Take a bite out of the summer flies

July 25, 2019

The heat was a killer last weekend. Many tried to fish the surf but the flies were ruthless for at least four days. We call it the DFM (Damn Fly Meter) and it was off the charts. When that happens everyone avoids the beaches; if the wind has a W in it stay away from the beach. When it is a direct west wind and about 8 MPH it is going to be horrible out there. You can only take getting bitten for so long. Those that braved the flies were rewarded with some decent fishing. 

Even in the dead of the day and in the extreme heat people were catching fish. The water temperatures are perfect. This has been a good year for surf fishing; just have to avoid the flies. Not everyone has the luxury of choosing when they want to go to the beach and fish. 

Kingfish, puffers, sand perch, pompano, spotted hake, weakfish, cusk eels and bluefish have been the most popular catches in the surf. Top and bottom rigs with small hooks, Fishbites, squid, sand fleas, or bloodworms for bait. 

The summer blues are showing up; the little cocktail blues. Bigger blues are off the coast and occasionally a school will move along the beaches. 

There are some big gators being caught in the Roosevelt Inlet area on occasion. Tossing out a mullet rig this time of year is a good idea - you never know. Sharks, skates and rays are always on the menu.

Slot striped bass season is still happening in the Delaware Bay. Anglers fishing the Lewes Canal and surrounding waters are doing okay for slot bass. These are the best to eat. The limit is two fish per day (20 to 25 inches) for the Delaware Bay and her tributaries.

The Lewes Canal is considered a Delaware Bay tributary from the Freeman Highway Bridge to the Roosevelt Inlet. 

Two-ounce bucktails, swim shads and plugs are working. You want to mimic mullet which are abundant around the inland bays right now. Top water action is picking up everywhere with all the big bugs showing up this summer. Try some sand fleas or bloodworms as well for bait.

Indian River Inlet night fishing has been good for striped bass using sand fleas.  It is an easy and fun way to fish. You just need a five-gallon bucket of sand fleas. Toss a handful of fleas into the water and seed it so to speak, like feeding birds at the park. Then put a flea or two on a six aught hook and toss it into the same area. Hold on! The hit is fast and hard. The fish may also dive for the rocks - keep that in mind. Fishing at night is fun, but don’t shine your head lamp on the water or at other anglers. Use the red light feature as much as possible. Shad action is fun at night along the Coast Guard station wall. Especially on light gear.   

The fishing has been great this year in the surf but we all can’t wait to fish the point. That is only about five weeks away. It is always interesting to see how the beach fared over the summer. The fishing there is either much better or we just like it more; that is a hard call.

Flounder action has been decent offshore. The inland bay action got a workout over the weekend from the Paradise Bay Flounder Tournament in Long Neck. Over three hundred and fifty boats with six hundred plus anglers fished the inland bays for flounder. It was some very tough fishing in that heat for two days. Satan’s Kitchen was on full blast Saturday and Sunday, the two worst days of the heat wave.

The largest flounder this year was twenty-four and three-quarter inches weighing in at 6.1 pounds, caught by James Coffiey on the second day of the tournament. Their crew was in the lead with a 5.5 pounder caught the day before by Luke Horney.  Now they had first and second place.

A lot of anglers had the same problem all day “We caught a lot of keepers but nothing that would make the board!”  and “We were picking through short fish all day!” Logan Comley took first place for the kids’ division.  It was an exciting two days at the scales. 

Pond hopping has been fun. Avoiding the heat and bugs has not been fun. Chiggers are out in full force, not a lot of fun getting them either. 

Ticks are bad this year too and all of these go hand-in-hand with pond hopping. Especially if you are walking and bank fishing. Take precautions and always carry extra water!

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