Anglers are doing well in the surf

Conway Bristow, left, with Rich King. Conway is the first place winner of The War On The Shore surf fishing tournament. Submitted photos

Hunters are digging this colder weather, the mosquitoes have been ruthless for the fall. The size of small hummingbirds and aggressive, drain a full grown adult in seconds. Hopefully this cold snap starts wiping them out. We are also hoping for some new fish action.

Currently anglers are doing really well in the surf with kingfish, pompano, croakers, small black drum, and snapper bluefish. Little tiny 12-inch bluefish for days, feeding on mullet or bluefish. Those little cannibals will eat each other all day long. The pompano have been numerous on bloodwomrs, sand fleas, Bona Fide baits bloodworms, and fishbites. The water is still pretty warm but this cold snap should help push that down.

Striped bass action has moved into the surf and still is hot in inland bays and tidal creeks. The fish started schooling up weeks ago and these past temperature drops and the coming one should stir the striped bass up even more. The fish in the surf are getting thicker every day. Fun action on lures or mullet rigs.

War On Shore great success

War On The Shore was a great day for all the anglers. The wether was decent for October and of course a tournament. I was worried we would be fishing in a hurricane. Everyone had a good time trying to catch fish that qualified.

War On The Shore anglers lined up in Cape Henlopen State Park on Saturday.

There are tons of fish in the surf, they are all small, too small to qualify for a tournament. Anglers spent all day trying for that one big 15-inch bluefish to beat the already 14-inch calcutta bluefish. That is the nature of the tournament beast. The fishing on Sunday was great as well but the fish were bigger.

Congratulations to Conway Bristow. He took first place and won $5,000 in the first annual War On The Shore. The bluefish calcutta was $2,380 for a 15-point bluefish, that measured 14 inches. Small fish won some big money on Saturday.

Offshore hot for triggers

Offshore action has been hot for triggers still on structure. Never seen this many triggers up here. Call it whatever you want, the fish patterns (migration) are changing and we are seeing some crazy tropical fish this year. We are also seeing more of these fish such as the triggers and pompano. Usually they are far and few between blown in by storms, but this year I think Delaware can say we have a few new summer species.

Pompano are still in the surf in greater numbers this year than we have ever seen.

Those pompano and trigger are good eats! Flounder are still hitting around the inland bays, Delaware Bay and the Lewes canal. Offshore is still seeing some decent flounder. They will start to move offshore soon enough but we will see them being caught while trolling stretches for striped bass in December if the water temperatures stay mild enough.

Tautog action has been good offshore but a lot of short fish. When the fish are keepers they are quality fish for the most part. Black sea bass has been producing decent numbers and fish. The charters and head boats are doing well out of Lewes and Indian River.

Pond hopping has been great for bass and ditch pickles (pickerel). The crappie and yellow perch I hear tell are starting to school up in a few areas of the upper Chesapeake creeks. That would be nice to see an early start to that season. It may also be an indication of what kind of winter we are in store for, since Mother Nature usually knows best and first.

Bull red drum

Jody Sweigart with a bull red in the surf at Assateague.

Bull red drum action at Assateague continues to be hot if you find the right spot. That means, if you know how to fish for these and have the patience, you will do well. If you don’t you will fail miserably.

It has been tough finding the fish but once you do the action is hot. It can take days to find the action is the problem. It is called putting in the time.

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

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