Waiting for spring is hard but there’s some action out there

The Masseys Ditch dredge project has been put on hold until fall. If you boat around the inland bays you should check out Delaware Surf Fishing’s website for many aerial photos of the bays to see where the shifting sand bars are located. They will be keeping up with this all season with the help of Driscoll Drones. Photo by Driscoll Drones

Is it second or third winter yet, first spring maybe? I have lost track. Wearing boots and flip-flops only days apart can really throw you off and just increases that cabin fever.

If I rearrange my tackle one more time I am going to lose it. One thing that is a saving grace with the warm-up is the fishing is better for me in warm weather. That wind as of late has been rough.

The perch were really active, then they shut down after about two days. Hopefully that picks back up, and that also depends on where you are fishing. The tidal creeks and rivers have had decent action, then it warmed up and shut down near us in Sussex County. I have heard tell different in a few other areas.

Short striped bass action around structure in all of our waters is fun, but like the ponds you have to put in some serious work to hook up.

I have seen some snakeheads caught in Maryland, which this time of the year is usually near impossible, but fish have to eat year round, they don’t take a break. Skip matching the hatch so to speak for that action, just start live lining bait, big minnows.

The 2019 Delaware Fishing Guide is out.

Hitting pickerel has been fun in the ponds, those ditch pickles or snot rockets are always good for some pullage. I know a few people that like to eat them, to each his own. I have destroyed a couple panther martins on some relatively big pickerel. Bass action is good if you don’t mind the slower fishing.

Fly fishing for bluegills is always fun. Seems like the longer we have to wait for spring the lighter the gear gets so the action is more fun. Crappie action has been decent with a jig on a bobber in some of the usual hot spots, especially the spillways.

Trout are being stocked in Maryland rivers. You will have to check the DNR websites for locations and amounts. The Delaware ponds will be stocked soon enough for our first round of trout fishing on March 1st.

I know, I know, some people hate the stocked pond fishing, it is like fish in a barrel, but it is still fun, and great action for the kids. Not to mention you pay for the trout stamp, that pays for the stocked fish, so you may as well catch and filet. Many folks would like to see some catch and release areas only in the streams so the action would last longer through the cooler parts of the season. I think that would be a great idea.

New signs at the drive on beaches to warn the cars not to drive onto the beach. This summer we will see how that pans out. Submitted photos

The salt action has been great for charters getting out there for tautog. Not so much of anything else right now in our area. Lewes, Indian River, and Ocean City boats have been going out regularly. Despite the crazy warm air temperatures the ocean water is in the 40s.

Winter flounder season started on Feb. 11th to April 10th with a size limit of 12 inches and 2 fish per angler. I still have some of the old school yellow bead rigs people used back in the day. Get some catfood in a can, punch some holes in it and use it like chum, tamp the bottom of the area you are fishing aggressively. Yes, you will need a boat unless you can get to a slough outlet by kayak or on foot. If there are winter flounder around the action and smell will attract them. They are curious fish and will look for a meal.

It has been a long time since I have seen anyone target them, they are far and few between these days. We try at times around the inland bays but have not had much luck in years past, still a day on the water. The other thing is they are so small, even at keeper size, you need to limit out for a meal.

Hunters are still blasting away at snowgeese. They (the geese, not hunters) are still rafting at the beach in evenings and tearing up fields by day.

The new fishing guide and rules are now out and in most bait shops, and participating locations.

The Delmarva Outdoors Expo is coming up and we are getting excited to be involved this year. Stay tuned for all the fun and educational attractions this year. The organizers have added more hands on activities for your enjoyment. They are always looking for more vendors, so check them out online at www.delmarvaoutdoorsexpo.com.

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

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