Inshore anglers successful with flounder

August 6, 2011
Captain Vince "Killer" Keagy of the Miss Kirstin has been fishing Delaware Bay for 35 years, but this is the biggest flounder he's caught so far. The 11.72-pound doormat grabbed a shad dart tipped with squid, on 12-pound test line, at Reef Site 7. SOURCE SUBMITTED

Flounder remain the primary target for inshore anglers, and they are finding success at Site 10 in the ocean as well as Sites 6 and 7 on Brown Shoal. Bucktails with Gulp! jerk shads, and single-hook bottom rigs with strips of fish or squid and a minnow are two successful rigs. As always, you must be on top of the structure to catch the largest flounder.

Indian River and Rehoboth Bay hold fair numbers of short flounder and a few keepers. Live spot remains the best bait for catching keepers. Spot and small croaker are available in both locations on bloodworms or FishBites.

B Buoy, A Buoy and the Old Grounds provide good fishing for flounder, ling and small blues. Any of the usual flounder baits will work, but if you want to target ling, try a thin strip of squid in a top bottom rig. Burt Adams at Hook ‘Em and Cook ‘Em said he has seen some Tommy cod on his cleaning table. These look very much like a ling or red hake and taste just as good.

A few boats are trolling the Buoy Line and catching bonito, blues and false albacore on small spoons and bucktails. Atlantic bonito or sarda sarda are excellent eating. False albacore, not so much.

In Delaware Bay, croaker are arriving in greater numbers, and spot seem to be everywhere from the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal to Site 8. The Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier is the best land-based access point for catching spot. Try small pieces of bloodworm on a small hook.

Tog fishing at the Outer Wall has slowed, but triggerfish and sheepshead are available in that location on crab baits. Slot-sized rockfish have been caught there on plugs and bucktails in the evening and after dark.

The Lewes and Rehoboth Canal from Roosevelt Inlet to the Freeman Bridge has seen some action from slot rock. The bridge pilings in Lewes have been one location where eels and clams have produced limits of rockfish.

I had a report of good numbers of croaker near the Inner Wall on Tuesday. Schools of these fish seem to pop up here and there, and you have to be there to cash in. They should become more numerous and larger as the month goes on.

Offshore fishing remains good. Chunking has taken over on the inshore lumps from Massey’s to the Ham Bone. With surface water temperatures going ever higher, the tuna are swimming in the cooler, deeper water and will respond to a chunk falling to them before swimming up for a trolled lure or bait. I understand the boat traffic at popular locations can be a problem on the weekends.

Marlin fishing at the canyons has not reached the levels of last year, but is still pretty good. Next week, the White Marlin Open will run out of Ocean City, Md., and it could have another great year. Dolphin and wahoo have been scattered from the inshore lumps to the deep.

Be prepared
That’s right, the good old Boy Scout motto, Be Prepared, is still a good idea when you are long past Boy Scout age. Hunters and fishermen need to be prepared for everything from serious accidents to minor scrapes and contusions.

I carry a first aid kit in my car, my boat and in my hunter pack. I do not expect to perform major surgery, but I can stop a bleeding wound, pull out an embedded fish hook or perform CPR when someone stops breathing. Always remember to call 911 or the Coast Guard to let them know the situation. A person with a serious injury should not be moved unless there is danger of additional injury; wait until emergency crews arrive and can do the job without further injuring the victim.

When someone is hurt or suffers a serious illness on a boat or deep in the woods, what you do before help arrives can save a life. I suggest taking a Red Cross First Aid course if you haven’t had one for a few years. I had to keep my training up to date when I had my captain’s license, and having this knowledge made me feel more confident when carrying customers on my boat.

When hunting or fishing with folks you don’t know, ask them about any condition they might have. Even young people can have diabetes and could suffer a low blood sugar reaction while on the water. Knowing the condition beforehand can make treatment that much quicker.

Anything can happen at any time, so it pays to be prepared for everything.

  • 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

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