Warmer means better fishing

March 21, 2011

The weather and the fishing are getting better every day.  The best action has been in the tidal creeks and freshwater ponds where perch, crappie, bass and pickerel have been caught.  Last week, the Delaware River in New Castle County saw good fishing for short rockfish with at least two keepers landed at Woodland Beach.  Big white perch have been taken along with the rock.  Bloodworms are the best bait.

We had a report of rockfish caught out of the Broadkill River and from Broadkill Beach.  Once again, bloodworms were the bait of choice.

Tog were caught from the ocean with the best action still a ways offshore.  Crab is the bait of choice for tog fishermen.

Every day the weather warms, the water temperature goes up and we get closer to the first flounder of the year.  A few have already been taken in Virginia, and it won’t be long before Indian River Inlet and the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal begin to produce.

With good weather in the forecast for this weekend I plan to try the perch in Broadkill River.  There are numerous access points from Oyster Rocks to the old Route 1 bridge to Milton.  At the least I can drown a few bloodworms while enjoying the sunshine.

Flounder and sea bass hearing
This is the season for public hearings and first up is the Summer Flounder and Sea Bass Management Plans.  The hearing will take place at 89 Kings Highway in Dover at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 24.  This is the time to come out and express your preference for one of the two options provided by the Fisheries Section.  These are four fish per day with an 18.5-inch minimum size and no closed season, or four fish per day with an 18-inch limit and a closed season from Oct. 23 to Dec. 31.

I feel certain proponents of both options will be there.  If you favor one above the other this is the time to make your voice heard.

I am not sure what choices we have with black sea bass.  The Mid-Atlantic Council has proposed a 25-fish limit and a 13-inch minimum size.  

Shark and reefs hearing

The very next evening, Friday, March 25, a hearing will be held to take public input on the proposal to limit fishing gear on Delaware’s artificial reefs to hook and line.  The state Legislature passed a bill in the last session giving DNREC the authority to regulate fishing gear on the reefs, and this is the hearing required by law before such regulations can be implemented.
The shark hearing will address the practice of catch-and-release shark fishing from the beach.  I am not convinced there is a problem here as to the best of my knowledge all the sharks are released.

It seems to me the anglers who participate in this fishery are putting themselves in more danger than the sharks.  Since it is impossible to prevent young human males from participating in actions that put them at great risk of bodily harm, I say let them keep fishing for big toothy sharks in the dark until the sharks finally have enough and bite one or more of these guys.  Losing a significant part of one’s anatomy will generally discourage even the most testosterone-driven male from further participation in the activity that caused the loss.

Online logbook
The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife has partnered with the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program to create an electronic logbook for use by all anglers who would like to keep a running tally of their fishing trips and catch.  Angers can make note of what they caught, how they caught it, where the catching took place and what they kept and released.  The information is easy to log in and retrieve, as evidenced by the fact that I was able to do same.

The information you record will be used by the division to supplement data generated from other sources to present a more accurate picture of what recreational fishermen are actually doing in Delaware.  Crabbers and clammers may also record their catches.

Visit to begin entering your catch reports.

  • 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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