Catch of the day starts to change more frequently

21dsn outdoors column drum

Allen Betts, of Milton, with a big drum from the Delaware Bay caught off the surf.

The fishing is starting to pick up, and thankfully the wind is starting to die down to tolerable level.

It has been windy for more than three weeks, which is more annoying than anything else. We are seeing more and more seasonal fish make an appearance.

21dsn outdoors column jackson

Jackai Jackson fishing for crappie.

This is the fun time of year because one day there is just a few fish, then all of a sudden there are multiple species to catch.

The weekend was nice, it was beautiful on the beaches and many people were out trying to catch striped bass and hoping to hook into the large bluefish.

Jackai Jackson was out with his grandfather, Jim Davis, and he said, “I had a lot of fun fishing and playing on the beach” and catching fish at the pond with his “Mummum and Poppy Jim.”

We were all fishing Herring Point beach in Cape Henlopen. It was a skate and dogfish fest until the tide changed up and then the puffers and short striped bass started hitting on the incoming tide. Bloodworms on top and bottom rigs have been the best for the bass.

A keeper was caught in the surf on Sunday with bunker chunks.  That size has been few and far between. The migratory bass are just starting to show up in the Delaware bay.

Netters are seeing very large bass — up to 50 pounds — in their nets.

Black drum, weakfish and flounder are also being caught in the nets in the Delaware Bay

The large keeper striped bass have a lot of weakfish in their bellies.

Beating the drum

Broadkill Beach is seeing a lot of large black drum up to 60 pounds hitting clam. This action is from Broadkill all the way up to Bowers Beach and beyond.

The hook and line action is better farther south at Broadkill Beach. The drum are coming in close to shore but only for a half an hour or so,you have to be there to get in on this action. The bite has been mornings and evenings.

A few anglers are having a tough time getting away from the bluefish when they are targeting the black drum, mostly in the mornings.  Last year’s bluefish run dominated our waters for seven weeks. So far this year it has been much milder action compared to last year.

That is one thing about bluefish, if you have a lot of people soaking fresh baits on a beach, it will bring in the bluefish just from the scent of all that food. They will hit it like a buffet line and anglers will lose a lot of rigs.

Bluefish from the pier

The Cape Henlopen pier area is heating up for bluefish. The pier redecking project is not finished but you can still fish the flats next to the pier. Either wading, surf fishing, or kayaking, but you have to be there when the bluefish show up and that has been at random times.

The evenings seem to be better on the incoming tide. Mullet on mullet rigs or bluefish rigs has been the best baits but they will hit bunker chunks.

Catfish hunters

The catfish action is still heavy in all of the waters.  People chunking bunker for striped bass are hitting large catfish on the Delaware Bay and tributaries.  Don’t forget a blue catfish counts towards a Delaware state record for catfish.  A 40-inch fish was caught and had the angler known he  would be the new record holder.

The striped bass action in the spawning grounds has been good once you find the fish.  Port Penn to Augustine beach has seen some great action.  Mostly the boats are doing the best.

Odds and ends

Trophy bass season in Maryland is on fire  and many boats are filling the coolers in a matter of hours.

The Nanticoke River is still full of shad as well as the Delaware Bay.  The ponds are producing some nice bass catches on crank baits.  Top water action is decent in the evenings.  Pickerel are hitting lures hard.  Fly fishing has been good for the wizards of the long wand.

This is the time of year I prefer, everyday something new pops up or starts hitting.  You can go anywhere and catch fish, it just depends on what you want to catch and how long you can fish.

Some days you have to put in the time all day to get one hookup and others it is one fish after another.  That is why you have to be out there.  Sitting on the couch waiting for a phone call about the action will not do any good, By the time you get there, you will the hear the hated saying, “You should have been here fifteen minutes ago.”

As water temperatures rise, we will see more and more action. The inland bays are in the 60s and the Delaware Bay is in the low 60s to upper 50s.

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

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