Nighttime is the right time for large bass

Robert “Boots” DiGiacomo holds a 25-inch fat schooling bass from Indian River Bay. Nighttime is the right time for larger bass. (Submitted photo)

Robert “Boots” DiGiacomo holds a 25-inch fat schooling bass from Indian River Bay. Nighttime is the right time for larger bass. (Submitted photo)

The migratory striped bass are on the move and rolling by Delaware in the EEZ — an area three miles off the coast we can not fish for or target striped bass.

A sea zone prescribed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea over which a state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind. The fish are mostly five miles out and heading south.

The main migratory schools are still north of us a good 60 miles up the coast in New Jersey, but are moving fast and headed this way.

Hopefully they stall for a while around Cape May. These schools we are seeing out front are the first wave of migratory bass. The last few days of that westerly blow isn’t helping bring fish closer to shore.

Nighttime is the right time for catching larger bass.  The schoolies will hit all day in the sunlight, but the larger bass are deeper that time of day and will hit closer to the surface as it gets darker.

Outdoors column logo by . Short schooling bass action around the inland bays, Delaware bay, tidal creeks and rivers has been excellent when the schools of fish are around.  Using swim shads, poppers, bucktails, or jigs with soft plastics will produce some great action.

You can step that action up by using light tackle, but a few keepers here and there have put a hurting on light gear.

It is the Murphy’s Law of fishing, forget a net you need one, use light gear you catch a whale.  We have all had that happen at some time in our fishing adventures.

Water dangers

It is winter time and we are into the lower than usual tides and even lower thanks to the winds.

The blow out tides around the inland bays the last few days from the gale force winds created some havoc for boaters.  A duck hunter was rescued when he was stuck in the mud for a few hours by the Coast Guard, and local fire departments.

It is advised by the Coast Guard and first responders that if you get stuck in the mud to stay in the boat. Traversing this mud can be dangerous and in some cases fatal.

The same goes for the water this time of year.  Today the Delaware Bay and surf is averaging 46 degrees.  Getting into water like that is an accident waiting to happen.

A water rescue occurred on Wednesday to get a woman out of the surf near Dewey Beach.

Once hypothermia sets in your chances of survival are greatly decreased.  That can occur within seconds of hitting cold water.

If you do any wade fishing this time of year be careful off currents especially in the surf at the beach.

Blow out tides will also empty canals and marinas.  It is a good idea to have your boats out of the water by or before this time of year.

I know many want to still fish but it is much better to trailer the boat.  Even with a lift it is good to protect the boat, but if there isn’t any water you aren’t going anywhere.

Even using a boat ramp at a low blow out tide is nearly impossible.

We do a lot of fishing in the winter you just have to be careful of your surroundings and always go with a friend or at least tell someone where you are headed.  You never know when things can go south fast and you will need some help.


Hunters had an excellent shotgun season.  I have seen a lot of quality deer harvested for the freezer.

Waterfowlers are having a grand time in the marshes.

Holiday crowds

The holiday weekend will be crowded with outdoor enthusiasts, especially striped bass anglers.

I imagine we will see a lot of people on the beaches and probably boats as well.  Be careful out there, despite the colder temperatures, this is striped bass weather!  it is time to fish the fall run.  This usually happens around Thanksgiving weekend and this year is no exception.

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

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