Long Neck road just past the Pot-Net’s Lakeside community entrance. 

During the early spring tautog, small black bass and bluefish can be taken in Massey’s Ditch; the main passage that runs parallel to the fishing pier. Through summer and early fall flounder, small bluefish and the occasional short striper can be taken on a variety of baits. In fall bluefish and stripers (rock fish) run in through the “Ditch” on their way into the Rehoboth Bay and its estuaries. These fish will occasionally run up into Rehoboth Bay and work their way back to the ocean by following the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal back up to Roosevelt Inlet in Lewes, DE. Although a longer route then following the tide back through the Indian River Inlet, predator fish are rewarded by following the late flounder back out to sea. The general route that migrating and spawning fish follow are into the bays through the Indian River Inlet then back out through the inlet on the outgoing tides.  

Fishing Pier, Masseys Landing, delaware, sussex county
Fishing Pier at Massey’s Landing and the ditch in the background

Speaking of tides, Massey’s Landing experiences dramatic tidal shifts throughout the day. Whether you are fishing the incoming or outgoing tides, Massey’s Ditch runs fairly fast. To fish a bait tipped rig we recommend using trolling sinkers, teardrops, or flat weights as these will drag on the bottom and reduce your chances of snagging your gear on the obstructions found in the Ditch. Anglers who opt to use lures must also watch the speed of the tide here. Take special care to fish your lure across the tide as it seems to produce more fish at Massey’s Landing than going with or against the tide.

Striped Bass, masseys landing, plugging for bass
Shirt Striped Bass at Masseys Landing

For those who like to catch their own bait with line or cast net, Massey’s offers a good mix of easily caught baits. This area offers excellent access to catch spot (in season), mumichugs, minnows, grass shrimp, peanut bunker and small perch. Occasionally small eels and needle fish can be had as well; two perfect native baits for Striper. Just behind the fishing pier is a small tidal basin that holds many of these bait fish. A few small flounder have been caught in this basin. The flounder get washed in at high tide and thrive on ambushing these bait fish. 

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Seal with an afternoon bunker brunch at Masseys Ditch.

Massey’s Landing is also a great place for bird watchers and photographers alike to enjoy their hobbies. The island opposite of Massey’s is called Racoon Thicket Island, and is alive with numerous marine and marsh birds including blue herons, great herons, ibis’, ducks, and osprey. Because of the lighting, many of these birds will come over from the island to Massey’s ditch to fish for their meals during the evening.  Seals visit massey’s landing in the winter time into early spring.  The past few years more and more show up each season  there and can be seen sunning on the mud banks across from the boat ramp and fishing pier fishing pier.