Weather and crowds make it harder but fishing’s still decent

Mixed bag of trout, kingfish and triggers caught by the crew on the Katydid. Submitted photos

Despite the wacky weather fishing has been decent some days and not so much others. The weekends have seen the worst fishing, most likely due to the crowds. That is mostly for the surf and bay fishing. Offshore anglers are doing well, especially on the tuna bite.

The offshore bite for yellow fin has been on fire, and for the most part the boats are loading up with fish faster than they can get out and back. That is good news for anyone who wants to take a charter and is worried about the skunk, I haven’t seen too many boats get that skunk, yet.

Flounder fishing is still producing a lot of small fish in the surf, the fishing piers, and the bays. You have to pick through many an undersized fish to get that keeper. White or chartreuse gulp has been the best bait to use and minnows. The bigger the bait presentation the better chances at a larger flounder. Big bait equals big fish.

The spot bite has been off and on at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier. Speaking of big bait these small spot are perfect for larger flounder. Just live line one when you catch it and see what tries to eat it. We go to a place and catch spot in one area, then move to another section and throw the spot out for bait and hammer flounder.

5.6-pound Bowfin caught by Kayleen Vazquez while she was here on vacation. Bowfin are often mistaken for the invasive northern snakehead.

The surf has been random action depending on where you are fishing. The southern beaches seem to have more action than the beaches at Cape Henlopen State Park. Lot of small snapper blues running the surf in schools. Pompano are more and more abundant and are rather early this year. Not only are they early but some are a lot bigger than we usually catch. Top and bottom rigs with fishbites bloodworms or sand flea formula. You can dig up sand fleas and use the smaller ones whole, or cut up the larger ones to fit the smaller hooks on your rigs. In this case smaller bait helps stay on smaller hooks for the smaller fish.

Skates, dogfish, rays and sharks are plentiful. If you aren’t catching them then you need to move and try another spot. Weekends that is nearly impossible unless you are fishing before 7 a.m. or after 5 p.m. The weekdays the beaches are practically vacant.

The short striped bass action has been fun in the creeks and tidal rivers. Along the grass banks of the inland bays as well. They are biting in the surf as well on occasion as they move up and down the beaches in schools. Fishbites for bait or bloodworms. You can use small swim shads, bucktails and spec rigs for casting.

Crabbing has been good for trot lines, pots, and baskets or rings. Anglers setting lines or rings will fish for a bit then start the process of checking for crabs. It makes for a fun day of fishing and crabbing.

Pompano caught in the surf last week near Fenwick Island by Jim Thompson.

Hitting up rivers and creeks for white perch and big catfish has been fun for many anglers. Snakeheads are being found in ponds they weren’t in before, I am hearing, and that action has been on fire this year.

Piranha at Becks Pond

Becks Pond recently produced a pacu or piranha. It is being called a piranha due to the sharp teeth description by the angler to DNREC. It was released due to a broken line, so if anyone is fishing Becks be on the lookout for a strange tropical fish that definitely should not be there.

Pond hopping is excellent action. Top water action is picking up more and more. We are seeing a lot of the big bugs the fish like to eat. I don’t think I have had this many dragonflies on my property ever. They are everywhere this year and so are many other things. Frogs are everywhere in huge numbers. It is very loud at night near the field puddles and tax ditches. All of this rain is keeping my mud from drying up.

James Strab caught this possible piranha in Becks Pond.

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

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