Fishing is good despite extreme weather

Christina Pugster with a nice bluefish at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier using a DS Custom Tackle modified mullet rig. (Submitted photo)

Heat waves to hurricanes back to a heat wave, summer 2020. The most normal thing since January was a hurricane day. At least the fishing is good. The water is clearing up quick after the deluge of rain and wind. We are still dealing with full moon tides, but that is normal.

The surf is clearing up quick mostly just sand stirred up. I wouldn’t worry much about offshore that water will be just fine. The Delaware Bay and Inland Bays will have darker water for a few more days. Now we get to see if any of the weird fish were pushed north. You never know what tropical fish will show up after a hurricane or big coastal storm. A blue runner was caught in the surf, not unusual, but definitely pushed in on the morning of the hurricane

The surf has the usual suspects. Kingfish, spot, small bluefish, weakfish, sand perch, cusk eels, croaker, and flounder. The flounder bite is picking up in the surf. Jigging cuts works well, but they will hit mullet rigs on the retrieve to check bait. Happens a lot this time of year. The larger kingfish will hit mullet rigs this time of year too. Sand fleas, fishbites, bloodworms, squid, or cut bait is all working on the surf. Some more than others but the fish’s preference change daily. Keep a spoon at the ready for bluefish schools traveling by on occasion. Snagging bunker is easy this time of year. To use for fresh bait, or save for later, or fill crab pots.

Skates, sharks, and rays are abundant. The water will calm down more as the days pass.

The Delaware bay beaches are seeing about the same action as the ocean beaches just a little slower. Depending where you are fishing. Bowers Beach has some decent action at the inlet jetty. The evening fishing on an incoming tide is fun for schooling striped bass.

Big screen to view the weigh-ins for the white marlin open at the ballpark in Ocean City, Md. (Submitted photo/Jodi Jones)

Indian River and Ocean City inlets are seeing short striped bass action, blue fish, shad, flounder and croaker. The bridges in OCMD are producing decent catches with a mixed bag.

The inlets are the same, as in each area produces different. You could spend all day learning a rip in one or two spots. Getting used to the sandy spots along the walls for flounder. Fishing under the lights at night for blues and shad.

Some spade fish and sheepshead hitting sand fleas or green crabs. Peelers work great for any fish. Put an entire legal sized blue crab, or half, on a hook and see what you catch on a jetty. Big bait big fish.

The cape Henlopen fishing pier has great spot action on most days. Flounder have been more throwbacks than keepers but anglers are catching their fair share of keeper fish. The blue fish action has been decent on some days. Check with the pier shop, Lighthouse View Bait & Tackle for the daily bite report.

Flounder action is still hot for inshore anglers at the buoys, wrecks and reefs sites. Lot of decent catching happening. Some days are a skunk but most trips can be salvaged with alternative options on the way back to the docks.

The tuna anglers are ding well with mahi on the way back from offshore.

The White Marlin Open is underway. A few boats came to the scales one the first day then had that hurricane. The WMO folks have extended the fishing days due to the hurricane to allow anglers better weather. Michael Jordan is here again this year fishing aboard his boat Catch 23.

That isn’t sea lice biting you, it is crab larvae

There are thousands upon thousands of female sponge crabs in the surf up and down our coast. We have been catching them while surf fishing the past weeks.

Sponge crabs are female blue crabs that have an orange “sponge” on their abdomens. These sponges are full of eggs, and they are hatching. There are literally billions upon billions of these larvae in the water. This is nothing new, you won’t get a space on your 2020 bingo card, it has been happening since blue crabs existed.

Every time there is another hatching or release you will have these issues and they are isolated. They will occur at different beaches different times of the day. The larvae will move or drift with the tides up and down the coast. Take a shower after you leave the beach and scub a dub dub. It is best to shower right after you leave the water.

And not to be outdone by the sea. Chiggers are out in full force and getting worse with the heat. The land version of “sea lice.” I’d rather get eaten up by crab larvae. You can’t cure chiggers, the “remedies” online don’t work. Get the feed tube out of your skin, then heal is all you can do. The hottest water you can stand helps or a compress. Everything else is just a myth. Neosporin no itch formula helps, or cortizone.