Fishing is picking up for white perch

The Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware club tying flies on a Saturday morning in Lewes. (Submitted photo)

The winter-summer dilemma continues. Wednesday I was wearing shorts, not today. I would love to see a good snow storm, and do a little car hooding to boot. Otherwise I will take the warm winter days for some fun outdoors. Fishing has been okay and picking up for some species. We are in winter mode — it may be warm outside but the water is still rather cold. Just as the Lewes Polar Bear plungers we watched over the weekend. They all looked really happy to get out of the water.

White perch is the catch off the week. Those catches are increasing and anglers are doing rather well. Hard part is finding bloodworms for bait. Grass shrimp are easy to find, use a fine mesh net and scrape the marsh grass or bulkheads. Icehouse Bait and Tackle on Route 1 in Sussex County has plenty of bloodworms this week.

The dragon flies work well for bass and snakeheads. (Submitted photo)

The Lewes canal and area tidal creeks are producing some decent white perch as well as short striped bass. Make sure you know the creel limits for the fish you are keeping. Especially if you decide to put a picture up on social media. An undersized fish picture can get you into trouble. Small jigs under a bobber are working well for white perch, yellow perch and crappie. Minnows are working well too. Check all the spillways for some decent action.

Show season

One season we are in is show season. There are all kinds of outdoor shows happening all over the East Coast. The most popular is the Harrisburg show. That takes more than a day to really see everything. I hit a few smaller shows in the last couple of weeks and picked up some new gear to try this spring. I might be able to use this freaky looking crab right now in the surf. That will be a fun lure to test this week. I picked up some soft plastic dragon flies from Clyde’s Cranks recently. I know these are deadly for catching. The next best in show is the upcoming Delmarva Outdoors Expo the last weekend of April. Lot of new features and activities being added this year.

Delmarva Outdoors Expo is coming up the last weekend of April.

Our favorite local gear maker, DS Custom Tackle, has been busy in the work shop making gear for the year. “We are trying to get as much done now so we have plenty of gear for this coming season. We could barely keep up last year with the demand,” said owner David Okonewski. “We have the crews making gear in the shop and even at their homes, everyone is very busy this winter. We are looking forward to a great season. Our modified mullet rig we debuted last year at the Delmarva Outdoors Expo has become very popular.”

A few hunters took advantage of the unusually warm weather, unfortunately so did the chiggers. Never got chiggers in the winter myself, but it can happen. Everything comes out in spring like weather. I have seen ticks in the dead of winter when it is mild for the year. The question I am wondering is what will summer be like? Mild winters are great for the fishing.


The Smash Crab looks like it will produce some fish or just frustrate me — will see what happens. (Submitted photo)

Tautog is still a decent catch for the charters and head boats putting in the time. Check and call ahead for times. There are some nice sized catches being produced. Just dress warm, even on the summer like days the temperature on the water is much different.

DS Custom Tackle mullet rigs being made in their workshop. (Submitted photo)

Fresh water fishing has been a blast for the pond hoppers. Ice has not been an issue this year so finding spots has been easy enough.

If you want to talk, or learn fly fishing check out the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware club at the Lewes Harbor Marina on Saturdays at 9 a.m. to noon for fly tying and stories. Wear boots, the stories get better every year. This is a great local club that concentrates on fishing and fun.

Ocean Arsenal a new local lure maker has surf bullets and sand eels. I know for a fact these are deadly. (Submitted photo)

Don’t forget to look up this Sunday evening just after 5:30 p.m.  NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility will be launching the Antares to the International Space Station.  Watching this up close and personal at the media area is always a thrill for my inner nerd.  The launches can easily bee seen from our beaches and  backyard here in Delaware.