The Migration Finally Hits Delaware

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jet ski fishing, delaware bay, sussex county, lewes boat ramp, striped bass, rockfish, linesiders,
Rob Wolhar jet ski fishing the Delaware Bay … photo by Mike Meibaum

By finally hits Delaware, I mean we can legally fish for striped bass within the EEZ.  People are getting antsy, you can see it in the drama on some Facebook pages.  Striped bass fever has everyone all geared up, jammed up, and nowhere to go.  Boats have been hitting Jersey and going up as far as Sea Isle and beyond.  This weekend everyone went off Wildwood and hammered striped bass.  The good news is you don’t have to go to Jersey to catch bass now.  The Overfalls area has “come hot” not super crazy hot, but people are catching.  Yesterday Steve, Corby and I went out on Corby’s boat to take a ride and check a few spots.  We figured we would just cruise the Lewes and Broadkill beach area and look for schoolies.  Better yet we even considered not fishing so we wouldn’t be disappointed.  We spent a good hour trying to start the boat and after a new battery from Lewes Harbor Marina we were ready to go, well until the boat conked out in the middle of the canal near the boat ramp on the way out.  Note to self, hooking the gas tank up helps.  I don’t know why but the Gilligan’s Island theme song was stuck in my head all day.   We cruised up Broadkill beach fished a few spots we know and then decided to ride to the point and fish the rips there.  We never made it that far.

Maggie Lingo sent us this whale video


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wildwood, new jersey, striped bass, rockfish, linesider, trolling stretches, trolling mojos
Maggie Lingo fishing off Wildwood New Jersey

Once we crossed into the rips beyond the outer wall we stopped to check the fish finder.  The screen was dark with clouds of bait balls, it was insane looking.  Then we started marking big fish, really big fish.  The only set back was we had to be back in an hour or so, but we dropped some stretches in and proceeded to troll.  After about forty -five minutes of dragging around the stretches and one crazy tangle, a gannet flew by and dove into the water.  Then I saw a seal feeding near the boat.  One gannet doesn’t usually mean much, just feeding like normal and we were seeing bait fish break the surface.  Then another gannet showed up, and another, and another.  Soon there were fifty of them, flying low, circling once in a while and dropping in to feed.  They weren’t raining, but it was enough to get us excited, pull the stretches, and follow the birds.  The a huge amount of gulls showed up and were feeding.  We tossed swim shads, bucktails and plugs.  Nothing, nada, zip, zero, but we were still marking big fish and bait.  We just didn’t have what they wanted, I am going back tomorrow with bigger ball jigs and BKD’s to mimic sand eels.  It was a fun day on the water and like I said we had to get back soon before dark, it is getting cold fast in the evening.  We also had to get Steve back in time to make his date with is wife, had we started catching, he might be out there still swimming home.   When we got back to the Lewes boat ramp it was like a reunion, I saw Rob Jones from Delaware Jet Ski Fishing, and a bunch of friends I haven’t seen in a while.  Everyone was trading the day’s war stories.  The boats that fished Jersey did the best but the Overfalls came hot, and where we were was good action an hour before we got there.  Fishing, it is what it is.  So get the gear, get a boat, get off that computer and stop whining.  It’s finally time to fish and no telling how long it will last.  These fish mainly have been over ten miles out.  These that came in close may stay for a while like they have in Jersey or just blow through the bay.  The surf has been quiet aside from schoolies on the Delaware Bay beaches and near the Indian River Inlet.  That action has been random and slow on bunker chunks.  If the boat can’t go tomorrow I am trying the point since it is the closest to the Outer Wall area.  Now to get up early and wait for the call.

The sea bass action has been great and tautog is not too bad either.  The gator bluefish are destroying sea bass on the retrieve still at the Del-Jersey-Land Reef Site.  Also be careful how you measure your striped bass.

Fish On!!

Rich King

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