It’s rough but if you put in the time you can still catch fish

Chris Ranney from Chicago, fishing the War On The Shore Tournament. Submitted photos

Fishing anywhere the past week has been nautical as far as conditions. Boats can’t go out in these rough seas. It has been land based fishing or nothing.

Even fishing from land has been difficult. The tide has been up more than normal for the past two weeks. Now we have a nor’eater like storm off the coast. Making it even more difficult to fish the beaches and inland bays. However if you put in the time you can catch fish.

War On The Shore surf fishing tournament despite the crazy conditions produced a lot of fish. Most weren’t big enough to score but people were catching. Bluefish, pompano, kingfish, spot, short striped bass, and flounder. Very few fish were scored compared to what was caught, but again, people are catching fish.

This coming weekend the conditions are worse than last, but you won’t catch if you don’t try. Sunday things should calm down. Saturday will be beautiful weather with nor’easter like water conditions. If you surf check the waves, it could be rather exciting.

The bluefish that took it all, winning largest fish, the bluefish calcutta and the entire War On The Shore surf fishing tournament.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, 108 surf anglers gathered on Herring Point Beach to Gordons Pond in Cape Henlopen State Park, to battle it out for the top prize of three grand. They dealt with nor’easter conditions, heavy winds and waves. These folks, the self-proclaimed hardcore to the amateur surf angler, were all in and ready for a day of serious surf fishing. I think that leveled the playing field, it was anyone’s to win.

The full moon tides this weekend will keep the water higher than normal. Low tide looks like high tide and will for the next few days. Check the streams and creeks for short striped bass, they love these conditions. Fast water along structure will produce fish, it is just a little harder to fish. White is one of the preferred colors this time of year, swim shads, bucktails and other soft plastics. Any plug or popper that mimics a jumping mullet will work wonders in rips.

Pompano are still in our waters and they are large this year. These fish do not migrate here, they follow the warm water up. Unfortunately for them they do not follow the water back south. They will die when the water temperatures drop. When you catch one, grill it up and enjoy, they are very tasty fish.

Catching pompano two at a time, Andrew Kessner.

Offshore fishing should continue next week when conditions calm down. Every year around this time we just never know what the weather will bring and if we can get out and fish.

The pond hoppers are doing well with bass and pickerel. Evening and morning top water. Fish are still feeding well and water temperatures are on point for this time of year. Snakeheads are still hitting and giving anglers a big fight. Despite what some may feel, personally I think people should kill every one of the snakeheads they catch. They are an invasive species that can devastate the fish populations in small bodies of water. Make sure you have an actual snakehead and not a bowfin that are caught occasionally, which are natural to our waters.

Lee Ireland catching bluefish two at a time with his double mullet rig set up.

Hopefully next week we can get into some more fishing. Hunters are enjoying deer season. I am seeing a lot of deer on the move out in the country at night … be careful driving.

War On The Shore surf fishing anglers.

With the crazy weather it is the perfect time to get your gear tuned up. Clean and grease your reels and check your rods for bad guides. Check the strength of your line if is old and maybe get it replaced, especially if you are going after large striped bass for the fall.

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

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