Fun fishing trips in Lewes

August 23, 2019

I have been out on my boat twice in the last week. My first trip was Aug. 16. My friend Mac McNaught and I got away from the Lewes boat ramp around 6 a.m. and made a gallant effort to get out of Roosevelt Inlet and head to the Outer Wall in my 16-foot tin boat, but the 3-foot waves and northeast headwind were a bit too much for two gentlemen of a certain age.

Plan B was fish the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal for flounder. Apparently, that was also the plan of a several other boaters who joined us in our search for flatfish. In fact, the parking lot was well filled for that early on a Friday morning.

We began drifting on the incoming current along the west bank and did so all the way to the Savanah Road drawbridge. The only fish we caught was a nice, big oyster cracker that got me excited thinking it was a flounder. We were both using jigs with Gulp! Mac ties his own and was kind enough to give me some. I told him I didn’t want to put them in the water. They are so beautiful. But of course, I will.

We ran back to Roosevelt Inlet, and since the wind died down, I was able to get out and fish the bay opposite Beach Plum Island. We both caught some spot and a few small trout before heading in around noon. Nice morning on the water with excellent company.

On Aug. 20, once again I was with a good friend, this time a childhood buddy, Doug Elliott. We headed out of the boat ramp an hour later around 7 a.m. and with a flat-calm bay were able to make the run to the Outer Wall.

We drifted along the oceanside with Doug jigging a Gulp! on the bottom and me casting a black back Rebel WindCheater toward the rocks. I caught a small blue and Doug never had a hit.

We then ran toward the north end of the wall looking for fish marks on the SONAR. Never saw anything until we were on the Shears. Both of us started bottom fishing with FishBite bloodworms, and we caught a few spot.

I had reports of croaker on the reef sites, so we picked up and moved to Reef Site 8. From the first drop we began catching spot. Some were perfect bait-size while others were large enough to eat. We also caught a couple of kings and one small trout, but no croaker.

I noticed the two head boats move to Site 5, so I did the same. Guess what? More spot and still no croaker.

Now I have to say, the two of us had a great time catching fish on almost every drop and telling stories or reliving tales of our childhood in Claymont.

We caught our last spot around noon and headed to the ramp. The water was still flat calm and the ride back was great.

Other folks’ fish reports

The surf still gives up kings, spot, croaker, blues and small trout. Be on the beach before daybreak and off by 10 a.m. for best results.

Flounder fishing remains good in the ocean with limit catches made by those who know where and how to catch them. There have been some good catches made in Indian River Bay and the inlet as well as Rehoboth Bay, but limits are rare here.

Small dolphin are on the marker buoys close to shore. Bigger dolphin have been caught at the Inshore Lumps. Trolling seems to work best for the larger fish.

Triggerfish are available at the Ice Breakers on sand fleas. Blues are scattered from the Lower Bay to Fenwick Shoal. Trolling with small spoons or jigging with bucktails or metal lures will catch all you want.

Good billfish action in the canyons. Tuna are caught as well, with bigeyes and yellowfins the most common catch. Deep-dropping for tilefish remains good.

Fisherman’s farewell

A Fisherman’s Farewell for Gene Crone will be held at the northside of Indian River Inlet just west of the bridge from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 23. Gene was injured in an auto accident on Indian River Road on Aug. 15 and died of his injuries Aug. 16.

If you fished the northside of the inlet as I did, you may have seen Gene. He sat at the picnic table and smoked brown cigarettes between casts. He would finish a cigarette, get up, make a few casts, sit back down and light up another one.

It was obvious he had a large group of friends at the inlet. There is no doubt he will be missed.

  • 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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