Weekend Outlook Fishing In Delaware

bluefish,yellow eyed devil, gator blue, delaware, sussex county,
Hayes Waltman … Near the point great day with my sons

The weather is getting hot this week and the waters will warm up a little more, but the fish are hitting like crazy.  Masseys Landing is spiking to sixty-nine degrees at low tide and dropping to sixty-two degrees at high tide. The Delaware Bay is about sixty degrees as well as the surf, the upper bay is sixty-four degrees.   There was an epic bluefish blitz at the Cape Henlopen Fishing pier a few days ago the likes of which many anglers have never seen from shore.  Fish were jumping out of the water and blowing up baits and lures.  Mullet has been the best choice of bait, but bunker is working as well.  Spoons, top water plugs, and silver stingers have been getting the job done.  That is the fun action in my opinion, when a gator bluefish blows up a lure, there is nothing like that feeling.  Don’t worry these blues are still as far south as North Carolina I would expect to see them for at least a couple of more weeks.  The first year they showed up like this we saw them into the second week of June.


delaware, sussex county, bluefish blitz, cape henlopen state park, fenwick island, bluefish, yellow eyed devil, gator blue
Bonnie Schrader … we need a bigger cooler

The beaches are seeing a lot of bluefish action, but keep in mind these fish are schooled up and can cut lines real easy when you try to drag a fish out of the school.  They are hitting lines trying to steal the bait or the lure from the fish you have hooked.  One day it is on fire and the next not so much and it is hard to pick your days, the rougher the surf the better the catches it seems.  Even during the tournament in that ridiculous weather, which should have been canceled due to safety issues, the bluefish were hitting.   Otherwise it is skates and dogfish in the surf when the blues aren’t around.  Some kingfish here and there on top and bottom rigs, but the bluefish will destroy those rigs. Good news is some keeper striped bass are being hit from the shore, random action but happening.  Assateague Island is seeing some really good keeper rockfish and so is the Oceanic Fishing pier in Ocean City,Maryland.  The Indian River inlet is starting to see good action late at night.


black sea bass, delaware, sussex county, hard bottom, offshorestructure fishing, atlantic ocean, artificial reef sites
Captain Chris Ragni … we are limiting out on sea bass pretty fast

Black drum action is great in the Delaware bay and the Lewes boats are doing rather well.  Look for them near the coral beds off Slaughter beach.  Clam is the bait of choice.  The beaches are still producing drum from the Delaware Bay beaches to Assateague Island.  The drum run has been solid this year so far.  Some years is better than others, this year is looking to be a good one.

Black sea bass season opened the fifteenth and boats are limiting out quickly.  Good action on offshore wrecks and hard bottom.  Clam pieces and squid work well for baits.  Using top and bottom rigs.  The Del Jersey Land reef site is heavy one big boat, which should have fish around it already.  The Tamaroa was sunk there last week.  We will see how well it is holding fish in a couple of weeks.


sandtiger shark, prohibited sharks in Delaware,
Sandtiger shark caught and released in 2016… photo by Jerry Taylor

There have been some shark sightings, such as the large thresher that was distressed at the Indian River inlet.  I know of one netter that caught a couple of two hundred pound plus sized ones.  They also caught the most drum they have seen in years, so that tells me we will see a good run of drum this year.  They released the drum fish so don’t get excited.  Sand tiger sharks made an appearance also but they will head north to upper New Jersey before they return to the Delaware Bay.  This is the breeding grounds for sand tiger sharks in the summer time.  Keep in mind if you catch a sand tiger that they are a prohibited species in Delaware.  Do not remove them from the water.  You either remove the hook while they are in the water or cut the line.

The inland bays has a lot of bluefish moving around the area.  Once you find them the action is pretty hot and heavy.  They are hitting mullet mostly, but top water action is doing well.  The water is still pretty dirty so spoons are hard to use and swim shads.


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old inlet spring fishing tournament, delaware, sussex county,
Kevin Trimble … 1st place in the Spring Surf Tournament. What a crazy day with 30+ winds and surf that was angry.

Flounder are being caught readily in the Lewes Canal almost daily now using minnows.  Some anglers are using gulp on jig heads or as bait on a flounder rig.  Keep your drift slow, fast drifts will reduce your chances of hooking up a flattie.  Remember the new creel size for flounder is seventeen inches this year, but still four fish a day per angler.  The Joe Morris Memorial Canal Flounder tournament is this Friday.  That is always a good day on the water, everyone misses Joe.    “Cash entry of $40 per angler at the Lewes Harhour Marina Bait & Tackle Shop before 7 am on May 19th, 2017. This is a flounder only tournament. Rehoboth Bay Canal entrance to Roosevelt Inlet entrance, and Broadkill River to Oyster Rocks Road. Anglers must fish from a boat that is not moored to land. All fish must have been caught hook and line by a registered angler, and weighed in at Lewes Harbour Marina’s scale any time after 7am and before 4pm. Prizes will be awarded for the 6 heaviest fish. ”    


Friends of Cape Henlopen kid's fishing tournament 2017
Friends of Cape Henlopen kid’s fishing tournament

Saturday is the Friends of Cape Henlopen kid’s fishing tournament at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier.  Great place to take the kids and get some time on the water.  Keep in mind the bluefish are still there so step up their gear, that should be an interesting and exciting day for the kids.


cape henlopen state park, bluefish, gatro blues, yellow eyed devil, sussex county, delaware
Michael Deller … Stopped at Mickey D’s for coffee on my way out to Cape Henlopen @ 7:30AM, had these in the cooler by 8:15, coffee was still hot.

Fresh water action continues to get better and top water is starting to work well for bass.  Pickerel are active as ever.  Snakeheads are hitting hard and getting more aggressive.  The state record was set the other day by Bobby Smith.  I will tell you all about that in the next report, this is the first record set this year for the northern snakehead.  It is a new citation for Delaware this year added by DNREC.  Remember if you want to weigh in a snakehead it has to be dead, you can not transport a live snakehead.  Also catch and release of snakeheads is legal, but not encouraged.

Weakfish are making an appearance more so this year than last.  I have seen some nice ones up to five pounds from Jersey to Delaware.  Using peeler crab for bait.  A ounce and half to a two ounce jig head with a pink zoom soft plastic works great.  Look for them following the incoming tides along the lower Delaware bay beaches,hence the name tide runners.  A few have been caught in the Lewes canal near the Roosevelt inlet.

Fish On!

Rich King



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