It’s August! Waiting for the locals summer

Flounder caught by Wendy Musgrove in the Indian River Bay last weekend. Submitted photo

It would be nice if we could get some serious sun showers … the rain is just sucking the life out of many people. Fortunately for us surf anglers this is perfect weather to fish the beaches. There are no crowds, no one in the way in the water, and the fish will stay closer to shore on overcast days.

Can you believe it is August already! Fall is coming, but first, it is time for locals summer, right after September First. When the point opens!

Fishing has been anywhere from easy to a challenge, well catching that is, fishing is easy. The usual summer spots are producing fish, just depends on the weather, tide, bait, and timing. It has been a weird year for catching.

Decent variety at Cape pier

The Cape Henlopen fishing pier is seeing a decent variety of summer fish and the triggers are back around the pylons. They have been hard to hook up but they are there. Usually a small piece of clam and a small hook does the trick.

The fact the front of the pier has been removed has made it more crowded and harder to catch. Anglers are doing pretty well despite that fact. As usual weekdays are the least crowded days and that goes for anywhere here this time of year.

Triggers have been plentiful for the boats hitting the walls and offshore structure. Seems to be a lot more of them this year, which is good for the charter companies. It adds another fish they can catch, especially for folks who have never caught or even seen one.
The flounder action has picked up offshore and inshore. Lewes canal has been producing some nice keepers. Inland bays are doing OK but could be better.

The offshore action has definitely picked up … the charter boats out of Lewes are doing well when they can get out in this crazy weather. That is one factor that is keeping the catching down, it is hard to a no go to fish in rough weather and seas.

Surf fishing

Surf fishing has been producing small bluefish, spot, kingfish, croaker, sand perch, and some flounder. Even some small weakfish are being caught, especially on the Delaware Bay beaches. Mullet rigs are working for the bluefish and cut bait. Top and bottom rigs for the smaller fish, we use DS Custom Tackle rigs, locally made and with quality gear.

Dominick Vavala loaded his cooler with croakers and spot at the Indian River Inlet over the weekend.

We have been product testing the new BonaFide baits by Fortescue Bait company and it has been doing well … there are several “flavors” and we like all of them. If your bait shop isn’t carrying them, ask them to start, you will be pleased with the results. It is working in the surf, piers, boats and everywhere in between.

War On The Shore

Delaware Surf Fishing has opened registration for War On The Shore, a surf fishing tournament on Oct. 13 in Cape Henlopen State Park. It is limited to 300 anglers at $100 per angler. If the goal of 300 anglers is met the first prize will be $10,000.
You don’t want to miss out on this. Register online at www.delaware-surf-fishing.com today.

Beach cleanups

Beach cleanups hosted by DSF have been doing well … you can join us every Tuesday at 9 a.m. at a different Delaware State Park beach. The schedule is on the website as well. We do these to help the beaches from all the trash that washes up onshore … even this time of year most of your beach trash comes from the ocean.

The Chesapeake Bay, despite the sediment laden flood waters, has been producing a lot of good rockfish catches. The charters have been doing well. Hopefully the debris fields on the water will dissipate soon, but with all this weather we keep having it is hard to tell. Our own waters are really stirred up due to swollen streams and rivers from run-off.

If you are boating on the Chesapeake Bay be careful, that floating debris is very dangerous and can wreck a boat prop fast. Wear your PFDs at all times.

Mullet, flounder candy

Jonah caught these mullet and peanut bunker at the pier. Submitted photo/Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle

The other day Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle posted up a picture of mullet, that’s right, flounder candy! Not long before that Dave Beebe, owner of the shop, posted a video of mullet he saw when he was out clamming in the flats. They were few in number but great to see.

Dave Beebe … “When Lighthouse View advertises FRESH mullet, you know it’s fresh! Having said that, these were just caught by staff member Jonah and are those early run little guys. Also got quite a few peanut bunker in the 3″ class. Already iced down and ready for you!”

Me … “Nice mullet!! You think they will be around for a bit or ….”

Dave Beebe … “There are a lot of them right now, this is the first I’ve seen them in quantities enough to cast (net) for them. I’d be reluctant to promise them this early in the year.”

I don’t know how long they will be around the pier this early, but if you want fresh mullet this weekend hit up Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle in Cape Henlopen State Park. The pier has seen some decent action for flounder up to 5 pounds. Lot of croaker and spot on top and bottom rigs. The old pier structure has been producing well for the kayak anglers. If you need a yak you can rent one next to the shop from Quest kayak.

This is a Tesla stuck on the beach … you can’t make this stuff up. You never know what you will see at the beach on a busy weekend, even a $100,000 vehicle stuck in the sand.

Offshore has been decent for the boats when they can get out, seems like I have had to say that a lot this year. That weather though. Deep dropping for tilefish has produced decent catches. Tuna, mahi, and billfishing has been good, you just have to be able to get out there. Much better again on the weekdays with less company and competition.

Some cobia have been caught site fishing for them around buoys. Reef and wreck sites are producing a variety of summer catches.

I would say have a nice weekend but I have no idea what the weather will be like … it changes way too much.

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

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