Summer is on the fast track to winding down
Summertime wind-down is on the fast track. September is coming fast. By the time we got done wishing summer was here now we are wishing it wouldn’t end. Well, it has been a fun year and we have had a lot going on in the fishing community and outdoors. We are starting to cool off a little which is good.
The bays were set to par boil and steamed crab was on the menu. The parks are full of people and not just tourists. Folks of all ages and nationalities are running all over the parks chasing Pokemon.
We’re even organizing a few tournaments; the first one is September 10 in Milford. That should be a lot of fun, a digital fishing tournament. Speaking of tournaments a few happened over the past week.
The 23rd Annual Captain Steve Harman’s Poor Girls Open had a record number of boats sign up-161 - with 747 lady anglers competing for over $192,000 in prize money. The ladies had some great days to fish with perfect weather. Always a good time watching the scales at Bahia Marina.
The catches this year didn’t disappoint.
The Flounder Pounder at Paradise Grill in Long Neck had 182 registered boats this year and 700 anglers competing offshore for the largest flounder.
Coincidentally the largest flounder to hit a scale in Delaware this year was caught in this tournament weighing a hefty 11.9 pounds, caught by Tony Munzo on the J-Hook captained by Matt Jarusinski. That fish was caught the first day and immediately set the bar.
A lot of good-sized fish came to the scale but not close to the winning flounder.
Second place was taken by a 9.96 pounder caught by Antonio Marsico aboard the Determined.
Third place was at 9.5 pounds caught by Joe Walker on the Gotcha. The Walker brothers were dominating second and third on the board, off and on throughout the tournament.
Delaware Bay fishing has been good for the boats and charters.
Mostly hitting bluefish schools on the way back in from flounder fishing offshore. There are decent sized snapper blues all over the bays near the inner and outer walls.
There have been some tautog caught but not too many, a lot of bergals, some sheepshead and spadefish at the walls, which are becoming a more popular place to dive and spearfish.
The bay is producing triggerfish, weakfish, bluefish, spot, croaker, skates, rays, dogfish, sharks, and puffers. There have been a variety of catches on the head boats out of Lewes.
The surf has been a little more active. We had some weakfish up to fourteen inches hit Herring Point beach up to the Henlopen pier for a couple of days in the evening.
Hopefully that will continue. The days of old with tide runners (weakfish) moving up and down the coast has not been seen in a long time.
This little run is reminiscent of that; small as they may be, it was still fun. In the evenings over the weekend, weakies were pushing the baitfish onto the beaches. We were chasing the weakies.
Amazingly enough no one out there was really fishing or paying attention so we had it all to ourselves.
James Swatski said, “Right when the sun went down there were hundreds of them just feet off the beach at Henlopen. They were pushing shiners up on the beach.
Jimmy caught 4 of them all by himself. Not bad for a 5 year old. I thought they were blues until we started catching them. I was catching them this morning too.
All small ones but when a 5 year old can catch fish like that on the surf it’s just awesome. We were just using squid, I’m sure if you used a little spoon or 1/2 oz. jig you can hook one every cast.”
Lots of small croaker all over the Cape Henlopen pier and the inland bays. There are a few keeper sizes here and there and they are small. Once in a while you will dial into a nice school of decent sizes. The spot action is about the same and they are in the surf. tThe flounder action around the inland bays is slow, some caught in the surf, but far and few between.
Offshore, the flounder action is great, obviously from the results of the tournament. The Old Grounds and especially Site 9 was hot over the weekend. Mahi Mahi are even hitting out there, along with sea bass.
We will see this action until the water starts to cool off, then the warm water fish will bail. But we will see flounder into December or longer if the water temperatures stay mild.
The crabbing has been excellent. Trot liners are filling baskets fast. Handlining and pots are doing well. Clamming has been good, as there are a lot of sand bars around the inland bays these days.
The summer isn’t over! It’s just taking a break, and we’ll hopefully ease into fall and then back to spring. We don’t speak of winter at the beach.