Time For Fall To Winter Fishing

bluefish, snapper blues, smallblues, the point, cape henlopen state park, delaware, sussex county
Suzanne Martin with a small snapper blue at the point.

Here comes winter, and all at once this weekend.  This cold snap will change-up fishing for sure.  For the fish and the anglers that do not like to fish the colder days.  Time to trade in the shorts and flops for long pants and boots.  Insulated waders on the beaches for surf fishing.  The weather may get cold but the fall fishing we all hope to see will start heating up.

Striped bass are already on the move up north.  New Jersey in the north is already seeing some decent catches and so are the boys in New York.  The fish are on bait schools, but will take their time coming south.  In the meantime we can still get some serious schooling bass action.  Almost time to break out the white swim shads, which is usually a popular fall color,especially in the surf.  Albies are still north of here and we are still seeing the occasional catch in the surf and inshore.  Schooling bass action has been hot in Ocean City at the Oceanic pier and the bridges.  The Delaware bay is seeing some decent action as well.  The inland bays are hot if you can find a school of feeding fish.  Just fish the marsh banks on an outgoing tide, the bass are feeding on bait fish as they dump into the bay out of the grasses.  cast to the school do not run your boat through them.

Seals are starting to show up, a sure sign winter is coming.  Do not approach a seal on the beach or anywhere for that matter.  Federal law dictates you stay a hundred and fifty feet away from them.  If you think a seal is in distress contact MERR.

The sea bass action has been hot for the boats heading out and even a decent load of flounder with some small blues in the mix.  Tautog action has been good on wrecks, reefs, and bay structure.  Some triggers still around but that will change when the water temperatures drop after this weekend.


lionfish, pensacola, florida, the gulf, Caribbean, DEMA, coast watch alliance, Niuhi dive charters
Captain Andy Ross, owner of Niuhi Dive Charters, with an average sized large lionfish speared in pensacola. This area has the highest concentration of lionfish in the gulf and the world for that matter. It was delicious too.

Lots of catfish and white perch in the tidal creeks and rivers.  Schooling striped bass as well.  The bass are hitting lures and bloodworms.   Catfish will eat just about anything including hot dogs which is an easy cheap bait to use.  Perch prefer bloodworms or you can catch grass shrimp.  Soon we will all be perch fishing for the winter.

The surf has been mostly small bluefish and short striped bass, with the usual suspects of skates and dogs.  Sharks will be leaving soon if they have not already with these colder temperatures.  By this time of year they have already headed south.

I am in sunny Florida enjoying their outdoors, soon to return to Delaware’s arctic like temperatures this weekend.  I am helping Coast Watch Alliance with lionfish awareness, an invasive species in the Gulf, Caribbean and Atlantic ocean.  Lionfish are great to eat, the only catch is you have to go spearfishing for them.  They have been found as deep as eight hundred plus feet, too deep for a scuba diver.  In this area of Florida, Pensacola has the highest concentrations of these invasive fish.  They are decimating the reef life at a staggering rate.  Many reef structures are covered with hundreds of lionfish, divers clean (spear the lionfish), the entire structure, only to return a few months later to just as many fish.  The video below will give you a good idea of how bad this issue is down here.  Save a reef, eat a lionfish.

Despite the cold I can’t wait to get on the schooling bass with some light gear.  Maybe, just maybe this is the year the migratory striped bass will come close to shore and run the beaches.  You won’t know unless you go, so get out there and fish.  See you in the surf soon.

Fish On!

Rich King



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