Beach fishing sparkles on Fourth of July

Aiden Williams with a double up on kingfish in the surf. (Submitted photo)

Aiden Williams with a double up on kingfish in the surf. (Submitted photo)

Best Fourth of July ever.

Seriously, despite the weather but because of the weather it kept people off the beaches for two days in the early mornings.  Which coincidentally is the best time to fish this time of year.

We had a blast fishing for kingfish, dogfish, rays, skates and weakfish. We had friends with us, including their grandson, Aiden. He has turned into quite an enthusiastic angler since we saw him last year, constantly checking his bait and his casting is excellent for a 10-year-old kid who doesn’t get to the beach often.

Scott Jost set up a rod to cast a 4-ounce jig head to the second trough a good hundred yards off the beach. We spent a good half an hour trying to cast to it and came really close to the edge a few times.

During one of my retrieves a large smooth ray about 4 feet in wingspan hit the jig. Once I had it moving, I turned the rod over to Aiden.
“You ready for this? It is going to pull and not stop.”

Uh huh was his answer … then I let go of the rod.

His eyes went wide and he gasped, but he handled it like a boss. It was hold on and fight this ray or let the rod go, only two choices. That kid will never forget that fight; he spent a good 20 minutes getting dragged up and down the beach.

Outdoors column logo by . We got the ray to the surf edge and popped the leader, which was much easier than trying to pick it up and put it back in the surf for both the ray and us.

Aiden didn’t get a picture of his catch, but it doesn’t matter; he is hooked for life on fishing. He will never forget Fourth of July 2016. WE do have a video of him fighting the winged beast.

Fishing action

The fishing in the area has been decent. Freshwater action is hot at the ponds for bass and pickerel.

Some snakeheads are being pulled out weekly and destroyed. Just shows how many are in our waters. They make great table fare but are highly invasive and can eat up a pond fast.,

Some will argue the exact opposite, saying the food competition is good for all the predators in the pond and will help it thrive. Either way they are invasive and need to be destroyed, then reported to DNREC.

A lot of white perch are around the tidal creeks and back bays, hitting bloodworms and grass shrimp. You will have to catch your own shrimp, but it is a killer bait.

Slot sized (20 to 25 inches) striped bass fishing in the tidal creeks and around bridges has been excellent from Bowers Beach to Augustine and areas in between. Small bucktail with soft plastics or rattle traps, and small swim shads.

Sand fleas are working well at the jetty at Indian River Inlet.

Larger spot are being caught at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier in Cape Henlopen State Park. Fishbites has been working very well for them and all the smaller croaker and weakfish.

Flounder is on everyone’s mind. The upper creeks are seeing very little, the Delaware Bay has its fair share but offshore at the old grounds has still been the best fishing. Inshore areas are producing just not as fast or normal as usual and it takes some time, but they are there.
Bowers Beach has seen some decent catches at the jetty.

There are a lot of sharks along the bay beaches. Be careful because most of these are prohibited to be removed from the water and DNREC is on the lookout for beached or boated sharks.

Sand tiger, dusky and sandbar sharks are the prohibited ones you mostly catch along our shoreline and in the bays.

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

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