Wind, rough seas leave fishermen empty-handed

Keith Beebe, 20, took down this 8-point buck early Monday morning. COURTESY DAVID BEEBE
December 1, 2012

Considering the events of the past few weeks, it's no wonder some fishermen take to the drink. We should be catching good numbers of rockfish and tog, but the windy weather has prevented boats from sailing, while the rough seas have dirtied the water to the point that even when anglers can access their favorite locations, the fish don’t bite. Then we have days like Monday when stripers were caught in good numbers at the Rips, Indian River Inlet and the 60-foot Slough followed by Tuesday when many boats could not buy a fish in spite of ideal rockfish weather conditions (clouds, rain and east wind). Please pass the Jack Daniels.

The weather forecast for the weekend looks pretty good, so perhaps the rockfish and tog will cooperate in a reliable manner. There will be plenty of boats on the water, and places like the inlet and the rips will be crowded. Please be careful and always wear your PFD.

New products

On Tuesday I attended the Folsom Tackle Show in Atlantic City to check out the new products for 2013. Successful tackle companies know nothing sells like something new. Manufacturers have people on staff who come up with new products every year that will keep anglers interested in their product line.

The Boomerang Tool Company seems to have something new every year. This time it is The Snip. This is a small line-cutting tool that may be attached to the angler by use of a split ring and retractable cable.

The cutting blades are kept closed until needed by using an ingenious mechanism on the side of the tool. You push in and up to free the blades, and then after cutting the line push down and back to close the tool. Even I can operate The Snip with one hand.

I plan to attach mine to the sheath for my fishing pliers, while other anglers will attach theirs to a fishing shirt, vest or belt. I believe fly fishermen will salivate over this product. The only problem they will have is finding room on their vests.

Check out this product online at or at your favorite tackle shop.

Tsunami Tackle has three new surf-fishing outfits made specifically for casting artificials. They are part of the Air Wave Elite series and cover lures from 1 to 4.5 ounces. Matched with the new long-cast reels, these rods will deliver a lure farther than more conventional sticks.

The rods and reels are designed for use with braided line. The Fuji K guides have braces that will quickly dispense with braided line and prevent wind knots. Those of us who have tried to cast light lures such as the Red Fin and even the Bomber or Wind Cheater know how big a problem these knots can be.

The long-cast reels have two spools. The deeper spool was described to me by Tsunami manager Jerry Gomber as able to hold a mortgage payment’s worth of braided line. The less-deep spool still holds more line than any fish can run off with, but not enough to create the need for a bank loan to pay for the fill-up.

All three reels are designed for braided line. They have a bail that will lay the line on the spool correctly and a roller that prevents the line from getting caught on the top of the spool.

In our area, most artificial baits are used at Indian River Inlet. The smaller combo would make an ideal jetty stick. If you do toss lures into the high surf, the larger two will be ideal. Jerry told me he was amazed at how far he could toss a loaded pencil popper with these new rods and reels. Several local tackle shops stock Tsunami products.

I was attracted to a display of lures in the Okuma booth. Okuma does not produce these lures; they are made in Norway and used primarily for pike. Savage Gear produces these eel-like lures that look alive in the box. The largest is a 16-inch, pre-rigged eel that should attract big rockfish. Smaller eels, some with curly tails, would be hot for trout, flounder and school-size rockfish.

Not only do these lures look alive, they come in some of the hottest colors available. Of particular interest to me were the orange and chartreuse green models. The lures could be cast from the beach or boat as well as trolled. Hopefully, one or two of the local tackle shop owners I saw at the show will order a selection of Savage Gear lures, but for now you will have to go to to see these products.

  • 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