DSF beach cleanups see successful turnouts
Late summer fish are arriving early! Usually by mid to the end of August we see Gulf fish such as pompano, and they have arrived. They’re being caught in the surf on top and bottom rigs using squid for bait. They will also hit Fishbites. A triple tail was caught around the Indian River Bay; I don’t think anyone has ever caught one of these this far north before. A couple of weeks ago two tarpon were caught by bunker netters off the Jersey coast near Cape May. Needless to say the Gulf Stream fish have arrived, and we are still seeing decent action in the area waters. Spot finally made an appearance at the Cape Henlopen Fishing pier; they have been a far and few between catch and many blame the gator blues showing up each spring in the surf eating the spot and croaker.
The trigger action is still hot and heavy for a lot of anglers from the wrecks and reef sites to the Cape Henlopen Pier and the inlet walls at Indian River and Ocean City – even Massey’s Landing and some of the inland bay structure have produced triggers. Clam is the best bait, but small sand fleas and shrimp will produce. Small hooks are a must and especially using sharp ones for those beak-like teeth. They are close to structure, feeding off the pier poles and reef structures. It makes it tough with all the snags but if you get in close you will have a better chance. Lot of sheepshead on the offshore wrecks and reefs, also the occasional spadefish.
Flounder fishing is few and far between for the inland bays, most of the best catches are offshore or the Delaware Bay. The water on the bottom is very cold. When you pull your gear up the weight feels like it was in a refrigerator. That might explain why the flounder are farther up the Delaware Bay and closer to shore. Same goes for all of these triggers. No one has ever seen this many triggers in our waters; it has been an interesting summer for catching. The Lewes Canal and Broadkill River are still producing decent flounder catches with the occasional weakfish to boot. Minnows or Gulp have been the best baits. Some anglers prefer minnows and others prefer Gulp. A bucktail or jig with bacon also works well.
A red drum was caught at the Cape Henlopen Pier by a young angler using peeler crabs for bait. Cusk eels are being caught readily in the surf, and they make good bait for flounder. Bloodworms and Fishbites on top and bottom rigs will produce cusk eels and kingfish. Use Diamond State Custom Tackle top and bottom rigs for better hookups. The owner hooks are razor-sharp and last much longer than the commercial brands. The spot action has picked up at the Cape Henlopen Pier, and we are hoping it does in the surf soon. The skate, ray, shark, and dogfish catches are always abundant in the surf with cut bait or squid, which is technically cut bait. Though hot, the temperatures at the beach last week have been nicer along the water.
The tuna bite has picked up offshore, so hit up the charters and get out there and catch. Anglers have been returning to the docks with a lot of decent fish.
Delaware Surf Fishing (DSF) has been hosting beach cleanups every Tuesday at eight in the morning for a month now and it has been very successful with turnouts and trash collected. We have averaged about five hundred pounds of trash and debris. One volunteer even found a casino chip from Las Vegas, we still are unsure of the value of the chip it is just a cool find. A group up north led by Mike Schwander of the Delaware Snakehead Fishing Facebook page has taken it upon themselves to get organized and start cleaning their favorite fishing areas. “I saw you doing the cleanups down there and haven’t seen any of the local fishing clubs up here doing anything. My last fishing visit to Beck’s I fished from the banks and really got to see how trashed that place becomes. I felt that something had to be done. Our cleanups are the second Sunday of each month and locations are announced on our Facebook page.” They are also going to start working on a few state parks up north as well. If you volunteer to help in a state park the hours collected by the parks helps them with grant monies. This is very helpful for the state parks on two levels; they get a good cleaning and some hours to help them support the parks financially. If you can come out and help, just check the Facebook pages for the Delaware snakehead fishing group page and Delaware surf fishing for the announced times and locations. DSF does a park each week, on Tuesday at eight in the morning. Once the season is over we will move the beach cleanups to the weekends so more people can help. Tuesdays seem to be the least crowded days at the beach.