Now is time to spend more time in the surf

September 28, 2017

Despite Hurricane Jose near the coast, the fishing was not too bad until the waves really picked up and then it shut us down for about two days - especially the surf fishing because the beaches were closed. Water breached the dunes north of the Life-Saving Station in Delaware Seashore State park, closing Route One for a few hours. The drive-on beaches were closed for three days. Once the water calmed down the parks opened the beaches for vehicles, but you could walk on and fish. We tried for bluefish and hit a few small ones, but for the most part the waves were just too big and fast.

This week we get to deal with hurricane Maria and we are hoping she doesn't do the same as Hurricane Jose. The back bay areas, creeks, canals, and Cape Henlopen fishing pier had all of the action during Jose, and we're hoping for the same during Maria. Mostly due to the fact you could get to the water, and most of the fish either went deep near the surf or came into the back bays and canals looking for food. Now that the water has calmed down, the fishing is back to what it was before the storm and hopefully the same will happen after Maria.

Short striped bass are in the surf and area waters.Schooling up and feeding heavily already, they are preparing for the fall run. The mullet are running thick now. A lot of our resident rockfish in these schools are keeper size, upwards of twenty-nine inches. The surf is more active at night or predawn hours. Those fish like to feed close to shore in the dark. Sand fleas is a good bait at the rock walls and jetties. Swim shads or plugs that look like and mimic mullet are working the best. Anything with a mullet pattern is working, especially bombers. Around the Indian River area peanut bunker are the bait of choice if you can mimic them with a swim shad or other soft plastic.

Flounder action is still good offshore and even at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier; a few keepers a day are being caught live lining mullet. There's a lot of mullet in the surf of the bay beaches and ocean beaches around Cape Henlopen. The flounder are just sitting there waiting for a meal to pass by. Inland bay action has been slow but there are random keepers among many a throwback. Shiners have been the preferred bait or Gulp.

There are still triggers on the wrecks and reef sites. Even the Cape Henlopen fishing pier is still seeing trigger fish being caught by the patient anglers. You can sight fish for them. Look along the pier poles when you see a trigger feeding on the creatures living on the poles; drop a small piece of clam to them on a small hook. Sheepshead are on the wrecks and reef sites as well.

Bull red drum are running Assateague Island and the action has been decent for the anglers putting in the time. This happens for a few weeks every year then the fish continue on their migration. Some of the largest have been in the forty- plus-inch range. They are too big to keep for the slot limit, but a lot of fun to catch.

Spot, kingfish and croaker action at the Cape Henlopen pier has been good this week after the water calmed down. Bloodworms are the preferred bait but Fishbites will get the job done. There are still a lot of sand perch in that area as well. These are not being caught readily in the surf but more in the bay beaches and pier areas. There are a good amount of small black drum (puppy drum) in the surf. Pompano are even still here hitting Fishbites or bloodworms.

This is the time of year you can catch fall and summer fish at the same time in our waters. One of the advantages Delaware has for fishing is the fact we are in an area that sees all of the migratory fish and some of the rarer Gulf fish all in one area at the same time.

It is also tournament time in the surf. Get signed up today for the first annual Chillaware Surf Fishing tournament on October 14th. The tournament is limited to 125 anglers since we are utilizing the southside beach and 3Rs surf fishing beaches. Space is running out fast get signed up now!

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