Joe Morris Memorial Flounder Tournament a success

June 12, 2020

The Joe Morris Memorial Canal Flounder Tournament was held under beautiful conditions June 5, with 425 registered anglers competing for the top six places. Those same 425 folks also gave $8,500 to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, as one-half of their $40 entry fee went directly to that group. The final tally from the tournament will increase once the money from T-shirt sales and other fundraisers is added to the total.

At the end of the day, the results included Price Lindsay in first place with a very nice 5.98-pound flounder. Price caught his prize fish on a shiner fished on a Rick’s Rig. In second place was Matt Mitchel with his 4.07-pounder. Coming in third was Jesse Kinson with a 3.51-pound flounder, while in fourth place was Justin Twilley with a 3.35-pounder. Justin happens to be my nephew. I wish I could claim some credit for his fishing prowess, but he comes from my wife’s side of the family. In fifth place was Dennis Weidner with his 3.33-pound flounder and in sixth place was Colby Steele and his 3.28-pounder. The difference between third and sixth place is .23 pounds. That’s pretty close, and that’s why you need to weigh in your fish as soon as you catch it.

Amanda Morris and her crew did an excellent job running the tournament, and I know she is pleased with the outcome. Although Joe is gone, the fact that his name on the tournament that he created is now raising money to combat the disease that took him from us means a great deal to Amanda and all of us who miss him.

Sold out

The surf-fishing permits issued by the Division of Parks have sold out at 17,000. If you don’t have one, you can’t get one until next year. I suspect a lot of people will be disappointed when they arrive for a vacation this summer and find out they can’t drive on the beach.

The Great Chesapeake Invasives Count

There is an ongoing program from Maryland that also involves Delaware fishermen who work tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Called the Great Chesapeake Invasives Count, it awards prizes to those who catch and report three invasive species – blue catfish, flathead catfish and snakeheads. Information will include location of catch, length, weight, stomach content and weight, and a photo. While you don’t have to be a member of the Maryland Coastal Conservation Association, those who are will be eligible for more prizes.

To find out all the details, go to

Fishing report

As your hardworking fishing reporter, I feel obligated to go fishing as often as possible. To this end, I went to Indian River Inlet June 5 and then to Herring Point June 9.

When I arrived at the inlet, I was surprised to find very few people fishing the incoming current. The governor had opened the campgrounds and quite a few trailers were there, but other than one man on the handicap pier, I was the only other angler on the northside west of the bridge.

I started out casting a two-ounce Stingsilver with a shad dart tied eight inches behind into the rip created by the current. I allowed the rig to sink before cranking it back in and worked it tight to the rocks as it approached my position close to the lifesaving ring.

It didn’t take long before my efforts were rewarded with a solid strike and I landed the first of what would be a steady pick of shad. Some were small, but some were quite large, approaching two to three pounds. 

The man who had been fishing at the handicap pier quit and was soon replaced by a young man. He was fishing with a spoon and a wire leader that I knew would never catch a shad.

I asked if he would like me to rig him up with what I was using and he said sure. I did and before long he had his first fish of the day. By now, the current was falling out and the hits were becoming fewer. I left my new friend with the rig and hopes he will find some more fish, if not that day, at some time in the future.

Then there was Tuesday. Beautiful weather, clean water and not one stinking fish at Herring Point. I was not alone here. There were several other anglers there when I arrived and more came during the morning. To the best of my knowledge, none of us caught a single fish. At 10 a.m., the floodgates opened and the non-fishermen arrived in droves. I left them to enjoy a beautiful beach day.


  • 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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