Sea bass action has been great for charters

John T Reilly with a bluefish he caught on Monday. Submitted photos

I stand corrected, you all weren’t kidding when you said the weather has been horrible in Delaware. Sunny hot Florida was fun, but it is good to be home. Despite the foggy overcast weather, which is actually a great time to fish. It is also nice to get a break from the heat. My grass looks like a jungle, I am pretty sure I could bale it by now.

Sea bass action has been great for the charters when they get out, limiting out and filling the coolers with some big knotheads. Clam is your best bait for sea bass, but squid can get the job done as well. Check out the area’s charters and get a trip booked — you will not be sorry.

Big drum are filling the tables at the fish cleaning stations. Lots of behemoth black drum are coming from the Delaware Bay. There are still some around in the surf but the boats have had the best luck. Clams or sand fleas for bait. If you are using clams make sure you have a way to clean your hands.

Do not eat after handling surf clams, most come from areas that are high in “bad” bacteria and you can get sick. Clean your hands with bleach if possible after handling these clams. Every time you shuck them. It is preferred by many to shuck as many clams as you need before a trip so you only have to get “dirty” once. You should always wash your hands after handling any bait before you eat or drink.

Flounder at Lewes canal and inland bays

Flounder is picking up around the Lewes canal and inland bays. Hopefully it will be better this year than last, but time will tell. Gulp or minnows is the preferred bait. Gulp can be jigged or put on a flounder rig. Fish around structure if you can or drift over sandbars to get a flounder to bite while it is lying in wait for a meal. Jigging around structure is much easier and productive than just bait and wait.

As I am writing this Jon Siddons is in the surf catching all kinds of fish. “There is a variety of fish out here today in the surf, catching on every cast on clam for bait.” Short striped bass, kingfish, burrfish, and northern puffers. Seems the overcast day is helping the fishing. John T Reilly: “Monday we got into some blues in the surf.”

Whale at Fenwick Island

David Eastburn with a “shorty” from the rocks at Indian River Inlet.

A group of people encountered a whale at Fenwick Island that was literally in the surf just beyond the breaking waves. Feeding on bunker most likely. That will change up your day of fishing real quick.

Lot of short striped bass in the surf and around the Indian River Inlet. Short bass are always fun to catch when they are hitting on every cast. Bucktails, swim shads, spoons, poppers or plugs all will get the job done. On these overcast days you can use brighter lures but the darker colors will entice a bass as well. Best to observe the colors of the fish they are eating and try to match that, which is usually a white swim shad until theh bluefish show up.

Back in the sand box for me starting tomorrow. I need to clean up my gear and get ready for some serious fishing. I am taking a vacation from my vaca/workcation. I need to get some beach time.

Have a great weekend and be safe.

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

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