The Bite Is Getting Better

Wacky weather, meteo tsunamis, and storm fronts are making for some rough fishing. I know one guy who had to beach his boat to avoid being blown across the Delaware Bay to New Jersey. Other than some heavy winds it wasn’t so bad and the fishing has been decent.

Black Sea Bass season opened on Tuesday and several boats went out and loaded the coolers with some large fish. Top and bottom rigs or high-low rigs with clam is the ticket for sea bass. If you want less competition fishing for sea bass, I suggest you take a charter during the week, not the weekend. This holds true for just about any fishing trip these days, the weekends are very crowded even on the water.

black drum, delaware, sussex county, clam for bait, sandfleas
Black Drum caught in the surf by Dillon Hornberger.

The beaches are already wall to wall vehicles and the season hasn’t started. Last Saturday the beaches were crowded, some folks caught more plastic than fish. When it started to blow on Sunday we spent Mother’s Day chasing Mylar balloons from Keybox beach to Faithful Steward. Please stop releasing balloons as a memorial, you are actually littering and could kill wildlife. Plant a tree to celebrate life.

The black drum bite has been good at the beaches and in the Delaware Bay. Clam has been the best bait, but sand fleas are working well. That is one reason the drum are near the surf, they are eating sand fleas and small crabs. The coral beds near Slaughter Beach and on the Jersey side has had the best drum bite. The Delaware Bay beaches has seen some decent action from Beach Plum Island State Park to Slaughter Beach. The incoming tide is usually the best time to fish.

Bluefish are still making an appearance and are still as far south as the Carolinas. We should see them for a while longer just like in the past years. They and everything else is about three weeks late thanks to the wacky weather and water temperatures. Once the water crested fifty degrees the fish woke. Before that the random bluefish catches at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier were slow to take a bait. Lures were not working at all, but as soon as the water warmed up that all changed. Now bluefish are showing up around the inland bays. On Mother’s Day the Holt’s Landing State Park fishing pier was a hot spot for blues action on the incoming tide. They were hitting mullet and bunker chunks readily. I would start looking for them in the tidal rivers like Broadkill and the Lewes Canal. Once they move into the inland bays they are all over the place chasing bait fish. You can see them “tailing” in the shallows, or look for nervous looking water.

The smaller blues are hitting up and down the beaches.  Larger blues are near the southside jetty at the Indian River Inlet.  Bucktails, spoons and poppers are working as far as lures.  Poppers are working great in the flats at Cape Henlopen by the fishing pier.

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The striped bass bite in the Chesapeake has been much better than the Delaware waters. We are catching a lot of short bass in the surf, and the occasional keeper bass. It is hit or miss using bunker and even bloodworms. Bloods are working best for the short bass. Clam is also catching some of the keepers.

Kingfish and northern puffer fish are in the surf and hitting squid, clam, and bloods on top and bottom rigs.  That bite is decent on the incoming tide and outgoing tide.  You have to be out there to catch.


cape henlopen fishing pier, flounder structure, bait fish, lewes,
Old pier poles rotted out make great places for baitfish to hide. Flounder and other predators will feed in this area.

Flounder are hitting close to shore at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier and around the inland bays, Lewes Canal, Canary Creek, and Broadkill river.  Minnows or gulp is the best baits so far.  Jigging is working well in the canal and around the Cape Henlopen pier.  Keep in mind the pier is the best structure to fish.  Jigging close to the pylons and under the pier at high tide.  You can try the flats in the depressions but the structure of the pier is your best bet.  We look under the pier at dead low tide occasionally to see the structure.  The old pier poles that are rotted out make good spots for baitfish to congregate.  Flounder will feed in these areas so it is a good spot to fish.  You just have to know where that is located.  Looking under the pier at a dead low tide is a good way to find this structure.

We are moving beach cleanups to Tuesdays starting June 5th. During the summertime it is much easier to clean a not so crowded beach. We picked up over forty-two mylar balloons on the beaches from Keybox to Faithful Steward on Mother’s Day. We would be grateful to have more volunteers anytime. If you need hours for community projects, school, or whatever we can sign your paperwork. We average about two hours every clean up.

Fish On!

Rich King

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