Triggerfish, sheepshead and cobia join list of good catches

July 21, 2012
You never know what's going to show in Delaware Bay when the water gets as warm as it is now. Dan Riley was surprised when this 48 pound cobia ate a 16 inch bluefish he was using as shark bait on the Coral Beds. He almost lost the cobia to a huge shark that grabbed it during the fight (note the teeth marks). Joining Dan for his experience were his grandparents John and Marie Kozero, and Capt. Gary Wehr. Weighed at Lewes Harbour Marina. SOURCE SUBMITTED

Fishing continues to be very good in both the ocean and bay. In addition to the usual suspects, we have cobia, triggerfish and sheepshead. I realize the flat-earth people deny global warming, but the continued presence of these warm-water species in our region must give one cause to wonder.

Flounder are the most popular fish for local anglers, and they have been caught on reef sites in the bay and ocean as well as open bottom in Indian River Inlet, Indian River and Rehoboth bays and from the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal and the Broadkill River. If you can acquire some live spot or menhaden, your chances of catching a keeper flounder will greatly improve.

At the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier spot and croaker were caught on bloodworms. Flounder were taken at night on live minnows and blues, blowfish and trout were in the mix.

Decent numbers of large kingfish were caught from the surf on bloodworms or bloodworm imitations from Gulp! or Fishbites. This is the first good news from the beach since the rockfish moved out.

The Old Grounds continue to provide steady action on sea bass and flounder. My son Roger, Mike Pizzolato and his friend George were out here with me on Tuesday returning with 13 sea bass and four flounder. The bite was better in the morning and slowed as the day wore on. We quit at 1 p.m. because the drift and the catching had dropped off considerably. We used clam and squid for the sea bass, strips of squid and sea robin for the flounder.

Offshore, the tuna bite has been good one day and slow the next. The presence of hundreds of boats at the Hot Dog may have contributed to the slow fishing on Saturday while on Sunday, with fewer boats around, limit catches of yellowfins were made on the chunk.

In the canyons, bigeye tuna over 200 pounds have been caught along the 100-Fathom Line. These bruisers will test the strength and quality of both angler and equipment. Some yellowfin, dolphin, wahoo and billfish have also been captured in the deep.

Indian River Marina Launch Ramp - Part 2

After playing phone tag for several days, Marina Manager Mike Marsich and I finally connected on Saturday morning. I asked him for the rules when it comes to launching and recovering a boat at the ramp. He said you must follow the directions posed on the sign at the ramp.

When launching, put the boat in the water and then move it immediately to the courtesy dock to load passengers and gear. Park the tow vehicle, then return to the boat and get underway.

When recovering the boat, you must go to the courtesy dock and put the tow vehicle driver on the dock so he can retrieve the trailer. He gets in line and the boat is moved to the ramp once he has the trailer in the water. If the tow vehicle is parked at Hook ‘Em and Cook ‘Em, let the driver out there, then proceed to the courtesy dock until the trailer is in the water.

These rules are fine, but not everyone abides by them. It may be because they are not aware or, like me, they think the rules only apply when the ramps are crowded. These rules apply all the time, and the marina personnel are trying to make everyone aware.

When we were there on Tuesday, a boat remained tied up in the ramp for an extended period of time while we launched, moved to the courtesy dock, parked the truck and finally left when we headed out.

Upon our return there was a boat at the courtesy dock that remained there the entire time while I tried to tie up, finally did, went to the truck, put the trailer in the water and loaded the boat. I have no idea if he was coming or going.

During the entire time I was there, I did not see any park personnel on site. Perhaps if someone had been there, the guy who tied up the ramp and the other fellow who was sitting at the courtesy dock might have been encouraged to move.

In Virginia Beach at the very busy Crab Creek Ramp, the city has people directing traffic from early in the morning until late afternoon. The launch and recovery operation runs like clockwork. Perhaps Mike could find a few people-friendly volunteers to assist boaters and keep the traffic moving. I would be happy to drive down once or twice a week to help out, and everyone already knows what a sweetheart I am.

  • 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