Wet Holiday Weekend Fishing
Well the storm surge calmed down more than we thought which is great. The beaches are still carved up and there are swales or tide pools on just about all of them. DO NOT DRIVE through these even when they are “dry” get out and make sure the sand is solid first. Water will still be just under the sand and it can rather “quick” and your vehicle will sink to the axles fast. Lot of great beach combing to be had at low tide and that will continue for several days. The point looks good is not too washed over from the latest storm but since no one has sen it for a few months we don’t have much to compare since last year. Every year it looks a little different and winter nor’easters will change its shape as well. The ledges are still on some beaches and the slope is much steeper. Just be careful driving and watch the edges, they can collapse and drop your vehicle to the frame.
The water temperatures have dropped and stayed down since the last cool down. Masseys Landing has dropped from seventy-eight degrees in the ditch to as low as seventy degrees. Right now it is fluctuating between seventy-four degrees and seventy-three degrees between tides. This might be the reason we are seeing more short striped bass action the little bass are starting to school up in a lot of areas around the inland bays, Lewes canal, and Delaware Bay. Great action on light gear. We are even seeing more of them in the surf. Temperature changes can trigger all kinds of action when it comes to fish. The mullet are thick around the inland bays,tidal creeks, and rivers. Soon they will move into the bays and along the surf. Get your cast nets ready to load up for the fall fishing and next spring. Catching and freezing your own mullet works wonders to increase your catch in the springtime.
Red drum are making a strong appearance around Ocean City at the fifty and ninety bridges. Nice sized slot red drum great for the table and fun to catch. John “Bear” Thompson at the Oceanic Fishing Pier in OC … ” Jigheads with white zoom and jigheads with lunker city silver flash have been the best lures.” Red drum will hit clam and small pieces of mullet as well. Big red drum, the bulls, will devour kingfish heads in the surf. Assateague has seen a couple large bull reds already but not an abundance. You can find red drum, or redfish all over the inland bays. Look in the shallows for them chasing mullet or feeding on clams. You’re gonna need a kayak, canoe, or do some wading to get that action.
Black “puppy” drum are in the Lewes canal, mostly small ones, a few have been caught in the surf, the Cape Henlopen fishing pier, Masseys landing fishing pier, and some larger ones at the Indian River Inlet. Sandfleas are great bait for them, but the smaller ones will hit Fishbites, clam, peeler crab, squid, or pieces of cut mullet. There are plenty of the usual suspect catches this time of year in all these places. Kingfish, sand perch, pin fish, croaker, spot, oyster crackers, and puffers. Anglers are trying for tautog at the Indian River Inlet with some luck but not a lot of keepers. Sand fleaing for striped bass will produce more catches and the snapper blues are decent size in there, more so than on the northern beaches. Seems the larger snappers are still more abundant on the southern beaches below the inlet.
The Delaware Bay and the surf are averaging about seventy degrees for water temperatures. The charters and head boats are hitting sea bass, trigger, small weakfish, flounder, sea robins, croaker, and spot at the wrecks and reef sites. Decent days fishing if they can get o the fish. Flounder action is still much better offshore than inshore and the surf. The inland bays are hit or miss for keepers. Lots of throwbacks out there. The upper Delaware bay is averaging seventy-five degrees. There have been reports of small snapper blues as far up as Augustine beach. The short striped bass fishing up north is decent on the tidal creeks, rivers, and canals. Using swim shads, rattle traps, and small bucktails. Speck rigs are good for shorts as well as one ounce bucktails tied (rigged) in tandem.
We hit the point yesterday, pulled up to the birds working the water and hammered small to tiny snapper blues on spoons with ultralight rods. Lot of fun with a four-foot graphite rod and a one ounce spoon. Cast catch a fish, cast catch a fish, and repeat for a couple of hours. Eventually the birds moved down the beach as the tide shifted but the blues were up and down the bayside beach for most of the day. The birds eventually settled on the point for the rest of the day and then the bait moved into the incoming rip off the point. Boaters, just a FYI, don’t drive your boat through the birds you just scare fish. Let it drift through or cast to the edge of the schools. Th bluefish were gorging on rainfish and they had mouthfuls spitting up bait when you landed a fish. We used the small minnows for bait as well as fishbites on Diamond State Custom Tackle Pretty Pink Pill float top and bottom rigs. These are available at several local bait and tackle shops as well as online.
Crabbing has been excellent in the tidal creeks and rivers. The inland bays are doing well with traps and trot lines. With the water temperatures holding the crabbing should be good for a while.
This weekend we are looking at some nasty weather for Saturday and a little better for Sunday. If you don’t mind getting wet the fishing should be what it is right now and has been for a month.
Tide chart at IRI ..