Perfect weather for holiday weekend fishing trips

Michael and Elie Cerchio were fishing with their dad Michael on the Thelma Dale IV when they caught this 73-pound drum. According to their father it was a team effort. SOURCE SUBMITTED
June 4, 2011

No one can complain about the weather over the holiday weekend. It was fantastic and the fish cooperated.

Black drum were caught at the Coral Beds off Slaughter Beach with clams the top bait. Mike Pizzolato, Harry Yingling and I fished there Friday evening with Mike landing his first drum. He also had a big ray that fought as hard as the drum. We left around 8 p.m. while boats that continued to fish after dark caught a few more drum. Black drum action should peak around the time of the full moon; that will be in two weeks.

Rockfish have been caught out of the upper bay near Collins Beach. Cut bunker has been the top bait. Not much to report near Lewes, but that could change as both my sons are seeing plenty of quality rockfish around the Virginia capes.

On Tuesday, Mike and I went out of Roosevelt Inlet around 5:30 a.m. with plans to plug the rocks. The weather was calm, the water was clear and there was a good sea breaking on the rocks by the lighthouse. While the conditions were perfect, the fish failed to notice. We ended up in the canal, where we caught eight or 10 short flounder, all on Gulp!

On Monday the crew on the Pirate King out of Anglers Marina returned to the dock with a 487-pound thresher shark. The huge fish ate a mackerel bait northwest of B Buoy. Farther offshore, tunas, wahoo and dolphin were caught from the Spencer down to the Poorman’s.

The sea bass action was good for some boats and not so hot for others. The regular hot spots were covered up with anglers, and from what I heard, the secret locations were not that productive. The Miss Ene III and the Karen Sue out of Indian River had excellent catches of cod from some of the wrecks farther offshore.

Indian River Inlet saw a decrease in the number and size of the rockfish with an increase in shad and bluefish. Now that summer has arrived, I would expect the best rockfish action will be after dark.

I am not hearing much about flounder at the inlet or in Indian River Bay. A few shorts and even fewer keepers have been caught on minnows, squid and Gulp!

In the surf, the occasional blue, king and rockfish have been caught. This fishery will also be better at dawn, dusk and after dark from now until fall.

Summer fishing hours
Now that the hot weather has arrived way ahead of summer, you might want to reflect on the times you fish. In the summer, the calmest water will be very early in the morning until around noon. This is because the temperature of the land and the water will be close to the same before the sun has a chance to heat the land. Once the land gets hot, there will be a difference in the barometric pressure between the two, and the wind will blow.

The second reason to fish early in the morning is because that is when the fish will be more active. Hot, sunny afternoons seldom result in good fishing trips. These afternoons do result in thunderstorms.

Finally, you will be much more comfortable fishing in the cool morning than in the heat of the afternoon, and the amount of boat traffic will be considerably less. I like to leave the dock before sunrise and be in by noon. You can make up the sleep you missed with an afternoon nap while the sweltering herd is out there bumping into one another and not catching fish.

  • 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