Fishing good considering Delaware’s wind and rain

May 17, 2019

Since last week, I have had emails from Sen. Carper’s office saying he is aware of the Indian River Inlet sidewalk problem, and the Army Corps of Engineers is aware the senator is aware of the problem. Unfortunately, the problem is more serious than just filling in the sand and fixing the sidewalk. There is scouring below the waterline under the pavement. There is also a large hole in the inlet floor that makes the scouring worse. This means the Corps needs to do a hydrologic modeling in order to engineer an effective project.

Going back to my encounter with the project manager two weeks ago, if you recall, she said there was no money for this recreational project. I have asked Sen. Carper’s office if the money is available to do the work, but I have not heard back as of Wednesday morning.

I think hydrologic modeling is something engineers do on a computer. If so, you can count on it being expensive. Once the model is finished, the work can begin. I suspect they will have to come up with some way to fill in the holes and try to stop the scouring. Then they can fix the sidewalk and fill in the sand. Sounds like a long and complicated job that won’t even begin until the funds are secured.

Please email Sen. Carper and tell him how important this job is to you. The more voters he hears from, the more likely he is to do whatever it takes to shake some funds lose from somewhere to get this job started.

Gun bills

The three onerous gun bills presented to the Delaware Senate have been stuck in a Senate committee. As long as they stay there, Delaware gun owners are safe from unnecessary burdens when buying guns, or from finding out that guns or magazines they already own are now illegal.

I am sure there are good people who actually believe taking guns away from legal owners will stop mass killings. It won’t. What we need are better mental health programs that can find these mentally deranged people and stop them before they go on a killing spree.

If you have friends or family members who talk about hating one group of people, be it Jews, gays, Muslims, Christians or people of color, tell the police. Or at least get them some help from a mental health professional.

I know that is a hard thing to do, but when I see people killed because of their religion or because of their skin color, it makes me sick. We need to stop the hate in this country before it ruins the greatest nation the world has ever known.

Fishing report

Fishing is pretty good, considering this is Delaware, and all the rain and wind we have had.

Broadkill Beach continues to give up black drum on sand fleas and clams. Most of these fish are under 20 pounds, but that’s all right, because the smaller fish are better eating, according to my taste. This is not a 24/7 bite, but you will need to fish through a complete tide cycle to be there when the drum decide to feed. Keep a check on your bait every five to 10 minutes, as the critters will strip your hook just that fast.

Blues are everywhere, from the Broadkill River to the surf down to Fenwick Island. The fishing pier at Cape Henlopen State Park is a good location where you can fish in relative comfort while waiting for the blues to arrive. Cut bunker and mullet are good baits, with metal lures a better choice when the fish are feeding aggressively.

Blues also run through Indian River Inlet, usually during incoming water. This week the top of the incoming was the best time to be there. As I mentioned last week, I caught them on slack water, which is unusual. Use metal lures with a single hook.

Treble hooks and bluefish are a recipe for disaster. If you must use trebles, crush the barbs on all your hooks. This makes it much easier to remove the hooks from the fish and the various parts of your anatomy where they are sure to find purchase.

Flounder are found in the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, the Broadkill River, the fishing pier at Cape Henlopen State Park and from Indian River Bay. Scattered is a good description of their abundance. They have been caught on minnows, Gulp!, cut bunker, bucktails and shiners.

Sea bass opened on Wednesday, and while I was unable to get out, I suspect the Del-Jersey-Land Reef looked like the English Channel on D-Day. I will have a better handle on where the sea bass are located once I get reports from the boats that fished on Wednesday.

  • 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

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