Fish are finally showing up as temperatures climb

Bluefish caught by Tiki at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier last weekend. Submitted photos

Well it looks like Mother Nature kicked old man winter to the curb. The water temperatures are finally holding over 50 degrees and we have fish! It has been a long slow spring and the fish are about three weeks late. There have been random catches but nothing like it was this time last year.

Flounder started showing up a week ago in the back bays and canals. Now we are seeing them at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier. There have been a few caught in the surf. Lot of sand fleas in the surf and that is attracting the big black drum. Gulp on a jig head has been the best for flounder and minnows are working as well.

The drum are as far up as Slaughter Beach on the coral beds and off the beaches. Hoping to see a few caught in the Chillaware Island Spring Surf Fishing Tournament — we have 289 anglers entered.

Striped bass have really started hitting on the Delaware Bay near Port Penn, Augustine Beach and over on the Jersey side in Elsinboro. Big migratory striped bass, not the residential keepers. Tons of short bass are all over Delaware tidal waterways. Hearing of a few in the surf but not seeing any pictures. Always check your sources — lots of rumors floating around to help sell bait.

White perch are still a good catch in the tidal creeks and rivers on bloodworms. Short striped bass are mixed in with them. Big catfish are hitting bunker chunks readily.

Bluefish showing up

Everyone wants to know where the bluefish are and they are slowly showing up. Several schools came through the flats at Cape Henlopen near the fishing pier the last couple of days. There have been some inthe surf on the ocean beaches. This warmup during the week should get them more active, the water is still in the low 50s. Lot of bluefish are still in Hatteras.

Short striped bass at Cape Henlopen caught by Sue Sokira.

Shad action in the Delaware River and the Indian River Inlet has really amped up. That run has been sporadic thanks to rain and fluctuating temperatures. Night fishing the inlet on the incoming tide is producing two shad at a time on shad dart rigs.

Still some decent trout fishing in the rivers. You have to do some looking but you can hit your limit if you put in the time.

Crabbing has been slow but doable in the inland bays. That will pick up as the water gets warmer. Not much competition down here since the seasonals are not here in full force yet. Clamming has been great for those braving the colder water.

Expo a success

The Delmarva Outdoors Expo was a huge success. The organizers, Darrell Meade and Rich King, were very happy with the turnout and the vendors did really well.

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

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