Leave only footprints

August 3, 2017

Crazy week of rain and wind and then we top it off with a summer weekend nor'easter. I don't know about all of you but for four days I have been cutting firewood in this fall-like weather in July.

The timing is perfect! This means I can fish more this fall and not have to do the winter preparation for the man-cavern stove! Nothing like seventy-degree days to remind you of the fall fishing days. So who's ready for the fall run?!

This past week fishing has been hit or miss if you could get out there. The Cape Henlopen fishing pier is seeing some decent croaker and spot catches. The fish are small, but the catches are good. Lots of small sea bass too which is the norm this time of year. The trigger fishing has dropped off; we probably caught them all at this point. Flounder there has been hit or miss for keepers.

Lots of small flounder being caught, but if you want a big daddy catch you have to go offshore, but there have been some decent keepers around the inland bays.

The surf is all jammed up from the summer nor'easter. The wash is about twenty yards wide but it will calm down by the time you read this.

I have never seen more storm tourists in my life than this weekend, except when we had the Labor Day almost-hurricane last year. Usually I do storm updates online but didn't have to for this storm - everyone was here.

Many people hit the little ponds in the area during the rough weather week. Wearing out bass, perch and whatnot. A buddy of mine nailed a nice alligator gar in a local pond that I had no idea had them in there. I'd tell you exactly where but we are going fishing for them this week and we don't want any competition.

There are a lot of kids out fishing this year and it's good to see them take an interest in the outdoors. Getting them out is one thing, keeping their interest is another.

Kingfish in the surf have helped with that when they are biting. It's just fun to watch kids sit there with that determined look on their faces. Owen Vamos was no exception when his dad Eric took him surf fishing. After his first kingfish he was glued to the rod all day waiting for that next fish to hit the bait.

When everything calms down and goes back to the normal summer fishing ... Cusk eels are thick in the surf now, they aren't much for the table, they look like an eel with a huge head, and a little bit of color. Great bait for flounder and striped bass, though. They will hit just about any bait on top and bottom rigs in the surf. They don't get very big, but at least it is a mini tug on the line and something to add to that life list of fish caught.

Short striped bass, flounder, kingfish, sand perch, skates, dogfish, rays and sharks are all in the surf. Just depends on who feels like biting that day. Most of your fish are in close to the drop off in the surf break feeding on sand fleas. You will find flounder in the cuts feeding on fleas and baitfish, like cusk eels. There are really small snapper blues around and some of the larger "summer" blues up to a half pound. The ones at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier are tiny, fierce bait stealers. Like I said before, the best action is the mornings and evenings, but daytime fishing will produce. Today is a perfect day to fish. The temperatures outside are gorgeous.

Keep it clean

Many of my friends who surf fish will clean the beach upon our arrival or while we fish. We cannot stand seeing trash on the beach. The parks actually provide bags for people and remind them to carry in and carry out at all park entrances.

Most of the trash on a beach does not come from tourists or beachgoers. Most comes from the ocean itself, especially washed down the Delaware River and Bay, including the inland bays. Eventually everything washes into the sea. It is a great thing to see this young lady and other kids I know take it upon themselves to help keep our beaches and environment clean, and do it of their own accord. Thank you Kendall! If everyone were like you we wouldn't have these trash issues. Kendall Schuster is almost six years old, but she fully understands the importance of keeping our earth, oceans, and beaches clean.

This load is from a twenty-minute cleanup today at Savages Ditch (Faithful Steward Crossing), before the storm. Let her young mind be a reminder to our fellow Delaware residents and visitors to #saveourbeaches, #saveouroceans, and to #stoplittering.

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