Fishing may be iffy but gets you in the fresh air

Coral “the reef” Trench holding up her bucket and catch of the day at the beach clean up last Sunday with the DSF volunteer crew at Beach Plum Island State Park. (Submitted photo)

Back to spring-like weather, then it will be winter again, then maybe pre-spring, then post-winter. Mother nature needs to pick a condition and stick with it. It lets us get more work done outdoors this time of year, fishing and hunting are still options, because none of use need an excuse to do either, just the time. Making time to enjoy the outdoors can be a task with work, school etc. I highly recommend you take as much time as possible to get outdoors. Even if it is just to sit, relax and breath. The outdoors is the best reset you can get.

Fishing is good and bad, depends on where you aren’t catching. I mean fishing is always easy, the catching not so much. The surf has been quiet but there is bait in the surf line, Atlantic Silversides. The loons are certainly eating, best to find them and fish near where they are diving. The birds have to eat constantly, they don’t dive for fun. We found a crab shed on the point a couple weeks ago, weird time of year for that to happen, even weirder to find the blue crab in the surf line hardening up. A baby squid washed up on shore too while we were fishing. Conclusion — use small silverside minnows and squid for bait, or mimic that bait.

Always match what the fish are able to eat. Dogfish, skates and short bass for the most part. Haven’t seen any hake yet, but haven’t tried for them. We have been mostly freshwater and brackish water fishing.

Catfish have been on the menu this week, pond hopping. Pickerel always feed, the “ditch Pickles” will hit anything shiny. Bass are always feeding you just have to od slower retrieves to give them time to hit that bait and to entice a strike.

The bait in the surf along the Delaware bay beaches and ocean beaches, an Atlantic Silverside.

“Wait you caught that in that pond this time of year?” …

“Yes sir” …

“I didn’t know you could catch fish this time of year.”

Folks, fish don’t hibernate, they have to eat year round. You just have to get them to strike and give them the time. Andrew Hansen: “I have been nailing catfish on these gulp crickets and DS Custom Tackle top and bottom rigs, they do the job nicely.”

This time of year the fishing is mainly for white perch, yellow perch, and crappie. That is usually the go to for many anglers for fun and the dinner table.

Offshore anglers are doing well with tautog out of Ocean City, Indian River Inlet, and Lewes. Check the charters and head boats to see who is still operating. Dress warm, big difference between onshore and offshore weather.

I have heard many a gun shot just before shooting time is over almost all week. Sounds like hunters are doing well — the butcher down the street certainly is busy. Did you know that small animals use sheds for their teeth and a source of minerals? Wildlife organizations encourage hunters to leave the sheds in the woods for the benefit of the animals that need those sources. Some even use them to wear their teeth down.

If you are into fly fishing you can meet up with the saltwater fly anglers of Delaware at Lewes Harbor Marina Saturday mornings for fly tying a lie telling. Great club and group of people. I highly recommend this club for anyone looking to learn fly fishing. You can check out A Marlehead fly fisher up north, the only fly fishing store in Delaware.