When Will The Gator Bluefish Show
The gator bluefish run in the surf is slower each year.
Every year, a few big gator bluefish are caught in the spring, while surf fishing in Delaware. It happens every year, you hear about it if you weren’t there, and then the action would just stop, lasting for a couple days at best. Then the fish move offshore. In 2014 that action increased a wee bit, the next year something changed, dramatically.
In the spring of 2015 about mid April, huge gator bluefish in schools starting hitting the surf in Delaware. They had been wearing out the surf below us in Virginia and Maryland. Then they moved into our area. They ate everything in site. It was the only fish you could catch.
It started out with bluefish schools moving up and down the beaches and into the inland bays. As fish moved north to Jersey there were still bluefish in the surf in Virginia. Then they were showing up in New York and still spread as far south as Virginia. Anglers were catching fish one after another and stacking them like cord wood. Up and down the east coast. This went on in Delaware for at least six weeks. Bluefish moved into the Broadkill River and it was crazy fishing. Canary creek held a school for the entire summer with big striped bass mixed in.
Getting below the bluefish to catch migratory striped bass following them was nearly impossible.
Flounder anglers around the inland bays and the Cape Henlopen State Park Fishing Pier were getting bit off constantly. “I keep dropping my line, there is a massive hit or a tiny tug and all my gear is gone.”
The bluefish were blitzing anything that moved. When you were reeling one in that hit a bucktail. There would be at least three fish on each side trying to rip the bucktail out of the bluefish’s mouth. Food competition was fierce.
“I got guys buying those magnum plugs and catching bluefish three at a time in the Broadkill at Oyster Rocks.” Matt Shoup, owner of the icehouse bait and tackle at the time. Now the owner of Fenwick Tackle.
Now that the action has slowed down dramatically everyone wants to know when that action will happen again. It has gotten slower and less frequent each year.
At some point expect this action to go back to a few fish caught in a week and then they are gone back out out sea.
Will that be this year?
We have no idea, but if it happens it will be in a few weeks if they stick to traditional times of showing up. For how long is the question.