Heat hasn’t stopped folks from fishing

Owen Kennedy and Payton Moerman pose with their bluefish after a day at the beach. (Submitted photo)

Owen Kennedy and Payton Moerman pose with their bluefish after a day at the beach. (Submitted photo)

If it gets any hotter we will be catching steamed crabs and parboiled fish.

The water temperatures have shot up over the mid 80s in the Delaware Bay, inland bays and the surf. Those are surface temperatures and there is cooler water below, but for the most part the water feels like a bathtub.

Outdoors column logo by . That hasn’t stopped people from hitting the beaches and waterways. Fishing has been like any other summer. Decent when you get into some fish.

Flounder has been the worst this year for in-shore action, but the off-shore action has been great. The Old Grounds and wreck sites are producing large flounder, sea bass and ling.

Some weakfish, small croakers and triggers are also hitting at some of the reef and wreck sites. The inland bays are full of small croaker as is the Cape Henlopen fishing pier.

Bowers Beach and other Delaware Bay beaches are seeing a lot of small croaker as far up as Woodland Beach pier. Small weakies are everywhere and there have been a few small keepers in the 15-inch range. Doesn’t sound like much but to see a weakfish over 14 inches is like finding a unicorn.

One thing that is consistent with a hot wet summer … the flies.

The black marsh flies that bite are always the worst on a west wind. Once that air is pushed over the dunes the flies come with it and will swarm around your vehicles and gear.

Last Saturday people didn’t stay on the beach much past an hour. The flies were the worst many have seen in a long time. Wet, hot summers will produce a lot of flies.

Always check the wind, if it is out of the west don’t go to the beach. The flies can even be bad five miles off the coast in a boat.

Evening fishing and top water action has been great at local ponds. The day bite is tougher but doable. I prefer the night bite when it is cooler outside. Top water frogs are good lures, or try my favorites: the jitterbug or hula popper.

A lot of big pickerel are being caught on just about everything; they don’t seem to have a preference. Use lures that are noisy or shiny and they will smash it.

Ship sighting

The Kalmar Nykel recently was spotted in front of Cape Henlopen State Park at Herring Point. The ship arrived in port in Lewes next to the Cape Henlopen-Cape May Ferry terminal.

Tours continue until Sept. 5.

If you haven’t taken a tour on Delaware’s tall ship you should check it out. You can also take a sailing tour or cruise. They have a variety of tours and you can learn about life on a tall ship.

The Point soon will open in Cape Henlopen State Park. I know I keep saying that but I can’t wait! That is a great place to fish.

I have been told the bird fence on Gordons Pond should be down by Labor Day weekend. That would be nice as there are some great spots to fish near the towers.

Crabbing

Crabbing has been excellent for the inland bays, Delaware Bay and tidal creeks once you find them the crabbing is excellent. Trot lining has done well. You also can just sit by the water’s edge and hand line all day.

We should start to cool off soon but if you are outdoors make sure you have plenty of water with you.

Coming up

On Sept. 10 we will hold a Pokemon Go “fishing” tournament in Milford at the 16th Annual Riverwalk “Freeedom” Festival. Get your battery packs charged. This should be a lot of fun. More details will be available soon on www.delaware-surf-fishing.com.

Rich King’s column is published Thursday.

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