Cooler heads prevail for one proposed gun law

July 3, 2021

I am happy to report that cooler heads in the Delaware House of Representatives have prevailed and the bill that would have made the possession of a gun magazine that holds more then 17 rounds, even if purchased legally, a crime has been amended. Rep. Nnamdi Chukwuocha, D-Wilmington, sponsored an amendment that rewrote the bill to make the possession of a large-capacity magazine legal, if it was purchased legally, but selling, purchasing, receiving or transferring a large-capacity magazine a Class E felony. A large-capacity magazine is defined as one that holds more than 20 rounds for a handgun and 30 rounds for a rifle. If such a magazine is used in the commission of a felony, the prison sentence could be as much as 24 years. This bill must now head back to the Senate for passage, then on to the governor.

The next problem is the Senate bill that would require law-abiding citizens to undergo a long and expensive training program before buying a handgun. I have not heard a word about this bill and fear it will be one that they hope to sneak through during the last of the legislative session June 30, which is after my deadline.

Surf fishing

I decided to see if the dismal reports that I keep receiving form the surf-fishing crowd are true. On Tuesday morning, I headed for Three Rs Road around 6 a.m. and got there in time for the bottom of the tide. I fished the first of the incoming until 10 a.m. and never had so much as a nibble. Even the crabs left my Fish Bites, Gulp! and Fish Gum alone.

The water was fairly clear and the waves were as predicted, around 2 to 3 feet with the occasional 4-footer mixed in the sets. I had no problem holding bottom with a 3-ounce tongue sinker.

I fished one rod in my brand-new OTW sand spike that my wonderful wife gave me for my birthday, and the second rod I held and slowly reeled in when it too was not resting in my second brand-new OTW sand spike. Both lines carried a mixture of the three baits mentioned above, and I checked them every 10 minutes or so and replaced the baits when they washed out.

The only fish I saw caught was a small croaker or spot taken by a young boy who was fishing with his father to my left. He was so excited, I thought if anyone had to catch a fish this morning, I’m glad it was him.

I was surprised to see so few people fishing the beach. I was the only truck south of the drive-on entrance, although there were two or three walk-on anglers. For whatever reason, all the trucks that came on the beach headed north toward the inlet. Perhaps that’s where the fish were.

I had no traffic going down, but the ride home was a mess. This will be my last visit south until September.

Fishing report

Flounder fishing is getting better as the summer goes on. There are keepers being caught from the Del-Jersey-Land Reef back to the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal to Indian River Bay. One kayak fisherman has been doing very well at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier by working close to the pilings on the burnt-out part at the very end of the pier. Gulp! has been the bait that shows up most often in my reports.

The Lower Bay reef sites hold croaker, spot and kings. For the most part, these are small fish and will take bloodworms and Fish Bites. The occasional keeper-sized trout is also found on these sites. If you can find some peeler crab, that would be a good bait for the trout.

The Delaware Bay striped bass season opened July 1 and will run until Aug. 31. You are allowed one rockfish between 20 and 25 inches per day from the bay and its tributaries. This includes the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and the Broadkill River.

Drifting sand fleas at night is the only game in town at Indian River Inlet. So far, this technique has produced only short rockfish and the occasional trout.

The offshore run of yellowfin tuna has been very good. The Poorman’s and Washington canyons were the hot spots with the occasional bigeye to over 200 pounds testing angler and tackle. Dolphin are beginning to make themselves known as well.

The other good news from the deep is the excellent action for tilefish. Boats have been trolling for tuna in the morning then deep-dropping for tiles before heading back to the dock. Golden tilefish to 50 pounds have been caught.


  • 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 several publications and 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

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter