Stirring it up
We had a break from bad weather and now there has been more flooding up north. Expect the waterways to be stirred up by the weekend. Hopefully they will clear up, but that remains to be seen. The fishing has been picking up all around Sussex County which is good news for anglers and bad news for the fish that make it to the dinner table.
The surf has been picking up for kingfish; the lower beaches have been producing a little better than the northern beaches. Fenwick Island just finished with their beach replenishment so that should help increase the catching. You won't have to time your fishing with the tide to avoid the sand plume. Pompano have been random catches and will hit everything a kingfish will eat. Larger kings have been hitting whole mullet on mullet rigs one day, and only hit cut bait the next day so be prepared to try both.
Bluefish - the little cocktail blues - are around the beaches hitting mullet rigs or cut bait. They are decent enough size to eat and the smaller ones make great bait for more bluefish. Keep in mind if you use a fish for bait that counts against your catch limit for the day. Croaker action has been decent at the pier and great offshore in the Delaware Bay reefs and structure. Fun catching them on ultralight gear and great for the table. The surf has been slow for any croaker action, but the inland bays at the Indian River Inlet have seen some hot croaker action. Lots of baby hammerhead sharks in the surf the little two-foot ones. Be mindful of them; if you catch one, release them quickly and without harm.
This is a great time of year to take kids to the Cape Henlopen fishing pier to catch spot and small sea bass and whatever else is biting. If you need a rod and reel they rent them at Lighthouse View bait and tackle. Flounder fishing has been decent there with some keepers and many a throwback. Kingfish, spot, blowfish, small striped bass, bluefish, sharks, and big cownose rays have been caught at the pier.
Offshore and inshore reef and wreck fishing has been good for flounder, trigger, sea bass, tautog, kingfish, and bluefish just to name a few. Check out the charters and head boats in Lewes. They are always putting people on the fish with either half-day or full-day trips.
Tilefish have been a great catch offshore; just takes a long trip overnight for the best results. Tuna, mahi and bill fishing has been good. If you followed the White Marlin open there were some quality fish brought to the scales this year.
Attention Fly Anglers! Don't miss the local screening of the documentary about Father of Modern Fly Fishing. Delaware Surf Fishing and Gifted Alchemy are hosting a screening of the 90-min. feature length documentary "Finding Joe Brooks" on Wednesday, August 22 from 7 - 9 p.m. at Lefty's Alley & Eats in Lewes. All proceeds will be donated to Joe Brooks Foundation for Conservation and Outdoor Education a non-for-profit organization serving the outdoor community.
Tickets can be purchased for $10 through Eventbrite, go to eventbrite.com/e/finding-joe-brooks-documentary-tickets-48975806957. Ticket purchasers are encouraged to have dinner at Lefty's prior to watching the film.
"Finding Joe Brooks" is a tale of love and redemption about the man who popularized fly fishing through his writing. He mentored the legendary Lefty Krey, and is now commonly referred to as the father of modern fly fishing. Born in Baltimore, Brooks combined his passion for fishing and writing by becoming the outdoor editor for the Baltimore Sun, ending up as the fishing editor for Outdoor Life Magazine. His personal story is one of inspiration because Brooks turned his life around after suffering the devastating effects of alcoholism. His marriage to Mary Ainslie gets credit for being the key to his miraculous personal transformation as well as his enduring influence on the sport of fly fishing.