After storm, good fishing may return

Big blue fish caught by Barney at the point. (Submitted photos)

With Hurricane Jose off the coast, we are experiencing a lot of heavy wave action from storm surge and wind.

We are hoping, by Friday at the earliest, we will see a good chance to fish the surf. However the seas will still be heavy with waves and getting out on a boat could prove difficult.

We will have to see as the weekend passes and so does the storm. Hurricane Jose may double back and create more storm surge throughout the weekend. For now, the fishing we saw before the storm was great in many places.

Small snapper bluefish action has been the popular catch in the surf. Using mullet on mullet rigs, cut bait on top and bottom rigs, or fishbites. Squid, clam and bloodworms is also working, because bluefish will eat anything.

When we were on the point in Cape Henlopen State park over the weekend, Barney caught a 37-inch bluefish, the same monster sized blues we see in the surf during the spring now. The big bluefish hit a chunk of bluefish, they will eat anything including their own kind.

Redfish caught by Kevin at the Indian River Inlet.

Redfish or red drum are making an appearance finally in the surf and the area waters. The will hit cut bait, squid, and any crustacean such as green crabs or sand fleas. Clam is usually a popular bait we find they will readily hit mullet here in Delaware.

Spot heads and kingfish heads are usually a good bait as well. You can also live line spot for red drum. These are the slot sized red drum the bulls usually don’t go much farther north than Assateague Island. A nice sized slot redfish was caught in the Indian River Inlet on a squid strip on a flounder rig.

Sea bass season is coming to a close, but only for a month, then it will open again. There has been great action on the reefs and wrecks offshore. Anglers are pulling them in two at a time, decent keeper sizes with a lot of throwbacks. There are flounder and trigger around the wrecks offshore. Lots of triggers still out there and sheepshead. All are hitting clam on top and bottom rigs, most of the trigger are by catch for seabass anglers.

You can target them with small hooks and clam, which the sea bass prefer. Squid is the next go to bait and everything will hit squid, and the fact it is probably the cheapest bait. Unless of course you are catching your own bait. Small sand fleas make a great bait offshore you just have to spend sometime in the surf with a sand flea rake to fill a bucket.

Sea bass double caught by Captain Keith Bebee on Surface Tension, using Diamond State Tackle top and bottom rigs.

The Cape Henlopen pier has been giving up a lot of spot and small croaker. The occasional keeper flounder among a lot of throwbacks. There are tons and tons of those little bait stealing bluefish. Burrfish are being caught and recently an angler caught one over two pounds, which may qualify the angler for an IGFA all tackle record. Dave Bebee owner of Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle will know when the paperwork comes back.

Short striped bass fishing has been fun on light gear in the Lewes canal and tidal creeks or rivers. Using swim shads or bucktails. Anything that mimics a mullet is your best bet. They are also hitting sand fleas along the jetties of the Indian River Inlet and bloodworms. The structure in the Lewes canal is holding fish and the short sare schooling up with this cooler weather and water.

Spot caught at the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier.

Crabbing is still good but you have to do some searching to find the crabs. The fluctuating temperatures have them on the move. They are feeding heavily for a long winters nap.
While cast netting for mullet a few anglers caught some pompano in their nets and butterfish are in the surf as well.

Have a good weekend and we will catch you in the sand box.

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

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