Been a summer of fun in the sun for sure

August 5, 2021

Just another hot summer season, and we are catching fish and a good burn.  Sugar-soft hot sand on the beaches is making it difficult to drive; you may need to air down more. Rangers are doing surf checks randomly at drive-on accesses and even checking everyone on the beaches at times. The summer, though winding down, is in full swing. 

The White Marlin Open started this past Monday. The Flounder Pounder was canceled for this year. 

It has been a summer of fun in the sun for sure. In less than 30 days, the Point will open, and that is when we get serious about fishing. Less crowding, sort of, and more space to fish. The Point has unique action, somewhat like the Cape Henlopen fishing pier as they share the same bay beach line. 

The Cape Henlopen fishing pier is a fun place to take the family. I was out there this past Saturday after delivering DS Custom Tackle to the pier shop, Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle. Still not sure why he didn’t call it Lighthouses, since you can see both of them. I know, grammar grammar grammar.  

The shop owner, Dave Beebe, asked me, Wanna take a ride? 

Yup, I definitely did. 

Dave had to pick up someone out there and wanted to check the fishing conditions. I just didn’t want to walk, so I hitched a ride.  

The pier shop keeps a golf cart there to help the handicapped folks and anyone who may need a ride out to the pier. It can be a long walk, even for the now shorter pier. Great service by the shop crew. They also can keep you up on the latest fishing news by the day, even hourly. Just check out their Facebook page. They have a full line of bait and carry the best local tackle available.  

We stopped at the pier’s end and talked to the crew hammering spot three and four fish at a time.  Dave even borrowed a rod from a guy and reeled in two spot for their cooler. The pier hosts a unique crowd of anglers from all over the world on most days in the summer. You can meet some really cool people.  When Dave headed back, I jumped out to see a buddy of mine. It took me two hours to get back to the shop, since I had to stop and talk to a lot of people I know. One reason I avoid weekends is that I can’t fish when I’m talking too much; just ask anyone who knows me.  

You don’t need to own tackle or gear to fish the Cape Henlopen fishing pier; the shop rents rod setups and any gear you need. Just buy your bait and have a fishing license. You can crab at the pier and just use hand lines or the regular folding traps and rings, also available in the shop.

Many people take the whole family to the pier beaches; there are trails for access on each side of the shop. The bay waves are calm and offer shallow waters for the kids to play in. Clamming is great there too on the low tide. As Dave says, just look for a little keyhole-looking shape in the sand and dig.  

The Cape Henlopen State Park fishing pier is open 24 hours for fishing. If you fish the lights along the pier, fish in the shadow on the outside of the light ring. Flounder and striped bass will sit under the pier and in the shadows, ambushing bait fish. 

Flounder like to hang around the old pier poles and feed on the bait fish that use the structure for food and shelter. Just use a jig head with some Gulp.   

There is a small pavilion for shade and a few grills for cooking food nearby, as well as a bathhouse and foot wash stations. There is also a kayak rental station by Coastal Kayak.  

The kayak anglers really like fishing the flats and will go out to the walls or the old pier pole structures. These walls protect the Harbor of Refuge and create some incredible fishing structure. If a fish exists in our salty waters, it can be found around the pier and the surrounding structure. 

The Cape Henlopen fishing pier is a great place to take the family along, spend the day, wet a line and have fun. If we could get the state to rebuild the pier back to the old T structure on the end, it would be even more amazing. That is a money maker just waiting to be rebuilt. The sunsets there are amazing, especially while watching the ferry come in or leave its dock.

The current fishing is typical summer suspects, with kingfish, spot, weakfish, croaker, pompano and flounder in the surf. The skates, rays, dogfish and sharks always abide. Some keeper striped bass are always around, hitting mostly at night. I find them along the beaches at night hunting for food. It is much easier to walk and cast for these beats. You can also  set up and sit with a bunker chunk, but the sharks will eat that a lot. We have resident striped bass that live here year-round, big ones, not the shorts. It is still summer slot striped bass season for the Delaware Bay and its tributaries until Aug. 31. People have been nailing them in the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, Broadkill River, and along the Cape pier.  The small fish are better to eat, in my opinion. The meat isn’t that “old,” and the fish hasn’t marinated in that dirty water as long.

Bluefish might be the new unicorn. They are about as random as weakfish these days. The catches are occurring along the beaches, but not regularly.  

Flounder around the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal has been great action; you just have to put in the time.  

The head boats and charters are mostly going for sea bass and flounder. The flattie action has really picked up offshore, and I think that will continue this year more than usual. The Flounder Pounder puts a real dent in the population; I don’t care what anyone says. That is a lot of pressure on a fish population, even offshore. I expect it will continue into the end of the season. 

The offshore anglers are doing well on tuna, sharks and billfish. Tilefish are a fun deep-water catch. Just depends on what you want to do for the day once you are out on the water. There have been a lot of quality catches coming into the docks.   

Get out and fish, and tell summer to slow down, but we’ll be happy when the Point opens back up.

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