900 deer taken on Sundays

Chris Wagner, aboard the Marie Ann, caught this striped bass. (Submitted photo)

Sunday, Dec. 11, is another hunting day in Delaware.

Many hunters have been taking advantage of the extra weekend day to get some more time in hunting and enjoying the outdoors.

So far this year, the season has been great for hunters.

Hunters have registered 900 harvested deer statewide during the first three of this hunting season’s five Sunday deer hunting days, according to DNREC.

Rabbit season is well under way and hunters are doing well, especially on damper days.

Nov. 21 – Feb. 28 is the season and you can bag four rabbits a day per hunter.

Rabbit hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange material displayed on head, chest, and back when hunting during any deer firearms season.

Outdoors column logo by . Striped bass in Delaware

Migratory striped bass have moved into Delaware waters.

Sunday there was a nice sized school a mile or so in front of Indian River Inlet.

Anglers trolling stretches and mojos were catching some quality sized striped bass.

Many boats limited out within an hour or so.  Some did not have the same luck but still caught fish.

The fish were stretched out from Rehoboth beach to Indian River Inlet.

At one point there was about sixty boats out there on top of the fish.  A sixty two pound striped bass was brought to the scales at Indian River Marina on Sunday.

It is a pending state record at this point and we are awaiting the official word.

DNREC and all the other state enforcement agencies are checking striped bass. Make sure you measure your striped bass correctly or you could be in violation.

Striped bass or Rockfish have to be measured to overall length. Pinch the tail together and measure from the closed mouth to the end of the pinched tail. Make sure the tail is stretched out as far as possible when you pinch it together.

This is a straight line measure so it is recommended to use a measuring board or lay the tape on the ground. Do not measure along the body of the fish, the curve will skew the actual length.

A striped bass that measures 36 inches to the fork will be over thirty seven inches and not legal to keep in Delaware.

A fish measured along the curve will be longer than actual measurement and you could be in violation.

Our creel limit is two fish either twenty-eight to thirty-six inches or over forty-four inches, anything in between has to be released.

If you are not sure of the length if it is close, then let the fish go so you are not in violation.

Last year anglers were fined for cutting or trimming tails down to get the fish in the slot limit.

DNREC enforcement is aware of this and is checking for that as well.

Tautog action has been great on offshore structure when the boats can get out.

On the water

We have had a little nautical weather recently. Green crabs or white legs have been the best baits.  Delaware Bay structure such as the inner and outer walls, haystacks and reef sites are not too bad for action but a lot of throwbacks and smaller keepers.  Indian River Inlet has decent action but again a lot of throwbacks.

White perch action is good around the tidal creeks using minnows or grass shrimp.  You can catch the shrimp in the grass at high tide or scrape a bulkhead with a net. Using a small jig under a bobber will work just like you do with crappie, but the bait works much better, than artificial.

Freshwater action isn’t too bad in the ponds, the fish are slow to the take but feed heavier on the warmer days.  The coming cold snap will change up most of the fishing, especially in freshwater and local tidal waters.

Rich King’s column appears Thursdays in the Delaware State News.

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