Another big bluefish season in the works?

Matt Adams, of Dewey Beach, proudly shows off a monster bluefish. (Submitted photo)

Matt Adams, of Dewey Beach, proudly shows off a monster bluefish. (Submitted photo)

Spring turkey season is off to a good start. Hunters are out and about and despite the winds and are bagging some nice birds.

Opening day was nasty but many were out trying for their first thunder chicken of the season.

“The rain wouldn’t stop us on the first day of Delaware turkey season,” said Jeff Purdy of Lewes.

He coaxed a 22-pound turkey with a 13-inch beard and 1-inch spurs in to 18 yards for his father Vince Purdy.

The boys did well and later that day Jeff got his own bird.

New arrivals

We have two more spring visitors finally showing up and both have been highly anticipated.

Tautog made an appearance at the Indian River Inlet over the weekend. People were catching a few on green crabs.Outdoors column logo by . Not a huge amount of fish caught but the catches were quality fish. The Inlet water has been murky due to the winds but the fish are biting.

The bluefish have arrived and many of us are very excited to see that again this year. How long it will last is a good question.

Last year, we had bluefish along the coast for seven weeks. Not little bluefish like the summer fish, but the big gator blues, slammers, the yellow eyed devils.

Mark Parrish caught one on Sunday form the surf.

“Sunday I was using mullet about 3:30 p.m.,” he said. “Still waiting on the rest of his family members to show up! We started at Conquest and worked south. Seems to have been a random catch as I didn’t have any hits all day. I had 4 rods out-bunker, fish bites, mullet, sand flea. Just though I would cover the bases.”

The bluefish are showing up in the nets up north, and that is how it started last year.

Mark Parrish, of Wilmington, pulled in this big bluefish from the surf. (Submitted photo)

Mark Parrish, of Wilmington, pulled in this big bluefish from the surf. (Submitted photo)

First the netters were getting huge bluefish and then the fish were all over the beaches and more kept showing up. This could last for weeks like last year, or for a week, or a day, there is no telling. If you want in on this you are going to have to get out there. Mullet rigs are working now but bunker chunks to do the trick. Also work the cuts with silver casting spoons and 2 ounce bucktails.

Bass in the bay

Striped bass is the one spring visitor everyone wants to go after the most.

The migratory bass have moved into the Chesapeake Bay and the spawning grounds are producing big catches in the catch and release areas.

The trophy season starts on Saturday for the Chesapeake Bay.

The Delaware Bay is seeing great catches form the Port Penn to Augustine Beach area and surrounding waters. You have to put in some time and you can catch some quality fish. Bunker chunks and whole bloodworms are the best baits.

Vince Purdy, of Lewes, scored this wild turkey. (Submitted photo)

Vince Purdy, of Lewes, scored this wild turkey. (Submitted photo)

Blue crabs up

Maryland’s DNR reported that the blue crab population is up by almost thirty five percent.

That is great news for crabbers in the Chesapeake Bay. Hopefully that trend will continue each year. The Delaware bay crab stock increased as well according to DNREC’s survey. The inland bays are not surveyed but there seems to be an ample amount of crabs this year.

Calmer winds needed

Now if the winds would just calm down, we could get ins some serious fishing time.

The water is stirred up but the temperatures are holding in the low 50s which is optimum fishing for these spring behemoths.

The weekend is looking rough with high winds and waves, but as many know that is perfect striped bass conditions. They like the rough water and will feed in any condition. You will need some serious weight to hold bottom, but it should be worth it in the long run.

Bunker chunks are good in the surf and bloodworms. The short striped bass action is still hot on all of the beaches and the shorts are bigger the farther you are south.

Boats are still having a tough time going out, the waters have been very nautical and small craft advisories are posted almost daily. If you are looking to book a charter, call ahead and see if they are running this weekend.

OC visitor

Mary Lee made an appearance near Ocean City recently. She is a 16-foot, 3,500-pound-plus mature female great white.

She was tagged in 2012 off the coast of Cape Cod and named Mary Lee after the OCEARCH expedition leader Chris Fischer’s mother.

On the river

The Nanticoke river is loaded with hickory shad and the American shad should show up any day now. Shad darts in tandem rigs are best for those catches. White perch action has slowed down in many of the tidal creeks.

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

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