Surf tournaments pack Cape Region with eager anglers

October 19, 2013
Tog fishermen encounter some nice sheepshead while working structure in October. Ed Winkler pulled this 11.5-pound bruiser from an inshore wreck aboard the Katydid with Capt. Brent Wiest. COURTESY LEWES HARBOUR MARINA

Fishing has suffered from all the east wind and big seas, but should improve once the weather pattern changes. The lousy rockfish action we had last fall was due to Sandy stirring up the water and moving the fish too far offshore for a legal catch. I don’t think this storm will have the same result, because I have reports from Rhode Island and Long Island of excellent striped bass fishing from the beach. I believe we will see good fishing for rock and blues once the water clears.

Tog fishing has been spotty at best over bay and ocean structure. Tuesday was the first time anyone had been out in over a week, and catch reports were mixed. The Outer Wall was unproductive, while the reef sites and wrecks in the bay gave up a few fish. Indian River Inlet yielded one or two keeper tog along with several shorts. It is possible we will see triggerfish and sheepshead caught once the water clears and more boats fish structure in the bay and ocean.

Spot were still in the Broadkill River and the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal. The Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier also had big spot plus a few small croaker.

On Saturday, my wife and I had the urge to get out of the house and, in spite of the wind and rain, we took a ride to Cape Henlopen State Park. The beach was closed to vehicles, but surfers were out in force at Herring Point.

We also stopped at Roosevelt Inlet, where eight or 10 people were fishing. They would cast out then seek shelter in their cars. God bless them.

New Maryland state record bluefish

Kevin Weber broke the Maryland state record for bluefish with a 23-pound, eight-ounce chopper taken near the Route 50 bridge in Ocean City. Kevin was fishing with bunker when the trophy hit. Let’s hope a few blues in this category invade Delaware’s surf and the Indian River Inlet.

Hunting photos

I would love to run some photos from successful hunting trips. Last year I made the same request and only received a few pictures. Please, no beer cans, cigarettes or cigars, and gentlemen, please keep your shirts on. Photos of kids and ladies with game are greatly appreciated.

Surf tournaments

Two surf tournaments were recently held along the beach from Cape Henlopen to Fenwick Island. Fortunately, both occurred before the weather turned nasty, and both drew excellent participation.

These tournaments are for individuals, with fish scored by length. Each fish must meet the minimum length required by the tournament, and the longer the fish the more points are scored.

The 16th Annual Delaware Seashore Fall Surf Fishing Classic was held  Sept. 21-22, with 294 anglers entered in the contest. The headquarters was Old Inlet Bait and Tackle on Route 1 just north of the Indian River Inlet bridge.

In the Overall Division, Sam Catalano won first prize with 109 points. Bruce West came in second with 64 points, and Noah Graulich was third with 59 points. The Woman’s Division saw Christine Jiriowic win the first-place prize with 40 points. Kelsey Cycyk came in second with 25 points, and there was a three-way tie for third as Cindy Wesley, Donna Gutridge and Lynn Downs all had 15 points. The top angler in the Kids Division was William Jarvis with 40 points. Additional prizes were awarded to Said Dandridge for the largest fish of the tournament, a 27-inch red drum, while the bluefish Calcutta was divided among Bruce West, Noah Graulich and Sam Catalano, all of whom caught 15-inch bluefish.

The Delaware Mobile Surf-Fishermen held their 7th Annual Invitational Surf Tournament Oct. 5-6, with headquarters in the Officer’s Club at Cape Henlopen State Park. There were 320 anglers on the beach, a new record for attendance.

In first place in the Overall Division was Andy Martz with 74 points. Bill Anderson came in second with 71 points, and Martin “CT” Kris had 65 points for third place. The Ladies Division was won by Pamela Moss with 27 points. Kelsey Cycyk had 26 points for second, and Wendy King also tallied 26 points for third. The Kids Division was won by Griffin Traylor; Timothy Bell Jr. came in second, and Zoie Martz won third. Bob Densmore had a 24-inch red drum for the largest fish prize, while the largest bluefish prize was split among Donna Gutridge, David Smith and Jimmy Wolinski.

Both contests provided an economic boost to the Cape Region, as well as a great time for all participants.

  • 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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