Ride the rails and enjoy Red Clay

This week, I decided if we had a nice day, I would head north to check out a few places.

I went to Yorklyn, Delaware, and took a trip with the Rail Explorers, Delaware Division.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilmington and Western Railroad, and Rail Explorers are here to help celebrate the occasion. The company takes people on a tour of the old Wilmington Railway on a rail bike.

This is a unique and fun way to see the Red Clay River Valley.12dsn king rail bike

Explorers pedal these large double- or quad-seat carts along the railroad tracks. It is a six mile round trip and the sites along the way are beautiful.  The trip lasts about an hour or so, with a 20-minute layover at the turn around point in the Mt Cuba Picnic Grove — a spot you can enjoy a bring-along lunch.

It is also great exercise and for a fisherman, it offers a very interesting view of the Red Clay river valley.

You can’t get off the bikes since the tracks are surrounded by private property, so don’t bring a fishing rod.

The rail bikes are turned around by a lift at the Mt Cuba preserve for the trip back to Yorklyn.

If you want to try out this experience with the family or friends contact www.railexplorers.net/  or call  (302) 601-0888, you will have a great time, I promise.

The Rail Explorers are here until June 14. Tours depart four times a day, starting at 10:30 a.m., Thursday through Sunday.

Right place, right time

Fishing has been decent up north on the upper Delaware Bay, according to Steve at Smith’s Bait and Tackle.

It is the same story in the surf with striped bass and bluefish. The action is there you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

The incoming tide into the outgoing tide, that four to five hour window, has been the best.

We are seeing a little better flounder action but the water still needs to warm up more. Drum action is picking up in the Delaware Bay.

Short striped bass and puffers are still hot catches in the surf on bloodworms. Trout have been decent action when you find pockets holding fish.  Fortunately not much has changed the past couple of weeks.

Wild ride

The best part of fishing thus far has been the stories — like the one Mike Andrews told us about his buddy Matt Mock the other day.

“We were set up about 200 yards to the right of the pier,” he said. “While watching our surf poles, Matt decides to toss a spoon to try to drum up some bluefish action. Where he sets up to cast is about 35-40 yards away from from his pole. While he was casting, his surf rod takes a vicious bump, and pulls out of the sand … spike and all goes flying into the water.

“Mike Farkas tries to grab it but face plants in the surf, so Matt being the nimble 350-pound guy that he is, starts running towards his pole which is now about 10 yards or so in the water. When he gets near his pole, he performs the best swan dive belly flop that would make Super Fly Jimmy Snuka proud. He is totally submerged, but he got his pole and reeled in a beast of a striper at 38 inches.

“Unfortunately for Matt the fish had to go back due to the creel limits.  Afterwards we come to find out Matt had his cell phone in his pocket as well, so you can say it was a wild ride for that slot striper.  If I had a video I would win America’s funniest home videos.”

Big fish

The other great story for this week comes from 8-year-old Finn Hudecheck.

He was up all night saying they were going to catch a big fish. He told his dad he was tired of the little blue gills at the pond.

He even ran out and pointed at the big bluefish his Uncle Tom had in the cooler and said we are going to catch this big fish.

His dad and Uncle Tom said he was bouncing off the walls all night yelling we are going to catch big fish.

Said Tom, “So no pressure there at all, now we have to catch a big fish.”

The next day they are at the Cape Henlopen pier beach, set up to catch bluefish.

Bob looked at his watch and said, that guy said at 11 a.m. they should hit. Sure enough at 11:09 a.m. one of the rods bent.

Young Finn helped reel in that big bluefish and he was excited.

When they landed that fish, he was wide eyed at the size.  After they checked it in at the shop, Finn asked if they could catch another one.

Tom just looked at me and said, “Hey, the pressure is off now, so yeah why not.”

Now I know how a charter captain or guide feels. Soon after they landed another one and Finn was spent. He found a piece of pirate ship driftwood and they called it a day. Great day in a young man’s life. Catch a fish of a lifetime and find a piece of a legendary pirate ship.  Because that is what a kid finds when he is hanging out with his dad and older fishermen at the beach.

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

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