Rain’s silver lining
Nothing like April weather in June. Seriously, is it ever going to stop raining?
Despite the horrible weather the fish are biting and that is always good news. The bad weather keeps a lot of people away from the beach which leaves more room for us to actually fish. The overcast days usually make for better fishing throughout the day.
The surf has been decent to not so great depending on ... well a lot of things, but mostly one day is better than the next. Be it the tide difference, weather, pressure or time of day. Usually you can pattern that but this weather as of late has made to the point, just go fishing and find out what happens. Last weekend it was fish between storms and Saturday turned out to be a good day in the surf and fish were caught.
Large striped bass have been random catches but have occurred at the beach and Indian River Inlet. Otherwise it is mostly short bass. Keepers have been caught on flies long lining at the inlet and bunker chunks in the surf. You can use plugs late at night, big poopers that make a lot of noise. Bloodworms for the short bass using top and bottom rigs. You can also use clam or sand fleas. Those big and short bass are in the surf primarily feeding on sand fleas.
Northern puffers, burrfish, kingfish and the usual suspects; skate, sharks and rays are in the surf. Spot have finally shown up at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier so you should see them in the surf as well. Another good bait for striped bass and large weakfish, which are pretty much unicorns these days, but they are around. Spot once they get larger are great panfish for the table.
Croaker will soon be in full force or at least we hope they will. The spot are here early this year compared to the last few years. The spring gator bluefish catches have dropped off dramatically which means they are down in numbers and left earlier this year than the previous years. That is good news for the other smaller fish and the anglers who like to catch them. Now we can catch spot two at a time at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier for the rest of the year, or so we hope.
Flounder action is decent but still down compared to last year. Not a lot of keepers being caught, but anglers are getting some here and there. I would not say they are knocking them dead as far as keepers. You can catch a lot of shorts compared to keepers. Minnows and Gulp are the preferred baits. Minnows or Gulp for drifting in the boat and Gulp for jigging. You can drift Gulp as well and it works, but minnows seem to do better in my opinion.
If you are ever at the beach surf fishing and a storm is coming in you have two choices: Leave early so you can air up, or stay put. Reason being is the storm will blow over eventually. This time of year it is pop-up storms and small cells. No one wants to be stuck in a storm, but if you leave with everyone else you will sit in line through the entire storm waiting for your turn to air up ... in the middle of a storm you are avoiding. We always pull in the lines; leave the rods in their holders. Unless we think we may decide to bail if it gets bad we put up the gear. It doesn't take long to pack the vehicle when you are only fishing. Two rods, rod holders, bait box and a chair and I am packed and ready to roll.
Boats should just get off the water early, waiting for the last minute will make you part of the show at any state boat ramp. It gets congested fast and people are scrambling to get off the water which is not only unsafe, but highly entertaining. If you are boating and a storm is coming, get off the water.
We have been product testing a new bait so we are fishing a variety of places. Piers, canals, beaches and jetties we have tried just about everywhere. Interesting new bait. If it works out we will tell you all about it next week.
Have a safe weekend. Slow it down, you will get here! The beach isn't going anywhere.