Delaware’s Great Outdoors: Enjoy new jaunts

I have always had a passion for the outdoors, instilled in me by my grandfather.

I grew up in the woods out in the country and spent every day exploring my backyard fishing the local ponds.

Five years ago I started a website about fishing in Delaware — www.delaware-surf-fishing.com. Since then it has grown to an audience of 300,000 people annually.

Outdoors logo 1 by . The website covers not just the surf but every aspect of fishing in Delaware and surrounding states.

We share the waters of the Delaware Bay with New Jersey and are just up the road from Maryland.

Information is added daily to the website, used by novice and advanced anglers, to help increase chances of catching a fish. Up-to-date fishing reports, issues concerning the fishery, and all aspects of the outdoors is now covered in our new forum, Delaware Surf Fishing Outdoors and More.

As an avid outdoorsman it has become my goal to cover as many activities as possible to help others enjoy the great outdoors.

We spend too much time in our day-to-day lives attached to our phones and computers. Believe it or not there are some people that don’t think they have the time for outdoor activities, nor do they know what to do when they can make the time.

Delaware’s outdoors is an amazing place. We are so lucky to have access to such a variety of activities.

Whether you like to hike, kayak, surf, sail, camp, fish, hunt, bike, bird watch, sky dive, explore, or just enjoy the outdoors, Delaware has something for everyone.

People travel here every year to enjoy our state parks, waterways, and preserves. Throughout the state are parks that everyone can visit to find activities that interest them.

I will talk about many of these activities and areas in this column. The options to enjoy the outdoors in Delaware are almost limitless, so we have a lot of ground to cover. I hope you find this column informative and entertaining.
Here are many places I will talk about that I have not visited since I was a child and other places I explore daily.

Together we will rediscover old haunts and enjoy new jaunts.

Charters landing striped bass

The fishing in Delaware this fall has been slow for migratory striped bass in the surf. However the boats have been doing well at the mouth of the Delaware Bay and from Cape May to Ocean City, Maryland.

Charter boats out of Lewes, such as the Katydid and Top Fin Charters have been landing a lot of large striped bass.

The sea bass and tautog trips have been decent fishing as well.

The boats are also landing a lot of large bluefish on those (seabass) trips and unfortunately a lot of half eaten sea bass.

The blues are attacking their catch on the retrieve. Even the seals that migrate to Delaware every winter are getting in on the action, trying to steal someone’s catch on the retrieve.

Sunning seals

Believe it or not, and many do not, we have a growing seal population that winters in Delaware.

24dsn outdoors seal by . If you are lucky you can see them sunning on a beach or hanging around the rocks of the outer wall or haystacks in the Harbor of Safe Refuge. Every year there is a group that shows up at Masseys Landing Boat ramp in Long Neck and basks in the sun on the mud banks along the ditch.

People will gather there and have their own little sea world show, watching the seals feed and relax in the sun.

Seals last year were spotted as far up as Dover in some of the tidal rivers. So if you saw something that looked like a dog in the water you probably saw a seal.

Freshwater catch

Freshwater fishing has been picking up for pickerel and still some bass. White perch action has been hot in the tidal creeks and rivers. Crappie bass will start hitting heavier soon and yellow perch are already.

We fish year round in Delaware, and you can too so long as you can take the weather, which as of late has been like spring in December.

On the hunt

Hunters have not been doing well with the start of duck and migratory geese season due to the warm weather. A cold snap over the weekend brought some snow to the upper Delaware area near the bay, early in the morning helping bring waterfowl to the ground. Only a handful of hunters got lucky that morning by being in the right place at the right time also helped.

Deer season is in full swing and bow season in Delaware lasts until Jan. 30, that includes crossbows.

There is a DNREC workshop for changes in hunting regulations and fees starting on Jan. 12, that all hunters should attend. We will keep you updated as that gets closer.

If you are going to hunt in Delaware make sure you get a hunting guide from the state, there are many different rules and regulations. It is always important to know all the regulations for hunting and fishing. These regulations change from time to time so we make it a point to attend all the DNREC meetings and pass any information on to the public.
It is important to be involved in the regulatory side of things and help the state legislators make sound decisions to help preserve wildlife for future generations.

After all we are the eyes and ears of our environment and its voice. Who better to speak for the environment than the very people who care for and utilize it.

I grew up in the outdoors, it is how I connected so well with nature. Teaching me a respect for nature, helped instill a sense of responsibility for our environment. We are the stewards of the outdoors, the gatekeepers, or watchdogs. Without good management we would not have the diversity of wildlife we have today.

By going to DNREC meetings and other organization’s events on a federal level we outdoors-men and women can help protect the environment for our children. Kids are the future and getting them outdoors, teaching them a respect for nature is very important in their understanding of the environment.

You can’t really learn about nature from a school book or Google, you have to get your kids outdoors and I can’t think of a better place to do this than Delaware.

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

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