Minnows landing scores of flounder offshore

Flounder fishing is finally picking up offshore.

Anglers are boating quality fish in larger numbers and size.

Gulp or minnows have been the best baits. Some are jigging with squid strips, and there is always the go-to bacon strip or pork rind.

The inland bay flounder fishing is slow for keepers, but there are plenty of undersized fish.

Registration for the Flounder Pounder Open at Paradise Marina started the first of August. You have a few days to preregister for a cheaper price.

This year, top prize is $100,000 or a very nice boat. There are five prize places this year as well.

Looking forward to the tournament.

Mark Steelman shows an alligator gar caught in a Sussex County pond. A bigger one got away. (Submitted photo)

Pier and surf

Spot and croaker fishing has picked up at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier. Not very large fish but the catching is more consistent.

A nice flounder hit on Dave Eastburn’s first cast. (Submitted photo)

“I would call it slow but steady fishing for a variety of small fish,” said Dave Beebe at Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle. “Lots of croakers and sand perch, some spot and kingfish, the odd blowfish and sea robin. Flounder, yes, but keepers scarce. Lots of bait in the water — peanut bunker, shiners, and the first reports of small finger mullet!”

The surf is mostly seeing kingfish and sand perch. There are some summer snapper blues around and that action has been random on location for all these species. You have to be there when the fish come by. The nor’easter carved the beaches up a little. The wash is very wide with a small swale or tide pool.

Cutting edge

This is a great time to learn to read a beach. At low tide you can see where the water drains back out of the tide pools or swales. This is known as a cut to surf anglers. The water “cuts” through the sandbar to drain into the ocean. All cuts drain south by the way.

It is best to fish the right hand side and top of a cut. You can see the sand bar profile, the water washed across the sandbar and then drains back into the ocean at the cut. This profile carved higher on the beach from the storm is the same profile under the wave and surf on a normal day. If you go to the beach during a low tide you will see these cuts and you can remember their locations for future fishing. The cuts move up and down the beach but not very far. Where the deeper cuts are the beach will have that deep scallop look on the edge of the sand berm.

More reports

There are plenty of skates, dogfish and sand sharks to be caught. The fishing has slowed down a bit which is odd if you consider the water temperatures are still in the mid seventies along the coast and the low eighties in the upper Delaware Bay and river near Delaware city. This may be due to the fact we get a lot off people on our beaches in the summertime and people swimming and the like will scare off fish. The porpoises have been working fish overtime along the coast as well, that tends to shut down fishing in the surf when they are around.

Michael Jordan caught this trigger fish caught at the outer wall. (Submitted photo)

The short striped bass action has been good in the tidal creeks and rivers around structure. Despite the storm and heavy run off the fish are still able to “see” a lure. Bloodoworms are a good bait if you are not into casting for your catch.

The tuna bite has been great for most of the boats headed out. Hit up a local charter out of Lewes, Indian River, or Ocean City to get on the bite.

During the storm many anglers hit the local ponds to avoid the high winds and dirty water. Mark Steelman was perch fishing with minnows when he locked into a large alligator gar. “The one that got away the first time was much larger than the one we landed,” he said.

Clean beaches

Many of my friends who surf fish will clean the beach while we fish or upon our arrival. We can not stand seeing trash on the beach. The parks actually provide bags for people and remind them to carry in and carry out at all park entrances.

Young Kendall Schuster does her part to keep the beach clean. (Submitted photo)

Most of the trash on a beach does not come from tourists or beach goers. Most comes from the ocean itself, especially washed down the Delaware River and Bay, and the inland bays. Eventually everything washes into the sea.

It is a great thing to see this young lady and other kids I know to take it upon themselves to help keep our beaches and environment clean, and do it of their own accord. Thank You Kendall, if everyone were like you we wouldn’t have these trash issues.

“Kendall is almost six years old, but she fully understands the importance of keeping our earth, oceans, and beaches clean,” said Erin Schuster in a social media post. “This load is from a 20-minute clean up today at Savages Ditch (Faithful Steward Crossing), before the storm. Let her young mind be a reminder to our fellow Delaware residents and visitors to #saveourbeaches, #saveouroceans, and to #stoplittering “

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

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