Fish just waiting for anglers

May 16, 2011

In spite of the wind, fishing has been pretty good. The water temperature in the bay and ocean is hovering near the 60-degree mark, and we should have even better action when calmer conditions finally arrive.

The final days of the tog season produced limit catches from reefs, wrecks and rocks in the ocean and the bay. Sea bass season will reopen Sunday, May 22, and from what I hear there should be plenty of fish waiting for anglers to arrive.

The flounder regulations changed May 11. The current minimum size is now 18 inches while the bag limit remains at four fish per day. Flounder were caught from the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier, Indian River Inlet, Indian River Bay and Massey’s Ditch. Baits include live minnows; strips of bunker, herring or squid; Gulp! and Speck Rigs. Keep in mind that an 18-inch flounder is a pretty big fish and will take a pretty big bait. Large baits will cull out the smaller flounder and should attract a bigger class of flounder.

Rockfish have been caught from the surf and from Indian River Inlet. Cut, fresh bunker or herring have been the best offerings in the surf while swim shads from Storm or Tsunami have been effective from the rocks. Boat fishermen at the inlet have found success on rockfish by using white bucktails with a white worm in the rip that runs from the Coast Guard Station to the entrance to South Shore Marina.

Right now, rockfish are moving from the spawning grounds to the ocean and will pass by Delaware in starts and spurts. The prudent angler will be on the beach or rocks as much as possible to intercept the fish as they pass by.

Even this early in the season, night tides will outproduce those that occur during the day. The only exception will be dark days with an east wind and a little rain.

Surf fishermen have encountered a few blues, kings and the always-welcome dog sharks and clear-nose skates.

Like the rockfish, the blues will be here and gone, but the kings should stick around for awhile.

Black drum were caught from shallow water in the Delaware Bay.

The Coral Beds gave up some over the weekend, and Broadkill Beach had a few blacks caught from shore. One was caught at the Outer Wall by a somewhat surprised tog fisherman. Clam is always the bait of choice for drum fishermen.

Drum fishing should continue to improve as the month goes on. The best action is usually associated with the new or full moon when the current is at its strongest.

A few boats have tried shark fishing, but so far have not had any success. Threshers should be inside the shipping lanes and makos on the 20-fathom lumps any day.

  • Eric Burnley is a Delaware native who has fished and hunted the state from an early age.  Since 1978 he has written countless articles about hunting and fishing in Delaware and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast.  He has been the regional editor for Salt Water Sportsman, Field and Stream, Outdoor Life and the Fisherman Magazine.  He was the founding editor of the Mid-Atlantic Fisherman magazine.  Eric is the author of three books; Surf Fishing the Atlantic Coast, The Ultimate Guide to Striped Bass Fishing and Fishing Saltwater Baits.  He and his wife Barbara live near Milton, Delaware. Eric can be reached at

Welcome to The Cape Gazette Archive.
This content is provided free of charge
thanks to our sponsor:

Close ad in...

Close Ad