Catching fish is tough with storm runoff

881-pound blue marlin at the scales during the White Marlin Open. Photo from WMO Facebook page

The summer shot by and now we are into what is supposed to be the heat of the summer, which as of late has been more of a steam bath. My grass never looked better for this time of year, but the fact I have to mow it more is cutting into my fishing time. Don’t worry, the heat is almost unbearable as well.

Fishing has been slow as far as the catching is concerned. It has been a weird year for sure for many species. The storms of late have really stirred up the water. The Chesapeake Bay has many issues from the excess flow the dam had to allow.

The Delaware River is swollen with water and it is headed down into the Delaware Bay. The surf fishing beaches are a chocolate mess, but get better the farther you go south. All of the creeks and rivers are flowing with dirty water from storm runoff. Fish still have to eat, but catching them in these conditions can be tough.

The best bet in the ponds is top water this time of year. There are cicadas and dragonflies all over, and they prompt the best reason to use surface gear. Anything that agitates the water will catch a fish’s attention. The ponds are not as stirred up as the streams and rivers.

Flounder fishing has been better offshore for larger fish. There are still plenty of throwbacks around the inland bays, and Lewes Canal. The canal has produced some of the larger flounder so far this summer for inland fishing.

The Cape Henlopen fishing pier has seen decent action for keepers among many a throwback. Gulp on jig heads or minnows on drift rigs have been the best baits. Offshore with squid strips or gulp is working well. We use bladed drift rigs offshore and inshore with only one hook instead of a double drop rig. These use less bait, which when you are offshore is a good idea.

Surf fishing has been slow for the usual summer suspects; even the shark fishing has been mostly browns and sand bars. The sand tigers are not being readily caught from the surf as in years past. There are plenty right in front of Rehoboth Beach … just ask the Lewes charter boats.

Skates and rays have been a common surf catch. King fish are out there but with the stirred up water the farther north you are the farther you need to cast out. Pompano are making an appearance, which they usually do this time of year. We have seen a few in the earlier parts of the summer.

Croaker and spot action has been slow in the surf and better at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier and Delaware Bay reef sites.
Fishing this year has been slow almost across the board for all species.

The White Marlin Open started on Monday with a 881-pound blue marlin brought to the scales. So we do have some tournament entertainment this week.

Jet surf spotted

We did see some interesting things at the beach last weekend.

Sunday we were looking towards Rehoboth Beach … it was windy. We looked at this figure on the water and he was really moving. “That looks like a kite board, but where is the kite?” Then he heads towards the beach rather quick and we think maybe it is a winch for pulling people into waves, until he turned around and went back out as fast as he came in. “That is not a winch, and if that is a kite board his sail in invisible.” Then he headed in our direction.

Jet surfboard we saw at Cape Henlopen last weekend. Submitted photo

At this point we realize it is not a kite boarder, it is definitely under power, he was passing near kayaks and waving. By now he is close enough you can see he is on a board, but no sail or kite for power. He is moving at a good clip, is this one of those new motorized surf boards? Turns out it was a jet surf, a type of motorized surfboard.

Meteor showers

If you are looking for some entertainment from nature you can check out the Perseid meteor showers every night. The Perseids peak from the 11th to the 13th of August. Perseid numbers typically reach 50 or more meteors per hour around the peak. They radiate from the constellation, Perseus, the stars Capella and Aldebaran, and the Pleiades cluster.

Every year, from around July 17 to Aug. 24, planet Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle, and creates the Perseid meteor shower. Debris from the comet’s orbit is what causes the meteors. Great to watch from the beach during a night of fishing.

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

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