High winds challenging for fishermen

Old Man Winter slammed us again. Dropped temperatures, heavy winds that seem like they will never stop.

We had a blow out tide that exposed the bottom of some areas in the bays that no one has ever seen before. The Delaware Bay near Woodland beach area blew out beyond the pier and when the wind shifted, the water came right back in.

A lot of neat treasures can be found during a blow out tide. You just have to be wary that the water will come back in once the wind shifts or dies down.07dsn outdoors column seahorse photo

‘Thunder chicken’

Hunters are excited, thunder chicken season is almost upon us. On Saturday, April 9, hunters can start the wild turkey season. There are many rules for this lottery hunting season, so check your hunting guide for all of the rules.

Fishing report

Fishing has been great for striped bass form the shorts to the big keepers. We are in the spawning season for Delaware so you cannot keep any striped bass above the south jetty of the C&D canal and Delaware Bay tributaries above that line. Also the Nanticoke river and its tributaries.

Short striped bass action in the surf has been hot with bloodworms, squid, or pieces of cut bait. Anglers are catching a lot of these smaller fish.

Cape Henlopen has the smallest short striped bass in the 14-inch range and farther south at Fenwick Island there are bigger shorts in the mix up to 24 inches. The Indian River Inlet is seeing some nice short bass action as well.

The Chesapeake and Susquehanna are seeing a great deal of shad and spawning striped bass. Trophy season does not start in Maryland until April 16 and lasts until May 15. In the meanwhile, there are restricted catch and release areas. Use your Maryland fishing guide to make sure you have the rules down.

Crappie and white perch action are still hot in the tidal creeks. The ponds are giving up bass, bluegill, crappie, yellow perch, and pickerel. Occasionally a bowfin is caught. Minnows, worms, and small jigs with soft plastics are working well for baits. Even some top water action by the fly fishermen is producing.

Reining in seahorses

One bonus catch happening in the surf are seahorses. They will grasp your line with their tail and when you retrieve to check bait or reel in a fish sometimes they are still on your line. James Swatski caught one while fishing 3rs drive on beach over the weekend. He released it back into the sea.


The second annual All Species Fishing Tournament is doing well. Lot of fish being put on the board. We had our first saltwater entry not long ago and of course it was a skate. Since the tournament is a land-only,  no-boat fishing, I expected the first saltwater fish would be a skate.

You can find information about the tournament at www.delaware-surf-fishing.com just hit the link in the tool bar.

This tournament has been fun for many because they have to go fish for new species, or in areas they have never been and learn all new techniques and gear.

Jet ski fishing

We have jet ski fishing tournament that will be held at Holts Landing on June 18.

Anyone can enter and it will be the first tournament of its kind for Delaware, Delmarva and possibly the east coast.

They will be fishing the Indian River and Rehoboth bays only, so the playing field is level, so to speak, for anyone to participate. Information for that will be on the website soon.

Opening day for trout

Opening day for trout season despite the weather was packed. Many Areas looked like 50 people were standing around a kiddie pool. People were shoulder to shoulder in the creeks fly fishing. A lot of fish were caught and it was a typical opening day.

Three days later hardly anyone was on the water and there are still plenty of fish. Some very nice trophy sized rainbow trout were stocked.

The recent winds have been awful to try and get some time in fishing but hopefully that will change soon enough. You just have to find a nice out-of-the-way area, or deal with the wind. Nothing like getting exfoliated by Mother Nature on the beach.

Rich King’s column appears Thursdays in the Delaware State News.

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