Fishing access opening as restrictions lessen

Logan Fulton caught this striped bass near Rock Hall, Maryland aboard the Rebel Soul.

The last few days prevented boats heading out and surf anglers had to fight wide waves and rough wash. Private boats are the only ones going out. Charters and head boats are still under restrictions not to operate. Eventually after June 1, that will change. The weather turning has dropped the water temperatures more than 10 degrees. The fishing has not dropped off and in some cases has increased due to more access options.

Starting Friday, surf anglers can walk on and fish beaches in Delaware. The surf fishing restrictions have eased up as well. Only one person needs to fish in your group and vehicles only need to be 20 feet apart. Just about back to normal. Many of us would like to see the space restriction left in place. It is perfect for people to have the space to fish or whatever they want to do out there. The summer beach parking lot is not very helpful to anyone trying to actually fish or catch.

Speaking of open places, Assateague OSV is now open. The entire National Seashore is open with some restrictions in place and some facilities not open. Maryland is also lifting some restrictions for fishing. The pony swim has been canceled and the auction will be done online. David Moore of Shark Whisperer went out the first night the OSV reopened.

“I managed to get a decent black drum and a red drum that night, just before things got really nautical and the beaches flooded,” he said.

BJ Pietryak caught this flounder in a popular spot around the Inland Bays near the VFW.

The Inland Bays have cooled off dramatically. The flounder action was just picking up a little more before this storm system showed. The short bass action around the Inland Bays has been fun for many anglers with the occasional keeper in the mix.

Some bluefish schools are roaming the Inland Bays feeding on everything. The crabbing has been excellent and should continue once the waters calm down. Little flooding at high tide due to heavy winds, that should all calm down this weekend.

The pufferfish are around the Inland Bays just have to find them schooled up and then use fishbites, squid, or clam.

The shad action has picked up in the Delaware River and Susquehanna. Anglers below the Conowingo Dam are doing well on shad and short striped bass. The bass action around the Chesapeake has been great for the anglers getting out. Maryland has new striped bass regulations. Make sure you check before you go fishing for striped bass. The striped bass action in the Delaware River and upper bay has been excellent for keeper striped bass.

Now that anglers can fish from shore in more places, those catches could increase. Bunker chunks have been the choice bait in the Big D. The Chesapeake area anglers are trolling for striped bass.

The surf fishing in Delaware is good, and more access for anglers per vehicle has been opened. The fishing has been decent if you get out and put in the time. The incoming tide has been the best for black drum along the Delaware Bay beaches. Sand fleas are an easy bait to catch and use for drum. Clams work well too but most places have chowder clams not surf clams.

Cody Gallien caught this striped bass at Chincoteague, Virginia last weekend. The big fish are still on the move.

The short bass action has been decent in the surf. An occasional keeper has been caught. Bluefish are hitting near the Indian River Inlet. They are hammering lures and even bait. Small weakfish have been caught. I have heard of a few croakers but haven’t seen any pictures. Northern pufferfish are also being caught on fishbites and cut squid.

The Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier has seen some flounder action, mostly short throwbacks. There are blues and short bass in the area on the incoming tides. Pufferfish have been a popular catch as well.

Freshwater fishing has been productive for bass, snakeheads and pickerel. The pond hoppers are doing well even on these last few rough days we experienced. Fly fishing is producing good catches. Anglers up north are still catching trout in the streams.

Maryland just finished its blue crab survey.

According to the survey, “The 2020 results showed that the Chesapeake Bay blue crab population maintains a healthy number of spawning-age female crabs. Maryland, Virginia, and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission strive to conserve more than 70 million adult female crabs annually to ensure enough young crabs can be produced to sustain the population, which has now been achieved for the sixth consecutive year. This year’s survey estimates 141 million adult female crabs were conserved, which is above the long-term average of 126 million. “

Kevin Golden was bailing blues in the surf a few days ago.