Summertime and the fishing is fine!
Summer fishing is in full swing and despite what some people think, we are catching fish in the middle of the day at the beach. Usually many think you can't catch fish on a crowded beach in the summer, but we do it all of the time. You have to actually fish, not just actively fish. People swimming doesn't help but the fish are so close to the surf's edge most people cast right over them.
Where the sand drops off in the surf is where the fish will move in to feed on critters stirred up by the waves.
We have been catching kingfish, pompano, weakfish, sand perch, short striped bass, small bluefish, burrfish, northern puffers, rays, skates, sharks and all the usual summer suspects in the surf. It has been a fun summer so far. Even the crowded beaches haven't been so bad or maybe we are just used to them by now. We are using a variety of baits. Fishbites bloodworm or sand flea formula, squid, sand fleas, bloodworms and cut bait. Fishbites are the least messy and do just fine for bait. Usually you can catch a few fish before you need another small piece.
The water is really clear on the incoming tides, even at Cape Henlopen where it is usually a little sandy and stirred up, giving the surf the appearance of stirred up muddy water. This weekend it was nice blue-green color.
That would explain the good luck we are having.
The weakfish action has been better and better this year for everyone all over the place, including the surf, the bay, and a little offshore. There seem to be weakfish just about everywhere.
They are all above the creel limit size which is great. Or they are really small fingerling size. We have seen a few five-pounders caught on occasion. There is a ton of baitfish in the surf which would explain why it is easy to find fish in the surf and on occasion not so easy to catch – a lot of food competition with natural foods. This is when a cast net is a good idea. You can throw the net to see what is in the surf or water near you and match the bait or use what you catch. Just make sure those minnows are not juvenile fish with creel limits like juvenile weakfish.
Spectators at the Indian River Inlet on Sunday watched a large thresher shark give birth on the docks.
The juvenile threshers were released into the marina. Then they were swimming around the marina for a while. Shark fishing has really picked up offshore. Land-based shark fishing at the beach is picking up as well.
Offshore tuna action is on fire for most of the boats getting out there. Once they find the fish they can fill the box pretty fast or spend all day looking for fish. Get a charter booked today so you can get out there and catch dinner!
The Cape Henlopen fishing pier has been seeing great spot action along with smaller fish. The flounder action is good; just have to pick through all the throw-back fish. There’s also good clamming around the pier at low tide. Crabbing has been decent but many of them are sponge crabs or females.
The fishing has been decent so far this summer. Many are attributing it to the milder temperatures keeping the water from hitting too high a temperature that pushes fish to cooler waters.
The inland bays haven't peaked above seventy-eight degrees yet this summer. The surf has been in the low seventies, just perfect for fishing and not too bad for swimming if you are from the north.