Second summer fishing is near

August 11, 2022

Summer moves along towards second summer, and it’s always nice to have second summer options for fishing with fewer crowds. The orange sticker tag gang will have weekend access soon on the beaches, so it’ll be 20 bucks less to fish off-season when the fishing is the best, because it is less crowded. Don’t let anyone fool you - summer fishing is decent; it is the massive crowds that are the issue, not the lack of fish.    

Speaking of lack of fish, shortfin makos cannot be retained any longer this year.  Shark numbers are down dramatically, and there are more than 20 endangered species. We have some serious issues with sharks. Despite the fascination with them, it seems the knowledge is lacking, and it shows, with too many nonscientists not listening to the actual scientists. It’s status-quo for most fishery issues.   

The summer surf fishing is better on weekdays than weekends. Mondays are now really crowded as well, and that will continue into the beginning of September for all these last-minute vacations. Get out early like the weekends and beat the crowds and heat. The fishing has been decent for many using just Fishbites formulas.  Bloodworms are scarce and expensive. There are several Fishbite formulas that are working, including bloodworms red or chartreuse, sand flea, sandworm, nuclear chicken crab, and EZ shrimp, to name a few I prefer. I use one flavor or combine a couple depending on my mood and supply. Combine these with DS Custom Tackle top and bottom, spot, or pompano rigs and you’re catching.

The Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier is seeing better flounder catches. The spot bite is hot to not.  The late-night anglers are doing well filling coolers with spot. Some slot striped bass is being caught around the pier as well. I haven’t seen any triggers on the pole structure yet. The mullet will move into the bay eventually, but so far, they are all still around the inland bays and waterways. 

 Beat the heat - get out early or fish into the late night. The stargazing under the Milky Way is amazing. I love fishing at night this time of year; there’s so much to see and hear.

Black Sea bass anglers, heads up - the size limit changed in 2022 to 13 inches from 12.5. Some anglers are not aware of this and are getting popped by DNREC for undersized sea bass, so make sure you are up to date on all limits. This one is not listed in the 2022 Delaware Fishing Guide or the ruler; it (new limit) was created after printing. Always check online for updates to any fishery.   

Crabbing has been decent and it’s more fun to watch local community pages go nuts over stolen crabs. One would think they would learn by now where to not put their pots. My favorite way to crab is just wander the flats with a crab net and a floating basket.  Scoop as you find one or bait them into an area.   

I’m just waiting to see how many white Atlantic shrimp show up in the inland bays this year. Last year a cast net would fill with a few pounds of shrimp cocktail. No, I am not telling you where, but it is loud at night, with a rumbling sound pattern, rather wet, and salty. Maryland has an experimental commercial fishery for these shrimp added this year with six licenses. I’m hoping a friend of mine gets one because I want to check that fishery out.

The White Marlin Open has been underway since Monday. There are 408 boats entered this year with $8.6 million in prize money.

The offshore action has been great, so hire a local charter and get out there and fish!

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