Winter Solstice brings a heat wave weekend

toggin, tautog, blackfish, wreck fishing,
Maggie Lingo with the catch of the day. This was one of the larger small tautog they caught today.

Well everyone keeps asking what will happen in the surf this weekend, and where are the hot spots?  Well, for the past week and last weekend not much was happening in the surf, and the best fishing was out front.  The back bays have seen hot action for shorties on plugs, spoons, and swim shads.  These are resident fish we are seeing in the back bays and that action will slow down as the water cools more.  The striped bass action in the surf has been not happening, and not for the lack of trying.   I have talked with many friends who have been on almost every beach off and on for the past week, and have come up donuts for striped bass.  Skates, dogfish, and spotted hake (ling) have been caught.  If you catch enough hake they can make for a tasty meal.  Squid is the best bait on top and bottom rigs with 2/0 hooks is usually the ticket.  Small chunks of cut bait work well, such as bunker or mullet.  The boats have been doing decent in front of Bethany Beach and Fenwick island.  One day it is hot and one day it is not.  Tautog have been caught in the DE bay and at some of the wrecks.  The charters in Lewes have been doing decent for tog.  This weekend it will be gorgeous out, unseasonably warm, the first official day of winter, and the water will still be rather cold.  The surf has averaged 47 degrees and is steadily dropping.  Even with a slight warm up it will not help the fishing too much I am afraid.  The fall run is basically over for us until the spring, I know a lot of anglers hanging up their Rockfish”guns” for the season.  Winter flounder will start showing up soon and that will be another option, that season does not start until February 11 and ends April 10.  Then again this weekend will still be a day at the beach or out on the boat, so regardless have fun out there and you just never know.  The past few years we were seeing catches of striped bass until and into January.  This year the water has cooled off much faster.  The inlet has seen some catches but nothing to write home about.  There are always resident bass if you put in the time.  The snowy owls are still around too and we are seeing more seals here and there.  Good luck out there, have a fun weekend and safe holidays.

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Rich King

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