Gun rally a success, but will it change anything?

May 15, 2021

The May 8 gun rally in Dover was attended by 1,000 people, and from the photos I saw, it looked like they were all well behaved. How much this will affect the outcome of the two Senate bills now before the House? I don’t know, but if the vote goes along party lines, both will pass.

I understand that those who represent Wilmington and New Castle County want to stop the senseless shooting that happens almost every day up there, but neither of these bills will accomplish anything toward that end. Do they really believe that some kid who thinks he has been insulted on social media is going to stop by his local gun store, fill out a background check, go to a class on how to handle a pistol, pay all the associated fees and wait for all the paperwork to come back before he goes off and shoots the person he believes insulted him? Come on; nobody is that stupid.

The problems that result in the shootings in New Castle County have to do with social situations, not guns. Many of them are connected to the drug trade, and that is much too lucrative to overcome with thoughts and prayers or bad gun laws.

As I said before, a magazine that holds more than 17 bullets is really unnecessary. However, it has been legal. If you now want to make it illegal, that’s fine, but you can’t go back and make the person who purchased one when it was legal a criminal. I am not a lawyer, but that just doesn’t sound legal. I am pretty sure you would have a hard time finding a magazine that holds more than 17 rounds in any gun shop in Delaware right now. The buy-back program may bring in a few magazines, but I am pretty sure most will remain in the hands of their current owners.

Fishing report

We’re getting close! The water temperature in the ocean and bay is approaching 60 degrees, and once it passes that mark, I believe we will see a considerable increase in fishing success.

I made another trip to Indian River Inlet last week, and once again I found the shad willing to give me a good time. This time, I went in the afternoon and had a fish on my first cast around 1:30 p.m. and was still catching at 3:30 p.m. when I left. I used the same rig, a shad dart six to eight inches behind a one-ounce Stingsilver. According to my fishing reports from Old Inlet Bait and Tackle, the shad were still there this week.

Speaking of Old Inlet Bait and Tackle, they held their spring surf-fishing tournament May 8, and, according to Clark Evans, the fishing was very slow. High hook was four kingfish caught by Cindy Haskett. They were worth 48 points and $750 for first place. In second place with 36 points was Steve Merrick, who won $500. Third place went to John Dixon Sr. with 26 points, worth $250. Mike Greene only caught one fish, a 20-inch blue. That was good for fourth place and $150. It was also good for the largest fish of the tournament, worth $1,000, and the bluefish Calcutta worth $1,920. That’s a grand total of $3,070.

Black drum are in Delaware Bay. Levi Layfield caught a 48-inch drum, which is pretty remarkable considering he is 9 years old and only 56 inches. Patrick Lindner and Robbie Baxley fished the Coral Beds, where they caught and released seven drum on clams, keeping one for the grill.

As I predicted, there have been some big rockfish caught from Indian River Inlet. The night shift has been working the South Pocket and finding fish to 44 inches as well as some in the 28-to-35-inch slot. They are using swimshads by Storm and Tsunami. Incoming water has been the best time to fish.

Capt. Aaron Herd on the Gale Force has been finding rockfish to 46 inches at the inlet. He is jigging them up with bucktails during slack water. All the large fish have been released.

A few flounder have been caught in shallow water at the end of the falling tide on warm days. This is when the water temperature in those locations has made it above 60 degrees. Indian River Bay and the fishing pier at Cape Henlopen State Park are two locations where flounder have been caught. Gulp! and live minnows have been two productive baits.

Down in Ocean City, the first two tuna of the season have been brought to the dock. The Hot Lick found the right water temperature 90 miles from the inlet and ran down there. They trolled Wide Trackers to land two 40-inch bluefins.


  • 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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