Spring season will be here before you know it

Spring teasers are more common this year it seems. I kid you not. I saw head peepers the other evening when I let the dog out. In the middle of February, peepers.

Just goes to show how resilient nature is and that the warm weather will trigger her to wake up. Everyone is anticipating how the summer will turn out with such a mild winter. I am just looking forward to a nice slow season catching fish.

The white perch action has been decent for most anglers. The weather has helped. Even the wetter colder days aren’t too bad. We haven’t had to deal with any ice this year. It makes for a nice day fishing as long as you are prepared for the evening cool off. That 60-degree day changes real quick when the sun starts to drop. It can be deceiving.

Antares on the launch pad at sunrise.

Crappie fishing is doing well. Many are waiting for the yellow perch to spawn and get into that action. That is starting to happen more in the western part of Delmarva, not so much on this side of the peninsula just yet.

Charters and head boats are still heading out for tautog catches. The weather has been decent for most of the days they are trying to get out. Check in with charters to see how long they plan on fishing this winter.

The Antares launch has been rescheduled for Friday and possibly into the weekend. It is a lot of fun going to see a launch as a member of the media. Standing around in a field waiting for it to go up and freezing is not a lot of fun most days.

The surf has been quiet except for dogfish and skates with the occasional short striped bass. The beaches are great this time of year, not crowded at all. Catching is a bonus, being out there is the reward.

We visited Assateague Island National Seashore waiting for the Antares launch last Sunday. I love that place, mostly for the fact only 145 vehicles are allowed on the beach at one time. That is how you keep the crowds down on an overcrowded drive-on beach.

Delaware needs to take a chapter from that book. We have issues on our beaches with way too many vehicles out there in the summer, but mostly on the weekends. Everyone complains, from the true angler to the fake angler. It is just too crowded. I hear about this all of the time, more than I would like. The solution is simple, limit the number of vehicles out there at one time.

No one is ever going to stop the “fake” fishing so they can enjoy the beach. Just by having a line in the water, they are following the rules. There is no way to enforce people to actually fish. The actively fishing rule has become a running joke.

Assateague Island beach on a Winter Sunday morning. 

The self-proclaimed hardcore anglers want these folks thrown off the beaches. Yet when Parks tries to bring up limiting the number of vehicles allowed on the beaches, these same anglers cry unfair to limiting their access.

These people want no one out there fake fishing, but they don’t want limited access, despite the fact that is the only solution for enough room. There are many anglers who no longer fish the Delaware beaches because of the crowds.

The best solution for giving everyone enough room is to limit the number of vehicles on the beaches, and get rid of the actively fishing rule. It works just fine at Assateague. People only have to actively fish overnight at Assateague.

People who have to fake fish to be out there are just in the way of people who do want to fish. If they didn’t have to fish they would not be in the way, and everyone could enjoy the resource, which happens to be the border of the USA, not just a Delaware beach.


The Surf Bullet and sand eels made by Ocean Arsenal Tackle

No matter how you try to come up with a solution that is fair to everyone, limiting the number of vehicles is the best solution. Also it allows everyone to use the beaches, not just a single entitled user group.

Another local tackle maker has been setting the surf on fire with the Surf Bullet and sand eels. These bullets live up to their name. When you cast one you will know why, they literally fly out like a bullet leaving a rifle.

If you want to really get way out there, this is the lure you need. They can be jigged as well as just reeled. I have used them for nearly a year with great success catching striped bass ad bluefish.. Look for them in local shops like Ocean Arsenal Tackle.