In four weeks, beach will be less crowded again

August 4, 2016

Delaware sunrises at the beach are magical. It is another reason to get out before first light to fish and take in the scenery. We are lucky be able to do this on a daily basis! I know a lot of people's morning rituals are to watch a great beach sunrise to start their day. It is also one of the best times to fish, especially in the summer. It is not as hot that early and the fish are feeding. The same goes for the evenings, always cooler, fewer people, and the fish are biting. if you aren't catching fish, move to a new spot. That’s another advantage of a less-crowded beach. In four weeks the beaches will be less crowded again. Welcome to August, the final wind down of summer - the home stretch when kids are thinking of what’s cool to wear to school and parents are celebrating their return.

Slammer blues are still around the inlet, at the bottom. There is plenty of food and cool water down there, so I guess they don’t need to go anywhere. Lots of snapper blue action in the surf hitting mullet rigs. They are also around the inland bays chasing mullet and peanut bunker schools.

The bridges in Ocean City have decent blues action around the pylons and the Oceanic Pier. There are schools all over the Delaware Bay. Should find some cobia following these bluefish schools.

Keeper croaker action is getting better around the inland bays and along the inlet jetties. Squid, bloodworms, or Fishbites on top and bottom rigs. The best Fishbites formula is the bloodworm scent, but crab and shrimp have been doing well too.

The croaker are getting more plentiful. This is making many anglers happy who are otherwise striking out with flounder.

This has been the worst season for flounder, but it isn’t over yet. If you aren’t catching in your usual favorite spots, find another place to fish. Move around! You’ll be surprised where people are catching large flounder. Look for shallow water that is moving. Otherwise go offshore to the Old Grounds or hot the wreck and reef sites.

Night under the lights is decent at Massey’s Landing and anywhere you can find lights to fish. If you can’t find lights, create your own.

The old law about not shining light into the water was lifted last year. You can hang a light over the boat, pier, or dock to attract fish. Back in the day this was one way to attract and catch big weakfish. It still works but the weakfish are the much smaller spike trout.  

The surf has an unusually large amount of cusk eels out there this year. They are the little yellowish eels everyone is catching.

Kids are even digging them up in the surf line looking for sand fleas.

They are not much for the table since they are so small. Delaware doesn’t have a creel limit on them and they make great striped bass bait. Every year it seems there are more and more cusk eel catches. Maybe it is a sign of fish populations changing up, I don’t know. I am sure if I ask there will be many theories, I’ll just go back to my favorite theory of blaming it on aliens.

 A freshwater favorite is now closed to the public: Burtons Pond off Route 24 was closed to the public over the weekend. Due to an insurance issue, Mr. Burton can no longer allow anyone access to the pond. It is a shame there are people who learned how to fish on that pond decades ago. Maybe he will be able to open it back up at some point. By then the fish should be huge.

Even though the summer is winding down, the fishing will continue into the winter months. The transition from summer to fall fishing is always fun. We may get a few Indian Summers like we usually see each year. Nothing like seventy-degree weather in November!

The water clarity is great at Massey’s Landing; you can see almost four feet into the water, especially at high tide.

There are small and keeper-sized croaker, flounder, spot, and sea bass around the pier. Fish the pylons, along the rocks or the bulkheads. You will see schools of fish move through on occasion; just have a rod at the ready to cast for them.

Otherwise you drown bait and wait for a twitch at the ditch.

You can jig the bottom for flounder in the same areas. At night the short striped bass usually are under the lights hitting small bucktails and swim shads.

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