Summer fishing season is not over

There’s nothing like some fall like weather to put you in the mood for some fall fishing. But the summer fishing season is definitely not over.

Offshore anglers are doing very well with white marlin, mahi and wahoo. The bite has been the hottest near the Norfolk. The weather has been dicey but anglers have made it offshore between storms.

The usual tropical fish from the Gulf Stream are showing up as usual. We see a lot of butterflies and things like that in minnow traps around the bays. Kingfish and pompano are still hitting in the surf. We have a lot of snapper blues hitting mullet on mullet rigs or cut bait on top and bottom rigs.22dsn-outdoors-rich-rafael

Cobia have made a real appearance this year. We see cobia every year but this year we have seen more than ever. Dave Pcholinski from Pittsburgh hit a nice little cobia in the surf last week, it wasn’t a keeper but was certainly a surprise to him. It’s not really surprising since the water has been so clear and the amount of bluefish off the beaches.

“I was at the fishing beach in Rehoboth next to the rock jetty,” Mr. Pcholinski said. “I was catching small blues from 6 inches to 16 inches for the last few days and also two short strippers around 18 inches. Catching all the blues on cut bluefish and the strippers on white gulp curly tails with a pink skirt.

“Then at low tide around 12:30 this afternoon (I) got a nice hit and thought it was just another bluefish but to my surprise as I was reeling it in, through the wave I saw that the fish was dark colored with a light stripe,” he said.

“(I) beached that baby and saw it was a small cobia. Never have I seen a cobia caught in the surf in all my years. The fish hit a chunk of cut bluefish. I was casting out to where the green water broke at the line with the dark blue water probably about 50 to 70 yards out. I have never seen the water this clean.”

Delaware follows the federal regulations for cobia at 33 inches. I have asked the Tidal Finfish Advisory Council to recommend that DNREC put cobia in the fishing guide next year so people know the regulations on these fish. We are seeing more and more of them every year in our waters. Right now you can’t keep one if you are 3 miles or more off the coast of Delaware, the Exclusive Economic Zone. That is due to a closure by the feds earlier this year until January 2017.

You can catch them you just can’t keep them if you are out there.

Once in a while we see a big one caught in the surf and the Indian River Inlet. They are usually following the bluefish. In the case of a few offshore anglers not long ago, cobia were trying to steal their flounder catches on the retrieve at Site 10.

Bass action

Short striped bass action up north has been getting better and better in the tidal creeks and along the bay beaches. There is a huge amount of bait fish in the water for the bass to feed on. The best action is around bridges, jigging the pylons or casting small bright colored swim shads. The fish are fattening up for the fall run like they do every year.

Puppy drum, the small black drum, are as far up as Battery Park in old New castle. Fishbites on top and bottom rigs or real bloodworms are the best baits for puppy drum. These are not large enough to keep but fun to catch especially for the kids.

Croaker action up and down the bay has been decent, with some nice seized keepers making it to the dinner plate.

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