Full moon, east wind make flounder fishing problematic

August 4, 2012

Fishing remains good in the ocean at the Old Grounds when conditions are favorable, but over the past few days they have been less so. The full moon and east wind make drifting for flounder in the deeper ocean water problematic, because the strong moon currents require a heavy weight to hold bottom, and if the wind and current run together, fishing becomes all but impossible. While these same conditions exist in the Delaware Bay, the shallower water diminishes their effect, and flounder fishing is more productive.

I was able to fish last Friday and Saturday in the Delaware Bay, and both trips were somewhat successful. On Friday, my son Roger joined Mike Pizzolato, his friend Andy and me for a trip out of Lewes to Reef Site 8. We started fishing around 7 a.m., and the first couple of drifts were successful with everyone catching flounder. Roger had a 20-incher for the box before the bite at that spot died and we moved to another piece of rubble.

Here too the bite was pretty good, and Roger put a 22-incher in the cooler. By now, the drift had become somewhat erratic. You would start the drift up current from the structure and pass the rubble to the west. So the next drift you try to compensate and start to the east only to end up passing by even farther east.

By 9:30 we gave up on Site 8 and moved to Site 7. The same drifting difficulties awaited us there, and we finally moved to the rip behind the Outer Wall where direction was not as critical. Here the line on the GPS that tracks the drift looked like it was following a drunken snake. That combined with a lack of action had us back at the ramp a little after noon.

On Saturday, I was the guest of Capt. Bob Trowbridge on the Captain’s Lady out of Bowers Beach. We left the dock at 7 a.m. and were fishing Site 4 shortly thereafter. Capt. Trowbridge put us on top of the various structures all day, and while oyster crackers were in good supply, keeper flounder were a bit scarce. We ended the day with five keepers on the boat including my first of the year taken with a 7-inch Gulp! Swimming Mullet on a Delaware Bay Green Machine. Gene Bedgood won the pool with a 3.2-pound flounder. It was a great day with lots of good people on board.

Croakers are in the lower Delaware Bay, but have not moved north. I would expect this to change any day, putting them in range of upper bay anglers. Indian River Inlet and the surf have been slow with a mix of flounder, kingfish and blues available.

Tuna action has been good for chunkers at the Hot Dog. Offshore, marlin, tuna and dolphin have been caught by trolling ballyhoo and lures. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel have been taken on small spoons trolled around Fenwick Shoal.

Lacy E. Nichols Jr. Cedar
Creek Boating Access Area

On Monday, I was present at the dedication of the Lacy E. Nichols Jr. Cedar Creek Boating Access Area in Slaughter Beach. Mr. Nichols was the project manager for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control for 23 years before retiring earlier this year. The Cedar Creek ramp was the last of many projects he supervised.

I first met Mr. Nichols when I was appointed to the Advisory Committee for Recreational Fishing Funding. Almost all of this money has gone to building or improving public access for fishermen, and he was the man in charge of all those projects. At each meeting, he would be ready with a complete report on the progress of each job and answer any questions from the committee.

In addition to many friends, family and coworkers present at the dedication were Gov. Jack Markell, Sen. Tom Carper and Sen. Chris Coons, DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, Director of Fish and Wildlife David Saveikis and Slaughter Beach Mayor Amy J. Reed Parker. All thanked Mr. Nichols for his many years of service to the state and commented on how important this and all the other works he supervised were to the citizens of Delaware.

Tourism is a multi-million-dollar business in Delaware, and having public access for fishermen, boaters, bird watchers and hunters makes us a favored destination for all of these groups. The industry supports 60,000 jobs in the state, and investing in projects that support these jobs is very important to our economy.

As one of the 60,000 who work in this industry and as the chairman of the Advisory Committee for Recreational Fishing Funding I want to add my thanks to Mr. Nichols for a job well done.