The good, the bad and the windy
We finally got a break from the heat last weekend. It almost felt like October in July after the heat wave. Made for great days outside despite the heavy winds. Much more comfortable temperatures for projects and fishing!
The fishing is great, the catching, however, is slow. There have been some great catches around the area we don't usually see. Spadefish in the surf. Red drum at the Indian River Inlet and the inland bays. Many do not target these fish because they don't know where to look for them around the back bays. Usually we don't see red drum until the beginning of fall into December when we catch them in the surf. Known as channel bass in other states, they can be found in our back bays feeding on clams. You can usually find them tailing in the flats and shallows. Clam or cut mullet are the best baits.
Short striped-bass action is decent at the Indian River Inlet and any of the rips around the inland bays. There have even been a few keepers pulled at Bubble Gum beach.
Nighttime is the best time to go for the keeper bass. Sand fleas for bait along the rock walls and you will hook up with some rockfish. Fleaing, as it's called, is an easy way to catch striped bass. Just throw a handful of sand fleas in front of the rocks and cast your baited hook into the same area. It is like feeding pigeons. Some anglers will mash up the sand fleas and use that like chum to get the fish excited, Then they throw in hooks baited with sand fleas. No weights; just the flea on a hook.
Summer striped bass slot season started July 1st, and will last until August 31st. You can keep striped bass or rockfish in the size range of twenty to twenty five inches.
These are my favorite size to eat, they are all male fish so you are not hurting the population or eating a heavily polluted fish. This slot is only allowed in the Delaware River, the Bay and its tributaries. There are some great places to fish for them from the north to the south. The Lewes Canal is a tributary from the Freeman Highway bridge to the Roosevelt Inlet; the Broadkill River is a tributary as well as Canary Creek in Lewes. There is always really good action in the Lewes Canal fishing structure and piers. Cape Henlopen State Park pier has some decent action for slots too. Up north the action in the tidal creeks and rivers is best at the bridges. The slot season does not apply to the inland bays or their tributaries; that includes the Indian River Inlet and the Lewes Canal from the bridge to Rehoboth Bay.
Flounder action has been slow for keepers but heavy for shorts or throwbacks. Offshore action has gotten better at the reef and wreck sites around the Old Grounds and Del-Jersey Land Reef. Inshore action and back bays have been heavy with throwbacks and light with keepers.
Offshore tuna action has been good for the boats that find the fish. Hire a charter today and do this on the weekdays. You will have less traffic out there to compete with you.
The action at the Cape Henlopen Fishing pier has been decent if you put in the time and hit the right tide.
Dave Beebe says, "There were a decent number of fish caught, including a huge croaker that must have gone 2 lbs. The spot and croaker bite has been very good at times but not a continuously steady all day deal. Seems like the spot are spread out along the outer half of the pier during the higher tides, but the croakers seem to be out at the end. Saw a mix of smaller fish, including snapper blues, pinfish, grunts and blowfish. Crabbing has been excellent and you can weed thru the cushion crabs and come up with a dozen keepers pretty easily. Flounder are still around and being caught on Gulp and/or minnows. "
Last weekend the winds were just too much at the beach, so I decided to check out the crab races at the Amvets in Long Neck. This was the 13th year they have done this and how I have missed this all these years is beyond me. But I am glad I went. Every year volunteers from the Amvets set up for the crab races. This is the most fun you will ever have playing with your food. Spectators can bet on each race, just like a horse race. Winners become dinner at the end of the day.
Ten crabs are lined up in a holder at the top of the slanted track. When the judges count down to zero the crabs are dumped onto the track. The first crab to scurry off the end is the winner. This year number 10 was winning a lot. Different crabs are used for each race, so the same crab is never used twice. It was a great time and an excellent way to raise money for the Amvets while having a lot of fun.