Summer’s here, but it won’t last forever so make the most of it

First day of summer came in hot, and it should. Now we are on the countdown to the winter solstice and shorter days. It will take a while to notice that change.

Hunters are counting down the days to deer season. Summer is only 10 more weekends until the end of season holiday. So it is time to make the most of them. The kids are out of school and the beaches are getting crowded. Start looking off the beaten path for things to do with less crowds.

Weekdays are the best at the beach, believe that, on weekends we mow the grass, play on the four-wheelers, and do yard work. I call it summer hibernation, when we avoid the beaches on the weekends. So trust me, if you want a better beach experience go on the weekdays.

Beach cleanups

We start weekly beach cleanups on Tuesdays starting at 8 a.m. We meet at different park beaches each week and clean up the beaches. Then we go eat at a local place that will feed us for a reduced price. All are welcome to come help; just get in touch with Rich King at admin@delaware-surf-fishing.com.

Gage Taylor with a flounder at 22 inches from the Broadkill River. (Submitted photo)

We also turn over the volunteer hours to the state parks to help them with grants by accumulating more volunteer hours. Believe it or not, most of the trash is from the sea and not tourists.

Fishing decent

Fishing has been decent for the summer so far. Flounder are good off shore and the Lewes canal. The Cape Henlopen fishing pier is doing OK but as stated earlier in the year. The flounder numbers are down and that is one reason the creel size limit was changed. We probably should have changed the catch limit as well, but that is just my opinion.

Minnows or Gulp have been the best baits. Jigging around structure with a 2-ounce jog head and gulp is working well. Gage Taylor and Jason Schuster hit some nice flatties using bacon recently in the Lewes canal area from their kayaks. Because who doesn’t like bacon?

Lionfish on the way

The lionfish are coming. I wouldn’t panic yet and start fishing for them, but you will be able to order it soon in many area restaurants. I am working with a few nonprofit organizations in Florida and Delaware to bring lionfish to the Northeast. You can cook lionfish just about any way you like to eat fish. I ate lionfish … sashimi, ceviche, blackened, pan seared, fried, baked, poached, and just about any other way you can imagine. It is a very buttery tasting fish and flaky white. It is delicious! Based on that, it is the reason to make this a food fish, it is good to eat and the only way to beat them is to eat them.

We are the only predators for lionfish in the South. They are not poisonous but venomous and that is removed when they are cleaned and heat or cold will neutralize any venom. This is not like eating the famed fugu or pufferfish that is deadly if not prepared correctly and yes, I have tried that as well, once. When they arrive I will let you know.

White perch and catfish

You can catch some decent white perch around the Chesapeake Bay and the C&D Canal. Bloodworms are the best bait. Lot of catfish in the canal too, just mind the consumption advisories for fish in that area. The tidal creeks all have some decent perch action. Short striped bass as well.

Offshore action is heating up for tuna. check with your local charters for open trips.

Plenty of fish at Cape pier

The Cape Henlopen fishing pier is producing croaker, kingfish, spot, small weakfish, short striped bass, skates, dogfish,and rays. All are hitting top and bottom rigs with bloodworms, fishbites, squid, cut bait, or clam. Flounder are hitting gulp and jigs around the structure. The old pier pole area is great to fish from a kayak.

The surf has been decent fishing but random action as far as where and when. I prefer the outgoing tide into the incoming tide cycle. That is about a four to five hour window. The worst part of tidal fishing is the tide. It governs the way the fish feed and where they will be, which makes random last minute trips a little difficult. But it is still fishing and not a day at the desk.

Kids tournament to benefit Lyme Disease Association

There is a kids tournament this weekend at the Indian River Inlet marina to benefit the Lyme Disease Association of Delmarva. It is a two-day fish anywhere tournament. Lyme disease is a serious issue in Delmarva and especially in my neck of the woods, because we literally live in the woods. I have to check for them daily constantly. Be careful in the woods and grassy fields.

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

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