Winter Is Coming Back But The Fish Don’t Care
If you are waiting for fair weather to get out fishing, you might want to think again and just go fish. Lots of activity in all the area tidal waters and ponds. People are doing well in many of the usual spots you would find migratory bass on the move or schooling. The bait shops are all open for the 2017 season, some more so on the weekdays than others, call ahead this time of year. There are striped bass moving into many areas already including, the Nanticoke, Choptank, Potomac, and Delaware Rivers. Now the argument is … are these migratory bass on the spring run, or holdover bass, and depending on who you ask will govern your answer. The migration runs in phases and this being the first phase we have resident bass schooling up and moving into areas to spawn. However, the Chesapeake bass caught over the winter seem to be a lot of migratory fish that never left the area. There are striped bass ten miles off the coast of Delaware and the main migration didn’t go much farther south than Virginia this year. The water just never got cold enough to warrant them to move that far south, and there is plenty of food out there. Once the herring start moving in the bass are usually sure to follow and it seems that is the case. That all being said you haven’t missed the run, nor will you so don’t panic. Things are just starting early this year.
Woodland beach and places along the Delaware river and bay are producing fat short striped bass on bloodworms. Some folks are chunking bunker and even white perch. Make sure your white perch are legal size before you start chunking them up, and the heads do make a nice meal for a large striped bass just like bunker heads. We have been using the ones we have left over from cleaning them for the table, white perch make a tasty meal. They are hitting minnows, grass shrimp, and bloodworms. Just about all of the shops have bloodworms but the stock doesn’t last long. The northern shops along route 9 have the best bunker right now. By the weekend I imagine some of the southern shops will have bunker I would call ahead to check and we will keep you posted. The coming nor’easter this weekend is going to make fishing an issue with higher tides due to the full moon and spring tides. Watch the water wherever you go and check the craft advisories. I’m more worried about minor flooding and beach erosion than snow, because it melts fast this time of year.
Yellow perch, bass, and pickerel action have been on fire on the warmer days. John Kwoka … “My wife, Ruby and I went on our first trip of the year on Feb. 18th . We had a pretty good day. We caught 4 different species. This mild winter should make for some good fishing. We caught 6 bass on this trip all over 2 lbs. Not bad for February…Hopefully the weather stays mild and will extend the early pond fishing. More time on these lakes before they weed up too much means a lot more productive fishing as you can cover more water with baits like suspending jerkbaits and crankbaits, and yes even the old school in-line spinner which my wife slays fish with including citation sized pickerel and bass. We caught the bass and pickerel on in-line Colorado blade spinners and suspending jerkbaits. We caught the crappie and yellow perch on feather jigs tipped with small shiners.” Sounds like we need to go fishing with John and Ruby!
The tidal creeks’ temperatures dropped fast the last few days with the sudden cool down to normal temperatures for this time of year. Masseys Landing is peaking around forty-four degrees, about ten degrees lower than a few days ago. At least it is leveling off and not dropping too much more but this weekend will put a damper on any increase. The Delaware Bay is averaging forty-three degrees from the mouth of the bay to the upper bay and farther up near Delaware City. Tidal creeks are averaging upwards of forty-eight degrees this afternoon and will drop as the ponds that feed them cool. The first of March these creeks and rivers such as Broadkill, were topping out at sixty degrees.
So depending on the weather you like to fish in you may want to go whether you like the current weather or not. Like I said it is going to be nasty this weekend, but a north-east blow is always good striped bass weather and it is that time of year to get on the fish. Just be careful of the heavier tides from the full moon and the spring tides. We have had some really heavy blow out tides all week and weekend from the winds. The inland bays are a little stirred up and have that chocolate milk took to them. The surf has been quiet but it will heat up soon enough and you just never know unless you get out and try.
See you at the Delaware Outdoor Expo this Saturday the 11th. Harry Aiken will be doing a presentation on surf fishing and casting. He might even let me talk. Seriously, he has forgotten more about fishing than most of us will ever learn, or hope to forget. We have a lot of really great vendors, sponsors, and presentations. Brig the kids they will have a good time as well.