Great time to safely head out to fishing hole

Jenny Stewart with a pamlico or golden trout.

Seems Old Man Winter wants another round and that is a good thing to keep people from moving around too much.

However being outdoors is not only good for your health, it is good for your mentality — even if you are just sitting in the backyard. The key is social distancing and fishing, or hunting is one of the best ways to do that. If you have prepared like many have, you can go outside visit a park or fishing hole and not see a soul. We have been doing this for weeks. There are a few tricks to help you stay social distanced and safe.

Take everything you need with you; food, water, air compressors for the beach, etc. No reason to hit a convenience store when the pantry is packed. There are some bait shops open, but you can dig for bait in the sand at the beach. Look under logs for grubs, or dig for worms. Artificial lures are always an option. Even the dried up Fishbites you have left over from last year will still work. Grass shrimp are easy to catch with a small minnow net.

The drive-on beaches are all open. You cannot walk on and fish. You have to drive on and it is limited to two people per vehicle, everyone must fish.

Vehicles have to space or park 20 yards apart. Use gloves when you air up and don’t touch your face. Not that we do after cutting bait anyway.

Mind the high tide. There is a coastal storm off the coast into this weekend. Fish the wide surf wash for short-striped bass feeding on sand fleas. You can dig up sand fleas in the first few inches of sand. It takes a bit of digging in some spots. If you see the sanderlings feeding, (little white birds) dig in that area. Hoping for some migratory bass in the surf, they are running the Delaware Bay now. Soon we hope to see the big bluefish and black drum.

Anglers up north using boats are catching larger migratory bass on bunker chunks. Some of the shore anglers are doing well with bloodworms and white perch with short bass in the mix. There have been the occasional keeper striped bass caught. Check local rules for shore fishing from piers and jettys. Some are open, some are not. Practice safe social distancing. Don’t mug someone’s spot because they caught a fish near you.

Mandy Ott enjoying the outdoors

Trout season opened Monday and the kids did well the first day.

“Pictures were from today for youth only 16 and younger. I hope they continue this for the kids. We didn’t have any issues with crowding,” Rick Ott said.

“Pink trout worms, salmon eggs and small spoons. Fortunately I stock up on baits so had extra from last year. We did give away to others that needed. Saw some using worms that were just dug up. Also small grubs on a jig head. Was absolutely great for the kids and everything was very polite.”

Rick and the kids went back for the regular opening day as well and did great! “Lots of limits today and low crowds. Talked to two wardens, both super cool. Said low turnout but good people and social distancing. Had a great morning,” he said.

Just for fun DSF put an orca in the  Indian River Inlet on April Fools’ Day.

Turkey season starts this weekend for youth hunters. There are guidelines for checking in your birds. Check DNREC’s website for full details.

“Delaware’s statewide one-day turkey hunt for youth ages 10-15 and for non-ambulatory disabled hunters requiring a wheelchair for mobility will be held Saturday, April 4, followed by the four-week-long spring turkey hunting season from Saturday, April 11 through Saturday, May 9,” according to DNREC. “Hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with no Sunday hunting”