Indian River Inlet sidewalk needs to be fixed immediately

May 10, 2019

Last week I told you about the sidewalk at Indian River Inlet and how it has collapsed to the point where the Army Corps of Engineers has closed it to pedestrian traffic. Since then, I have written to Senators Carper and Coons as well as Representative Blunt Rochester in hopes they could shake some federal money loose to get this sidewalk repaired. To date I have not heard back from either one. I have also asked Delaware State Parks for any information from the meeting they had with the Army Corps of Engineers about this situation and so far, I have no information on that either. 

It’s not like we need a billion dollars to fix this sidewalk. But we do need some money from somewhere, and the sooner the better. This is a very popular fishing spot, and more and more people are showing up here every day, both from Delaware and out of state, so we need this problem fixed.

If you haven’t emailed our representatives as of yet, please do so as soon as possible. It is very easy and only takes a few minutes.

Just go to your search engine and type in U.S. Senators Delaware. Carper and Coons will come up with everything you need to send them an email. Do the same for U.S. Representative Delaware and Blunt Rochester will come up with the same easy email instructions. The more people they hear from, the more likely they will take action.

On Wednesday morning, I was at the inlet and met with a group of workers from the Army Corps of Engineers who were building a 10-foot chain-link fence to completely seal off the sidewalk from all pedestrian traffic. They told me the same thing I heard last week, no money to fix the problem. We need our senators and representative to get involved. I will be sending more emails to let them know of the latest developments. Please do the same.

Fish two, Eric zero

Last Thursday, Mike Pizzolato and I fished the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal from the railroad bridge to Roosevelt Inlet and then ran up the Broadkill River to the duck blind and drifted back to the boatyard. I was using a jig head with a Gulp! crawfish in Nuclear Chicken, and Mike had a live minnow. Neither of us had so much has a single bite. Mike did catch a beer can and a crab. I didn’t even do that well.

Then on Friday, I fished from Broadkill Beach with nice, fresh surf clams. Black drum love surf clams. Well, not last Friday. Last Friday, all they wanted were sand fleas. Since when do black drum turn their nose up at clams! Clams have been the bait for black drum for generations.

Now it’s bad enough when I don’t catch any fish, but when it seems like everyone else is catching them and I’m not, boy, that’s tough. In the canal, we were using baits that have worked well in the past and fishing locations that have produced flounder. Other anglers were having success with the same baits in the same locations, but not us.

Now, a rational person would come to the conclusion that fishing was not the sport for me. Fortunately, fishermen, myself included, are not rational. If we were, the entire industry would collapse overnight. So yes, before the week is over, I will be back out somewhere drowning bait or slinging lures in an attempt to regain a bit of what little dignity I have left.

I did get a bit of my dignity back Wednesday morning. I fished the Indian River Inlet from the northside, where it is now fenced off, and had nice three-pound blues on almost every cast.

When I arrived, the current was slack, but people were catching fish. We all had plenty of action until the current began to run in and then the blues shut off as if someone turned off a switch. This is just backward from what blues are supposed to do, but I guess they didn’t read the script. Anyway, I killed one for dinner and released the rest.

Joe Morris Flounder Tournament

On Friday May 17, the Joe Morris Memorial Canal Flounder Tournament will be held out of Lewes Harbour Marina. The entry fee is $40, and half of that will go to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Fees must be paid in cash at the marina before 7 a.m., May 17. Even if you can’t fish the tournament, you can buy a T-shirt or a bucktail, or get in on the raffle. All proceeds from those items will also go to the Cancer Action Network.

  • 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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