Most fishing locations producing good returns

June 15, 2013
You don't see too many spadefish in Delaware Bay, especially at this time of year. Taylor Deemer spotted this beauty swimming around the pilings of Cape Henlopen Pier. He tempted the 4.72-pound specimen with a small piece of clam and weighed his catch at Lewes Harbour Marina. SOURCE SUBMITTED

Fishing in the lower bay has come on like midsummer with plenty of croaker, kings, blues and the occasional flounder. The usual locations such as sites eight, seven and the walls are all producing. A few keeper trout have been mixed in the catch from all locations.

Beach fishermen are finding the same species in Lewes, Cape Henlopen State Park and Broadkill Beach. The Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier is also doing well with the best bite on high tide. A wide variety of baits have been used with success including bloodworms, Speck Rigs with a Gulp! swimming mullet, cut bunker, squid and clam.

The Lewes and Rehoboth Canal and the Broadkill River are giving up a few keeper flounder on Gulp! swimming mullet and a Speck Rig, live minnows, shiners, smelt and strips of squid. The occasional trout and a fair number of croakers have also been caught here.

Out in the ocean the sea bass fishing has been slow inside of 30 miles. Sites 11 and 12 are just not holding the number of sea bass we expected, and reports from the Old Grounds have not been encouraging. The best catches have been made over structure at least 30 miles offshore.

Sharkers are having fair success with blues, makos and threshers. The 20-Fathom Lumps have been the top location. Bluefish strips are a prime bait.

We are getting scattered reports from the canyons that tuna are here, but no one north of Virginia Beach has connected with a great number of fish. The dolphin fishing has been off the hook out of Hatteras and Oregon inlets and I hope they leave a few for us.

One of those days

I have been trying to get out for sea bass since the season opened on May 19. Now you must understand the folks I fish with are, for the most part, old. Old people who have been fishing for a long time have had our butts kicked during our young and reckless youth and really don’t want to go through it again. With this in mind, we only fish on those days when the winds are light and variable, and we haven’t had many of them this spring.

Last Wednesday provided at least a reasonable weather report and we made plans to head for Site 11 out of Indian River. On the evening before the trip the boat owner and I hooked the boat to the trailer and performed other chores so as not to wake the entire neighborhood at o’dark thirty.

At 0530 my crew was in the truck and we headed out of the driveway, but we did not make it very far. The boat owner had attached the trailer to the boat without removing the locking pin and they parted company in the middle of my street. It took a while to get this mess resolved while the rig had the entire street blocked.

Once fixed, we headed to Indian River where one of our party tried to buy a license. The first tackle shop we stopped at did not sell licenses anymore so we had to go back out on Route 1 and drive to Old Inlet where the license was purchased.

By the time we got the boat in the water it was 0700 and just about then I received a call of nature. I will say the bathroom facilities at the launch ramp are outstanding.

Finally under way we cleared the inlet around 0720 and it was a smooth run to Site 11. It took less than an hour to make the 16-mile run and baits were in the water a little after 0800.

The youngster on the trip developed a case of mal de mer as soon as the boat stopped and commenced chumming for a considerable amount of time. I will give him credit, he never complained, and as the worst of the attacks passed, he went back to fishing.

Fishing was, if nothing else, steady. A steady pick of short sea bass, sea robins, bergalls, one short flounder and two very nice tog. We did manage to put six keeper sea bass in the cooler along with four of the larger bergalls.

By 1300 we had run out of one chunk of frozen clams and saw no reason to open another. The run back was as good as the run out and the boat went on the trailer without a problem.

Once back at the house the boat owner went to remove the boat from the trailer without removing the same pin he had not removed when trying to hook it up. The result was he cranked my truck about four feet in the air before someone pointed out his error.

Yup, it was one of those days.

  • 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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