Outdoors: Spring fishing off to exciting start

The fishing is really going off this spring, much better than the last few years. Mostly because everything is starting early. We are seeing some fish that are way too early and one fish in particular that has yet to show up. Everyone wants to know where the big bluefish are, and many of us have come to the conclusion we aren’t going to see them in the surf this year. I hope we eat our words but it is not looking like the last three years of action. Which in a way is a good thing, they won’t sit along the shore line and eat everything in sight. As much fun as it was catching the gators along the coast, they put some serious damage in the smaller fish like croaker and spot, which made those summer staple catches minuscule at best. They even wore out the flounder. There have been reports (rumors) of a few gators caught, but no photo graphical evidence, we like photos for proof. They don’t call fishermen anglers for nothing.

The black drum are already here and have been for a week or so and even up Cape May way in the surf. Delaware Bay beaches are seeing good action, sand fleas for the win as bait, but clam should abide. Use larger hooks, we use the surf rigs by DS Custom Tackle with the 8/0 circle hooks. Top and bottom rigs have been working well for many anglers at Assateague Island, where the majority have been caught over the last couple of weeks.

Striped bass action has been great up in the Upper Delaware Bay and river areas. Richard King at Pot Penn Bait and Tackle has been checking in a lot of quality fish. Many anglers are releasing their catches which is good to hear for the sake of the fish stocks. Striped bass numbers are in trouble, as soon as that ASMFC report comes out we will know just how bad.

Hopefully something is done about that sooner than a later. Virginia is proposing to close spring striped bass trophy season, I could not agree more with that decision. I know many of you hate that idea but if you do not protect what we have we will not have a good future for the striped bass fishery. Think of the bass like saving or investing money, you don’t spend your principle, you chip away at the interest to let your money grow, fish stocks work just like that.

Spring trout season opening was great for many anglers.

”We fished up north on a stream and it wasn’t that crowded,” Paul Hazzard said. “Key is to bring your own crowd so you have some room”.

There are still plenty of trout in the streams and anglers have been chasing fish all week, except on these exceptionally windy days. Small spinners like Panther Martins are trout magnets, fly anglers are dong well now that the bugs are emerging.

Flounder action has started to pick up. The Lewes canal is seeing some decent catches on the outgoing tide with clear water. You need less wind for clearer water in the canal. That water stirs up quick. Minnows and gulp for bait choices. Keep your drift slow as possible, biggest mistake flounder anglers make is drifting the boat too fast. Flounder will chase bait but it is better to not make them work for it. Fish know not to expend too much energy for a meal. They will hit your minnow once strip it, then hit it again to swallow the baitfish. Don’t yank on that line on the first hit, wait for it.

A kingfish was caught at Assateague Island over the weekend, that is very early but then again so are the black drum. It hit on fishbites too which have been working for the short striped bass in the surf and white perch. Broadkill beach is loaded with short bass and perch, bloodworms have been the best bait but the artificial fishbites are working as well.

Spring turkey season started out with a bang for many hunters. I have seen a lot of thunderchickens bagged in less than an hour of being out in the field. That one bird limit makes for a short day for many hunters.

The Delmarva Outdoors Expo is in full swing and has something for everyone this year. You don’t want to miss this event. Bring the entire family there are a lot of great activities for the kids this year, including a fishing pond. Kids under 12 are free! The organizers have something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Check out their website for detailswww.delamarvaoutdoorsexpo.com There is a dog adoption going on this year on Saturday and Sunday, Dock Dogs perform all weekend, Drone races, RC car crawler tracks and demos, firearms simulators, NASCAR racing simulator to win race tickets, virtual reality fishing tournaments, Axe throwing, mecahanical bull, BB Gun range, gun auction and outdoor toy auction, food trucks, beer gardens, Show and Shine for all vehicles, Chicken Pickin by Mountaire farms with a $500 first prize on Saturday!! This year’s expo is bigger and better with a lot of vendors. Located at the Harrington Fairgrounds the 26th to the 28th.

The Delaware River up north has been on fire finally for shad and down at the Conawingo damn. The shad anglers have been impatiently waiting for that run to get on the shad. Many like to eat the roe. The shad run for centuries has been an early food source for many people. They are good to eat just a real pain in the neck to clean.

Fishing has been fun in the ponds for all the worm danglers and pond hoppers. Pickerel catches are abundant, one of my favorite fish for some serious line pull. Bass are abundant and in the shallows chasing the smaller fish looking for food and places to spawn for the summer. The fish know where to look for food, you just have to know where to look for those fish looking for a meal. The waters are warming up fast. Big catfish in the creeks and canals hitting bunker chunks or whole bloodworms.

Have a great weekend, get out and fish. The weather good or bad, and whether you like it or not, the fish will still feed.

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