Croaker are getting bigger

Captain Brent Wiest took the fishin' family of Corky, Corey, Kyle, Ryan, Jen and Sarah Falgowski for a great day of flounder action aboard the Katydid. COURTESY LEWES HARBOUR MARINA
August 10, 2013

Fishing continues to be pretty good with lots of croaker, kings and spot in the bay and in the tidal creeks, rivers and the canal. The croaker seem to be getting a bit larger, and by September we should be catching 12- to 15-inch fish with some regularity.

The Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier is seeing the same action plus a few flounder and trout, and is great place to access the bay. Lewes Beach also gives up croaker and spot if you can go very early in the day before swimmers begin to arrive or late in the afternoon after they leave.

Flounder are being caught in the bay, but it takes the ability to get a bait deep into the rubble at the reef sites. The canal and the Broadkill River have seen a few keeper flounder with live spot the top bait. Roosevelt Inlet can provide good action on flounder and trout, but you will have to contend with boat traffic.

Sheepshead and triggerfish are found at the walls and the Ice Breakers. Sand fleas and crab are the top baits here. Tog fishing fell off a bit with the hot weather, but could come back during this cool spell.

In the ocean, the Old Grounds, sites 10 and 11 and rough bottom near A and B buoys are giving up decent numbers of flounder. A jig or Delaware Bay Green Machine baited with Gulp! or strips of fish remain the top flounder catchers. The same baits along with live spot are the ticket to keeper flounder at Indian River Inlet.

Small stuff dominates the surf. Spot and croaker are numerous with kings and trout occasional visitors.

Tuna are available from the canyons where bigeyes are still roaming about. Trollers are also connecting with marlin, dolphin and wahoo. Several boats now include deep dropping for tilefish in the charter. This is a pretty sure bet to put some meat in the box.

Local captain receives international honor

Salt Water Sportsman magazine conducted a search for the 50 top charter captains in the world, and a local captain was judged to be one of them. Capt. Brent Wiest, who runs the boat Katydid out of Lewes, was nominated by the magazine’s readers and writers, then interviewed by the editors during the selection process.

Wiest runs a variety of fishing trips covering everything from croaker and flounder in the bay to deep dropping for tilefish in the canyons. While no captain can avoid the occasional water haul, the Katydid seldom comes back with an empty fish box.

In my personal dealings with Capt. Wiest I have found him to be quiet and unassuming, somewhat of a rarity in the charter business. His mate Dave Walker is also an excellent angler with lots of experience on the water.

Because of his success, the Katydid is booked almost every day. However, I feel certain Capt. Wiest can find an opening for you and will be willing to fish for whatever you want to catch. Give him a call at 302-858-7783.

A few fishing tips

You don’t spend most of your life fishing without discovering a few things that will make for a more successful angler. Not to say that I am always successful, but when I fail, it is usually because I didn’t follow my own advice.

Let 'em eat

With the exception of tog, you must allow a fish to eat the bait before setting the hook. Great reflexes have their place, but even croaker must be given a few seconds to make sure the hook is in their mouth. Try dropping the rod tip just a bit before coming tight on the line. With a circle hook, this advice is even more important.

Don't fish where there are no fish

With today’s electronics it is possible to see what is in the water before you drop a line. If you don’t mark fish or bait and no one around you is catching fish, why are you fishing there? If you make drift over an area and catch nothing, why repeat the drift?

Use quality tackle

It does not have to be expensive, but all of your tackle must be of the highest quality. Every tackle manufacturer has a mid-range line that will hold up in the vast majority of fishing conditions. Pair this with high-quality fishing line, snaps, swivels and hooks, and when that fish of a lifetime hits, you will stand a good chance of landing it.

Tie good knots

Learn how to tie good, strong knots. I use the clinch, Albright, dropper loop, uni and perfection loop. There are several good books and numerous websites that can teach you how. Once you master those knots, keep practicing.

  • 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