The 1950’s Delaware Salt Water Fishing Guide & Map
I have a pristine copy of The Delaware Salt Water Guide Fishing booklet put out by The Rehoboth Sportsmen’s Club in the 50’s and 60’s. “A Complete Guide To Fishing In The Delaware Coastal Area”. It was a yearly publication that sold for a dollar.
This guide truly is a complete book, loaded with information. Full of fish lists, descriptions, and recipes. With all kinds of advice on rigs, gear, tides tables for that year, and catching techniques. This is back when people used tins with squid in the surf. Something rarely anyone does anymore, but now we use AVA’s the same way, sort of.
Some of the same style rigs we use today, but definitely not made the same. The the old style “surf rig” is really cool looking and functions as a flounder rig too. The old flounder bar is still used today. The equipment descriptions include Calcutta rods, the old specific species bamboo rods. Tonkin cane rods made of split bamboo, a specialty trade back then. Fishing line back then was the “thread” line. Spinning reels didn’t exist just yet and were about to make the scene. Some guys still use these rods today.
This book is not only a wealth of knowledge, but some neat fishing history for the surf and area waters. Delaware state parks didn’t exist yet for surf fishing.
Every guide book comes with a map, I got lucky and have two of these in great shape. We scanned one for your viewing pleasure. You can see the different species caught back in the day that are hardly here now and some definitely farther offshore, such as the marlin caught at Fenwick shoals. This was back when there were oyster beds around the inland bays and eel grass. Much has changed on this map. Cape Henlopen State Park did not exist yet, but the point did.
We will share more of this really cool guide book with you over the coming season. There is info in here that is great for anglers to use even today. The history is in the descriptions of the modern day fishing of that time. It is really fun to read.
Fishing techniques and gear may have changed, but the desire for catching never will.