Man o’ wars make an early visit to the beach

Tuna caught offshore by the 3 Amigos crew, Matt Brough holding one. Submitted photos

Man o’ war washed up on Fenwick Island State Park beach seen by Mark Fisher.

We have some early visitors to the beach this year. Man o‘ wars washed up on the beaches at Fenwick Island over the past few days.

Usually we don’t see these until August when they come up with the Gulf stream and get pushed to shore by an east wind. There is an eddie of warm water that is rather close to shore and several were spotted out there by tuna anglers last weekend.

Just a heads-up to watch your surroundings at the beach, especially during a long easterly blow. The sting is excruciating. Most of us surf anglers stand in the surf wash, and pieces of these could contact your feet. So it is always good to keep an eye on the water washing in around you.

Beach cleanups

The weekly beach cleanups have been going well this year. We host these on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. at a different state park beach. We get all kinds of volunteers and it is a great way to teach kids about the environment and why littering is bad. We usually pick up at least a full 30-gallon plus bag of trash.

Weird season

It has been a weird season for fishing so far. Everyone keeps asking why is the fishing so bad. I don’t have that answer. There are a number of possibilities, but it seems to be worse than last year — catching is worse.

Fishing is the act of trying to put fish in the cooler. It could be the bad weather we had in the last month. There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to it.

Flounder action has been spotty around the waterways, but anglers putting in the time are at least seeing a keeper. Jigging for them in the surf is producing, you just have to have some patience and cast more than 10 times. Bait and wait doesn’t always work in the surf, gulp will work if it is used on a jighead or bucktail. A plain red and white bucktail works very well, even with an added squid strip. Minnows do not do well since the brackish bay minnows (mummichugs) do not live long in saltwater.

Offshore action is picking up when the boats can get out there. The Cape Henlopen fishing pier has seen decent action for this time of year. The oceanic fishing pier has been decent as well.

Surf is hit or miss

The surf has been hit or miss for kingfish, flounder, short striped bass, spot, and croaker. Fishing has not been easy in the surf most days and some days it is on fire for an hour or two. The incoming tide into the outgoing tide has been the best time. Consult your tide charts.

DSF Beach cleanup crew.

Skates have been hard to catch for some folks, which is unusual. Sharks have been abundant and even hitting kingfish on the retrieve, leaving anglers with half a fish.

Barney’s Blues at the Beach.

Spot action at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier has been hit or miss with the occasional croaker. Top and bottom rigs with Fishbites, squid, or bloodworms is the best bait. Sea robins are hitting heavy for the offshore charters and wreckanglers. The weakfish action has been good so far this year, just small.

Offshore tuna action has been good if the boats can find the fish. Once they locate a school it is fish on! Billfish and mahi are also coming to the scales. That seems to be the hottest bite for Delaware right now. The Chesapeake has great striped bass action. The red drum and coboa action has been hot at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Operation Dry Water

DNREC is running Operation Dry Water this weekend. Looking for impaired boaters.

Have a safe holiday weekend.

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

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