Fall-like surf fishing weather

Rhianna Abel "coaching" her Team Striper Bites
September 17, 2013

This past weekend was beautiful, with fall-like temperatures at night and warm days. I checked out the Dragon Boat Festival 2013 in Lewes on Sunday and had a good time seeing many friends on different teams while running around taking lots of pictures. The races were cool; three boats ran a small course in the Lewes Canal, each in their own lanes, with a steersman and a drummer to keep the rhythm. I think the drummers did more yelling than drumming at times, and the word for the day from most was, “cadence people, cadence!”

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By the end of the day the teams’ rowing rhythms were much improved. The banter and smack-talk among teams, all in fun of course, was entertaining. It reminded me of the banter we do in the surf while fishing. The event raised money for the Sussex Academy and many local businesses had teams and tents set up to vend in the park. A lot of people came out to see the event. In fact, I overheard a few people walking in the park who didn't know what was going on, but once they found out, they stayed for the day. Good times and I look forward to next year’s event. If I can manage it, DSF might have to enter our own team – I just hope no one minds if we troll while we row. While I was watching the races there were a lot of bluefish busting the water and chasing baitfish. It took everything I had not to cast into the melee of boats and try to hit a few blues. What can I say: I see fish, and I want to catch one. Unfortunately I had to leave early, so I couldn't see the last few races, but I heard they went very well and everyone had a great time.

I met up with Captain Brian Wazlavek of the Lil' Angler II, mate John Masten, Scott Jost, Kym Caudill, and Mike Trestka during the last heat of the Dragon Boat races. They called and said they were inbound with a mako and would I meet them at the docks. I planned on meeting them that afternoon anyway so it was not a coincidence that I decided to hit the races while I waited. I would have rather been fishing, but I decided to take a day off and do something different. No, I am feeling fine; I just wanted to see these races and meet the boat when it came back. The crew offloaded a nice mako and I commenced to take a million pictures. Unfortunately I had other obligations, and had to leave before they could do a real presentation. They were eighty miles offshore and the strangest story from the night was seeing bats that far off the coast. Mike and Captain Brian said two bats were swooping the lights and almost slammed into them a few times. This would have been a better story if one had gotten into someone’s hair, and they freaked out. But no such luck there. Just like the last tuna trip, we all met at a restaurant and had a wonderful dinner of fresh mako. Delaware Family Fishing is a great charter company to hire for a day on the water. Next time you’re looking to take a day on the water get up with the captain. He loves to fish and will spend they day making sure his passengers enjoy themselves doing just that. I have some DSF striped bass trips planned coming soon, and will announce when spots are available to get on the Lil' Angler for some serious fishing.

The flounder fishing has been much better since the water temps have dropped a tad. The Old Grounds has been the hot spot out in the ocean and even the back bays are seeing more frequency of keeper flounder. Massey's Landing is producing rather well, and of course the Drum King is still banging away at the black puppy drum. A few nice shorty striped bass have popped up there as well. They are all in the twenty to twenty five inch range, which makes for a nice fight. The back bays are still decent for catching croaker and spot, and a few redfish were caught in the surf over the weekend. The water temps are dropping rather fast with the cooler nights and days, and it will not be long before we see some serious movement from all of the fish species out there. Bluefish made an appearance this weekend in the surf, back bays, out front, and the Delaware Bay. They are still smaller closer to shore, upwards of eighteen inches, but a few larger ones have been caught. Larger blues are farther out front and the boys way up north are hammering very nice sizes up to nine pounds. Mullet chunks, spoons, mullet rigs, and my little mullet plug have been doing well in our waters. The bluefish are following the large mullet schools, and you can watch them chase the baitfish along the rocks at Indian River Inlet. That is always exciting to see; you just have to match what the blues are chasing to catch. This week is starting out cold and windy, but that will calm down by the weekend. Hope everyone had a great week and we will see you in the sandbox, on the rail, plopped on a pier or drifting the bays.

Fish on!

Rich King

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