Boating safety is very important

June 30, 2016

The fishing is increasing and so is the boat traffic.  Boating safety is very important, and in some cases it can be the difference between life and death.  In an effort to promote safe boating, Sea Tow is placing life jacket stands at local marinas and possibly state boat ramps soon.  These stations are for boaters to borrow a life jacket if they need one for their children or infant.  After you use the jacket just bring it back and hang it back up, but clean it first if necessary.  This service is free of charge, and there isn't a deposit.

Representatives Stephen Smyk and Harvey Kenton were at the presentation at Leisure Point in Long Neck, as well as Sargent Troy Trimmer and Seasonal William Adkins of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement. Hank Fullmer says, "The life jacket program is supported by many government and state agencies across the country and today we are thankful the program has the support here in Delaware of two House representatives Steve Smyk and Harvey Kenton along with Sergeant Troy trimmer from the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

“The life jacket loaner program was founded by Sea Tow services international founder the late Captain Joe Frohnhofer with the goal to help reduce drowning victims. The life jacket loaner program offers boaters and paddle sports enthusiast a properly fit life jacket to borrow and then return when they are done at no cost.  With over 59,000 boats and water craft registered in the state of Delaware we only had 25 boating related accidents in 2015 and that's well below the national average that can only be contributed to the safety checks performed by DNREC and the USCG.

“Today the program has hosted over 350 loaner Stand locations at boat ramps marinas and parks throughout the country. Since 2008 the foundation has made over 35,000 life jackets available to the public and with volunteers like Michelle at leisure point general store and deli we will continue to help make the waters a little safer."

Flounder catching is picking up around the area but mostly offshore. Inshore is still slower than normal.  Head and charter boats are doing well when they can get out there.  Charter boats, more so than head boats, fewer people on a charter boat, less competition and more mobility, but head boats are cheaper.  Lewes Canal is rather crowded on the windy days with anglers trying for the flatties but wanting to avoid the choppy waters of the Roosevelt Inlet and Delaware Bay. The Delaware Bay beaches are seeing some decent flounder action from Beach Plum to Bowers Beach and Bennetts Pier. The action is not heavy but people are catching. Minnows and Gulp have been the go-to baits. Mummichogs for the minnow but some are having luck with the striped killifish. Many say those do not catch fish but others say different. Probably depends on the fish’s preference that is biting.

Kingfish action is great at all beaches.  They are either in the so-so size range or huge and worthy of a citation.  Kingfish have to weigh one pound or more to qualify for a citation in the state of Delaware. That is a relatively easy one for a kid to accomplish at the beach and really makes their day when it shows up in the mail. They will get a patch and certificate.  Bloodworms, Fishbites, squid, sand fleas, and peeler crab are working well for kingfish.  The bigger baits are catching the bigger fish; I have caught big kingfish on mullet rigs in the late summer fishing for blues.  They will hit large baits.

Croaker are small along the Delaware Beaches but larger ones were showing up around Fenwick Island beaches on Sunday.  They will be everywhere soon enough.  Hardheads as the locals like to call them, will hit the same baits all the smaller fish will hit.  Top and bottom rigs with pyramid sinkers in the surf to keep them from rolling around.  Use bank sinkers from boats or piers for a straight drop or drift from a boat.    

 July first the slot striped bass season starts in the Delaware Bay and her tributaries. That includes the Lewes Canal train bridge to the Roosevelt Inlet.  That whole area is loaded with structure to find slot-sized striped bass.  Flounder will lay along the same structure and feed on unsuspecting crabs and minnows.  

The mud banks are good to fish when the bait fish are being pulled out during low tide.  The bass sit there and feed on them as they dump out of the grasses.  You can keep two striped bass in the 20 – 25 inch range from July 1 to August 31.  Fishing the evenings into the night in the Lewes Canal into the Roosevelt Inlet can produce some seriously fun action. Canary Creek will have decent action as well.

Offshore action is on fire for the boats getting out there. Grab a charter today - the yellowfin bite is out of control.

 Bring out the kids on July 16th in Milton’s Memorial park! Techno Goober & Delaware Surf Fishing will host the second annual Andy and Opie Fishing Tournament for parents and kids. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the tournament will start at 9 and end at 1 p.m. We have several friends who will be volunteering their time to help judge and assist. There will be weigh-in stations throughout the park. Participants will be able to fish along the Broadkill River, up to the Milton pier as well. Last year’s tournament was a huge success, with well over 100 kids participating & receiving a fishing rod and reel combo to take home. Higher end gear was used for prizes for the winners. This year will continue to include raffle prizes for the parents in attendance. So, come out on Saturday, July 16th and enjoy some outdoor fun with the whole family!

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