Spring’s on the horizon: Point closing, park fees begin

Holt’s Landing State Park in Millville is getting a new playground. Submitted photo/Andrew Hansen

A few signs of spring are here, some we like and some we do not. The first being the point closing on March First, but everyone knows that happens. Delaware state parks’ fees go into effect on March First as well, time to pay to play. Only if you want to drive your car into the park, visitors can walk in, or ride a bicycle for free into a Delaware state park and use all the amenities.

There is a new playground at Holt’s Landing State Park in Millville that should be open soon for the summer season. The park also has a lot of great attractions. Parks is just about finished completing the new playground. There are also trails, primitive camping, a pavilion, fire pits, horseshoe pits, a state boat ramp, and a fishing and crabbing pier.

The park also now features a car charging station and a kiosk for park passes. This has replaced the iron ranger at the gate. You no longer have to fill out the envelope, just use the kiosk.

This seal was tagged in New Jersey with the number 13. It dropped by Delaware the other day to rest on the beach. Submitted photo/Paul Collins

Fishing has been sporadic, but if you put in some time you can catch. The winds the last few days made for better beach combing than surf fishing. Not much in the surf right now anyway, catching a skate would be a welcome pull on a line. The water looks like chocolate milk from all the high winds and rain we have had. There are new ponds in all of the fields.

Offshore tautog fishing has been decent when the boats can take anglers out and catch. Some are going pretty far out there to get fish. Last couple of weeks saw better action than this past week. Cod is also on the menu but has been scarce. This time of year most of your head boats and charters take a break to get ready for spring fishing.

White perch and yellow perch are the preferred catches now. Yup, winter fishing abides. Hit up your local shops for minnows or bloodworms for bait. The spillways have seen decent action for white perch. Heard of some shad around but haven’t had the time to get out and fish for them this week, yet. That wind the other day was brutal.

Trout being stocked at Newton Pond by the netful. Submitted photo

Pond hopping is producing the usual suspects, bass, pickerel and bluegills. Crappie action has picked up a little as well.
Trout pond season will start Saturday. March 2nd. Newton Pond in Greenwood and Tidbury Pond in Dover will be open for catching stocked trout. Luckily we didn’t have an issue this year with ice, which will delay trout pond fishing. You can’t stock a pond if you can’t get to the water, nor can you fish it. Fish in a barrel for many anglers, but it’s a good way to get the kids out on weekend and get some outdoors time.

The trout stamp costs very little to add to your fishing license and the money is used to pay for the stocking program.
If you are having issues ordering your surf tags online, go to a park office, especially in Sussex County. The volume of tags being bought and ordered is jamming up the system. Everyone is worried the parks will run out of the limited tags this year.

Cape Henlopen State Park’s disc golf course has new platforms for the golfers. The course in Cape Henlopen is the oldest in the country and maintained by the disc golf players and parks.

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

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