Despite rough weather at beaches, fish still biting

Wacky weather, meteo tsunamis, and storm fronts are making for some rough fishing. I know one guy who had to beach his boat to avoid being blown across the Delaware Bay to New Jersey. Other than some heavy winds it wasn’t so bad and the fishing has been decent.

Black Sea Bass season opened on Tuesday and several boats went out and loaded the coolers with some large fish. Top and bottom rigs or high-low rigs with clam is the ticket for sea bass. If you want less competition fishing for sea bass, I suggest you take a charter during the week, not the weekend. This holds true for just about any fishing trip these days, the weekends are very crowded even on the water.

The beaches are already wall to wall vehicles and the season hasn’t started. Last Saturday the beaches were crowded, some folks caught more plastic than fish. When it started to blow on Sunday we spent Mother’s Day chasing Mylar balloons from Keybox beach to Faithful Steward. Please stop releasing balloons as a memorial, you are actually littering and could kill wildlife. Plant a tree to celebrate life.

The black drum bite has been good at the beaches and in the Delaware Bay. Clam has been the best bait, but sand fleas are working well. That is one reason the drum are near the surf, they are eating sand fleas and small crabs. The coral beds near Slaughter Beach and on the Jersey side has had the best drum bite. The Delaware Bay beaches has seen some decent action from Beach Plum Island State Park to Slaughter Beach. The incoming tide is usually the best time to fish. Bluefish are still making an appearance and are still as far south as North Carolina. We should see them for a while longer just like in the past years. They and everything else is about three weeks late thanks to the wacky weather and water temperatures. Once the water crested fifty degrees the fish woke. Before that the random bluefish catches at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier were slow to take a bait. Lures were not working at all, but as soon as the water warmed up that all changed. Now bluefish are showing up around the inland bays. On Mother’s Day the Holt’s Landing State Park fishing pier was a hot spot for blues action on the incoming tide. They were hitting mullet and bunker chunks readily. I would start looking for them in the tidal rivers like Broadkill and the Lewes Canal. Once they move into the inland bays they are all over the place chasing bait fish. You can see them “tailing” in the shallows, or look for nervous looking water.

The striped bass bite in the Chesapeake has been much better than the Delaware waters. We are catching a lot of short bass in the surf, and the occasional keeper bass. It is hit or miss using bunker and even bloodworms. Bloods are working best for the short bass. Clam is catching some of the keepers.

We are moving beach cleanups to Tuesdays starting June 5th. Summertime it is much easier to clean a not so crowded beach. We picked up over forty two mylar balloons on the beaches from Keybox to Faithful Steward on Mother’s Day. We would be grateful to have more volunteers anytime. If you need hours for community projects, school, or whatever we can sign your paperwork. We average about two hours every clean up.

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