The Beaches Look Amazing Not Damaged
A surf angler and surfer will tell you these beaches look wonderful now.
Usually we get nor’easters in winter, the beaches get rearranged, then DNREC and the towns “fix” the mess and we never see the structure again. Not this time! I know the beach towns are upset and want sand for hightide and tourists. They are not allowed to replenish or do much beyond cleaning up the mess or debris. Due to wildlife concerns, mostly shorebirds feeding. Can’t feed if we bury, kill, or disturb the food. The nor’easter just shifted the sand it didn’t bury the food. For a surf angler, the beach is better, or back to normal. Ask any surf angler or surfer about beach replenishment., though necessary it changed these beaches permanently.
The nor’easter as usual carved up the beaches and moved all the sand off the beach into the sand bar system. That is why the beaches look like New Jersey or Assateague. We get excited to see this but in the dead of winter, meh, we can’t catch. Now this occurs during the spring run and into summer fish arrivals.
We have outer sand bars and troughs. There is an inner sand bar and trough on a few beaches. Large tide pools that are a hundred plus feet long that drain into the sand bar system where the large cuts form. The wide surf wash is nothing but constant moving structure. Be careful wading these troughs some are deep and full of quick sand.
Because no one is allowed to move around sand. Except at the Indian River Inlet northside sand relocation project to protect the bridge. Surf fishing structure will form up naturally into the summer. This is the best thing a surf angler could ever want. Real surf fishing structure that will hold fish and life, in the summer. The park beaches will rebuild naturally, they are never replenished. But this time the entire coast line is rebuilding naturally.
The park beaches are in fine shape, washed flat into the sand bar zone. The town beaches are eroded messes of cliffs due to man made dunes. It isn’t the man made dune system that is the problem, it is the static location. Town dune lines can’t move or “walk”. Same with the dune line at the Indian River Inlet, it is static for protection. They serve a purpose and are rebuilt. Surf anglers don’t like replenishment it buries the structure on surrounding beaches.
Is Beach Replenishment A Waste Of Money And Natural Resources
Delaware’s dune system moves back and forth with sea water levels. Storms literally set that line, and the line rebuilds with wind and wave action. Sandy pushed that line onto route 1 at the base of the Charles W Cullen bridge. That entire area is a barrier island that is supposed to move.
Building a town or structures on top of and against the dune line destroys the natural way dunes work. The east winds can’t move sand to rebuild the beach and dune system. By picking up sand and pushing it back onto the beach. Instead the large sand piles built are eroded away and are only for protection. Or in the case of the houses in Hatteras, they can’t move when the ocean moves. So the house falls into the sea.
Surf fishing this year and right now is going to be a lot of fun with new structure. Get out and surf fish. Every storm from here on out will rearrange the structure. Eventually the beach will settle into a normal structure pattern, that we haven’t seen in a long time. Without replenishment there isn’t a lot of “dead” sand to wash into the live sand areas.
All of the Delaware beach towns have already been approved for winter beach replenishment. Sorry I can’t call it beach nourishment as it has been dubbed. Killing off a food chain is not nourishment to me, but I get the necessity.
Enjoy this surf fishing structure while it lasts. Take as much advantage as you can, I have been. Fish the drains of the big tide pools. Fish the pools too at low tide, the deep ones. Fish will come in with waves, move into the pools, and then swim to the drain in the current to get out while hunting or being hunted.
Remember where these pools and drains are located because at high tide that is the hole and cut you want to fish. Walk out to an outer sand bar on the sides of the pools but watch the soft sand. Wading through a trough can be tough. The outer waves are harder to cast to from the front now.
The drive on beaches might open this weekend. The issue is high tide and flat beaches. Assateague just announced Saturday as a possibility. I don’t see Navy crossing opening for a while. All of the cypress knees and stumps are exposed, she lost a lot of sand.
Do not drive through wet sand or swales. The tide pools now will move in and become the swales eventually, some already have formed.
Park ABOVE the wrack line. DO NOT Drive Through The Quick Sand
For now walk on surf fishing is best, but some beach towns have closed the walk on accesses.
Use The Beach Web Cams To Check Conditions and to see if people are on a town beach. If there are a lot of people, most likely a walk on access is open.
Low tide is the best time to go out and learn to Read The Beach Find More Fish
Have fun and just a heads up, but all towns only own the land to the tide line. Below that is the State of Delaware. You can walk any beach in Delaware and surf fish. Key is to keep walking and not sit around a lot. Setting up camp to fish is the real problem for some of the private beach folks. We get that, but we are just passing through.