Indian River Inlet cleanup project set for Nov. 23

November 16, 2013
J. Ehrlich checked in the first surf-caught big bluefish of the fall at Lewes Harbour Marina, with some help from a fishing partner, young Vincent Gilbert. The 38-inch slammer ate a live minnow in the suds between Herring Point and Gordons Pond, and tipped the scales to 17.8 pounds. COURTESY LEWES HARBOUR MARINA

Fishing was pretty good on Veterans Day, with a fair number of tog caught at the Outer Wall, lower bay reef sites, and inshore wrecks and reefs. Still not many rockfish in the lower bay, with a few caught in the upper bay by chunking at the 6L Buoy out of Collins Beach or by trolling Stretch 25s around Miah Maull Shoal.

A 17.8-pound bluefish was caught from the beach between Herring Point and Gordons Pond by J. Ehrlich, who was fishing with a live minnow. Other than that catch, reports from the surf have been slim. A few short rock and plenty of skates and dog sharks.

The most recent cold spell has dropped the water temperature, and we should see more rockfish in the rips. It will take some east wind to move them into the surf, and there is little of that in the five-day forecast.

A few keeper rockfish have been caught from the inlet on live spot. Nighttime jetty jockeys are scoring the occasional keeper rock while casting bucktails and shads or long lining flies.

Tog fishing in the rocks has been fair, with green crabs the best bait. It does take a bit of patience to wait out the fish, plus a good supply of bottom rigs to replace those lost to the rocks.

Indian River Inlet cleanup

As mentioned last week, the trash situation at the inlet has gotten completely out of hand. In an effort to remedy the situation, the Delaware Mobile Surf-Fishermen group has scheduled a cleanup of the inlet area for 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 23. We will meet at the south side parking lot and begin the cleaning there. Then we will move to the inlet, picking up trash from the old campgrounds down to the beach. While this is a DMS project, we would love to have all the help we can get from anyone concerned with the appearance of our fishing areas.

I have spoken with Doug Long from the park, and he will supply gloves, bags and a receptacle for the trash. He was very happy to have our help and explained that since the campground closed in October, he lost the volunteers who used to police this area. With a much-reduced winter personnel situation, he does not have enough people to keep the area clean.

This is a carry-in, carry-out park, and even though plastic bags are supplied for this purpose, there are some fishermen who do not abide by the rules. While I know none of us enjoy cleaning up someone else’s mess, in this case it is the only option. The few pigs who leave this trash reflect poorly on all fishermen, and we have to clean up after them to maintain a good reputation with the general public.

Advisory Council on Recreational Fishing Funding

The Advisory Council on Recreational Fishing Funding met Tuesday, Nov. 12, in the Senate Chambers in Dover. This is the advisory council that recommends to Fish and Wildlife what projects we would like to see accomplished with fishing license money.

Chairman Bernard Pankowski gave a presentation on the various design options for a new boat fishing license sticker. This matter was tabled to give Fish and Wildlife an opportunity to find out the cost of changing the current sticker design.

Fleetwood Pond east of Seaford is owned by the state, but currently there is no public access. The state does own property that could be used for access, but the estimated cost would be $400,000. At this time the council decided the cost-benefit ratio was not in line with prudent spending of fishermen’s money.

Dredging is needed at Records Pond in Laurel, and that will cost at least $50,000. The spoils will be stored in bags where the water will drain out leaving the dirt available for various uses.

Courtesy docks will be placed in some freshwater launch areas to make it easier for anglers to enter and exit their boats. The ramp at Rosedale will be repaired, but the area is very shallow and should only be used for small boats. Phillips Landing will get a new parking lot by fall 2014.

A suggestion to place benches and picnic tables at the Massey’s Landing boat ramp was rejected for two reasons. One, the area does not have the room, and two, such things are not supported by matching federal funds.

The big project upstate is the dredging of the boat ramp at Augustine Beach. This ramp is unusable at low tide. The cost of this project is $30,000. A proposal for a fishing pier at Dobbinsville is under review, and the need to repair two fishing piers at the C&D Canal was discussed.

  • 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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