It is finally shorts, flip flops and toes in sand weather.
Unless you are turkey hunting then it is light camo and tick spray.
The ticks are out, so be careful in the woods and grassy fields. I have seen some pretty big birds get checked in this past week. Tom Hudecheck got a nice twenty-one pounder in my backyard. Pretty sure that was Butterball Two, but could have been his brother Easter dinner. I have them all appropriately named. The thunder chickens walk through the yard every morning.
I would love to share the story how he called this bird in, but this is a family oriented newspaper and I don’t think anyone would believe me anyway. However it is a hilarious story, if you get the chance ask him sometime.
Striped bass action
Fishing is picking up with a lot of small striped bass in the surf or rats as some like to call them.
White is still the best color for swim shads and flies, but they are hitting other colors as well. On bright days use bright colors, especially chartreuse this time of year.
The short striped bass are feeding so heavy that they will hit just about anything but a blank hook. Even when they are pushed up to the beach by the dolphins, they are still feeding.
“As we were catching here and there, Flipper and company were rounding up schoolies and crashing on them like a Nat-Geo special,” said Micah Dammeyer. “One or two of these tiny whales would herd the fish up in front of us, and four or five would fly out of the water in a line and crash the school. I was in awe. As the dolphins worked the fish they pushed them closer and closer. After a while the dolphins themselves were in casting distance. The bass, while running for their lives, were not too scared to eat. At the end of it all we were catching shorts on every cast!”
More fishing reports
The migratory bass have been moving into the upper Delaware Bay and River all week.
The commercial netters have been getting 30-pound fish. A few have been caught on hook and line up north but that action is slow right now. These fish are on the spawn, a mission that does not include feeding.
Once they spawn out they will be a on a serious mission to feed. Trophy Striped bass season starts on Saturday in the Chesapeake Bay. I am sure the bay is going to be packed with anglers looking for that one big bass. Soon the bay fish will continue their run north. Whether they will be close to shore in Delaware when they do remains to be seen. We hope they do every year.
A nice sized black drum was caught off Cape Henlopen beaches the other day. Hopefully that is the beginning of the drum run for 2017. The past two years we have had an incredible, yet short run of large black drum along the Delaware bay beaches. Surf clam is the best bait, or those big chuckle head clams.
Blue claw crabs are starting to fill up the crab pots. Many folks have gotten in on this early action as the waters are warming up around the inland bays.
Freshwater fishing is heating up for all species, there are still trout in the streams.
Offshore action for tautog is good for the charters and boats hitting off shore structure.
White perch are hitting bloodworms in the tidal creeks and Delaware bay beaches, Augustine beach saw some decent action for perch a few days ago.
Rich King’s outdoors column appears Thursdays in the Delaware State News.