Fishing action resumes after Hermine subsides

September 8, 2016

What better way to end the summer than with the threat of a hurricane on a holiday weekend, or even worse, a major nor'easter. Fortunately Tropical Storm Hermine turned away from the coast and we were spared with only one heavy high tide and then some minor tidal flooding with the following tides. It was enough to scare people from coming and many packed up and left. If the storm had hit as predicted it could have been very bad. There were still a lot of people here and they got to see what one of these storms has the potential to look like, up close and personal. There were storm tourists everywhere, taking pictures and videos of the storm. Because when you are at the beach in a potential category one hurricane on a holiday weekend that is what you do. We had minimal damage and dodged a bullet.

The beaches were carved up a tad but will recover just fine. Surfers are looking to Bethany Beach for some new sandbars for the fall. There was some decent surfing after the storm from the remaining storm surge that was pushed towards our coast from the stalled system. So all in all it was a fun weekend regardless. People went to the beach and did a lot of walking to check out what a flooded beach looked like. It is not often you get the chance to see a storm like this. For the most part we usually have really nice weather on Labor Day weekend.     

The fishing picked right back up after Tropical Storm Hermine came through. It only takes a few days for things to calm down after a storm. The water will recede and the bait fish will move back into the usual areas. Lots of bait fish and crabs were pushed farther inland and the big fish were hungry looking for their return. People were fishing before and during the storm. Bluefish at the inlet and short striped bass, the night before and the day after. During the storm Caiden DiRusso was cast netting a creek near Pot-Nets Bayside and caught two nice-sized squid. Mullet were collecting in pockets pushed in by the wind and the cast netters were filling buckets fast. Dogfish and croakers were hitting on Broadkill Beach. Despite the dirty water, fish were feeding. Broadkill River was over her banks a little the day after and people were pulling croaker and oyster crackers.  Crabbing was pretty good on the river the day of the storm after it calmed down. Once things cleared up, fishing went back to the way it was for the most part. We won't know much about the offshore action until boats can get out there.

Flounder action is still slow around the inland bays, but some decent-sized keepers have made it to the dinner table. Croaker and spot are abundant throughout the inland bays and the Lewes Canal.  Sunday after the storm, anglers were catching croakers, weakies, and spot at the Cape Henlopen Pier in heavy storm surge and winds. Using top and bottom rigs with bloodworms, Fishbites, or squid. Small black drum were being caught at the Indian River inlet. Short striped bass are along the rocks hitting the ever-popular two-ounce bucktail. Swim shads are good too, but the blues will tear them apart. The action got better as the water cleared up after a couple of days. Then it was back to nighttime short striped bass, shad, weakies and bluefish under the lights and along the walls.

The pond action has been good around the area. Millsboro pond has decent bass on top water and buzz baits. Milton is always a good place to fish  in the park or the pier.  Big pickerel are hitting everything shiny. Bluegill action is fun on the fly rods with small poppers. They can put up a serious fight on a four-weight fly rod, or some ultra-light gear for the kids.

The beaches were closed to vehicles for a couple of days. Water was washing over the beach and filling the swales to the base of the dunes. It will take a little while for the beaches to reshape and back fill. Stay out of any wet sand with your vehicle. Walk across wet areas before driving across. Be careful at high tide just in case there is high water in some areas. The point is one spot to watch for that. There is a washover on the way out that can fill in at an extreme high tide.

Luckily I was able to go to the point on the first of September. It looks great, and has changed a little bit, but is still the same. The Cape May-Lewes Ferry riding by up close and personal in front of the lighthouse. Pilot boats heading out from the launch at the terminal. Fishing boats of all kinds and charters heading to and from Lewes. Access to the bay and ocean in the same area for fishing. It is one of my favorite places to surf fish.  The point looks a little flatter and the rips are a little farther out. Other than that it is all good. The parks do have areas blocked off for the federally protected plant, Seabeach Amaranth. Please be wary of signs and small blocked off sections. Keep your dogs on a leash; some of these plants are close to the pipes used to make the barriers. This plant growing in that area signifies it is a healthy ecosystem.

I was only there for high tide; I wanted to really check it out at low tide and see the difference, but then Tropical Storm Hermine dropped by and shut down the drive-on beaches.

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