There’s still a lot of fun action in short striped bass

Brian pulling in a bullnose ray with two rods, it was snagged on both lines. Walking the rods up the beach made it easier than fighting line in two directions. Submitted photos

Welcome to fall, loving those 90-degree days! It is much cooler now, beautiful at night, and dropping water temperatures. Anglers reminisce of days gone by of fall striped bass runs. The back-in-the-day stories get better every year. Some think this will be the year … “this will be the year they come in close to the beach.” We all hope that every year. Depending where you are fishing you can still find a lot of fun action, in short striped bass. It is always possible for the fish to come in and this year looks better than the last few. There are a lot of fish in the surf and along the coast. One can only hope, and wait to see what happens. Meanwhile there are plenty of summer fish to catch and eat.

Pompano action has been the best we have ever seen. Really weird to say that this far up the East Coast. The pompano fishing in the surf is good. Even head boats are licking them out fishing some of the Delaware Bay structure. Pompano are a very tasty fish, and easy to cook.

“I salt shrimp and use that for bait with a small piece of fishbites to target pompano” … Michele Trotter. “I learned that from an old salt in the Outer Banks.” She won the DSF’s Summer Surf Fishing Slam Series with 477 points. She caught a lot of pompano, and spot.

Kingfish and spot fishing is good in the surf. Both make for great tacos. Fried, pan seared, whatever way you like your fish, both are good for any style dish.

Offshore anglers are doing well with mahi and sea bass. Yellowfin, swordfish, marlin are all being caught. Get on a charter and hit the ocean.

Lonnie Lewis caught this surf fishing rod and reel in the surf. You never know what is going to tug your line.

Bluefish are everywhere in the perfect 3-pound eating range. The surf has the small cocktails to the small snappers up to 18 inches for the bigger fish. Mullet rigs for the win, or spoons. They are bluefish, anything shiny.

The flounder action is dicey at best offshore. Inland bays and Delaware Bay has been as well. Lots of throwbacks to get a keeper, but you won’t catch if you don’t fish. Get out and try you never know.

The surf is producing flounder in the cuts. They will hit mullet rigs on the retrieve in the wash of the surf. The mullet are running the beaches, and the flounder are feeding on them heavily. So is everything else. Anglers can fill a 5-gallon bucket with mullet after a few throws.

Triggers have been the catch of the day for many on the wrecks and reefs. Big grey triggers, another great fish to eat. Cleaning them is tough. Anglers will use a box knife to cut the skin ahead of a filet knife to keep from dulling the knife. Just cut the skin in the line you intend to filet the fish.

The sunsets at the point never disappoint.

Now that the point is open everyone is back fishing their favorite spot. Some days we wish someone would tell the fish we’re there, it is either good fishing or horrible. You are either catching all day or waiting all day for a bite. There is a lot of bait in the water and the fish are busy feeding. Hard to compete with that even if you match the bait.

We don’t just fish the point for the catching, the view is exceptional. One never knows what they will see on the water. Lot of boat traffic to entertain anyone. The sunsets are spectacular. Some days you don’t care you aren’t catching and that is true no matter where you fish. Just being outside makes it all better.

War On The Shore Surf Fishing Tournament, Oct 5.

Unless you are hunting amidst a lot of chiggers. Lot of posts online with people getting chiggers, some for the first time. I do not wish that on anyone, well maybe a few. I live in the woods, and am surrounded by tall grasses. You walk into a batch of chiggers, you will regret it. Deet by the gallon is your friend to keep them away. Spray your shocks in your shoes, yes, in your shoes. Everyone forgets that area, and chiggers love your tender foot skin. No bug juice on your feet and they will crawl in your shoes. I don’t know if that agony is worth filling the freezer.

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

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