Weekend warmup should hopefully bring more fish

877-pound bluefin tuna that set the new North Carolina bluefin tuna record caught by retired brigadier general Scott Chambers (kneeling left). Also pictured are the crew … Pablo Resto, Charlie Burris, Dale Scuse, Robert Ewing, Robby Maxwell, Captain Dennis Endee. (Submitted photos)

Well this winter just won’t let go! Last year was about the same except by now we were wrangling rats in the surf. Those are short striped bass for those not in the “know”.

The bluefish were not far behind. Right now it is short striped bass in the tidal creeks, inland bays, and along the Delaware Bay upper beaches from Battery Park to Woodland Beach. There are white perch mixed in with the bass schools and everyone is using blood worms. You can get larger perch to hit small rattle traps, but that takes more time and work.

The freshwater action has been hot for bass, pickerel, blue gills and even some decent northern snakehead catches. Pond hopping is always fun … looks like spring is finally here.

The signs on land are there for the fish. The Henbit is flowering big time in the fields, those little purple flowers and that usually indicates it is time to start catching summer flounder. Trees are in full bloom, especially bradford pears. The land indications are there, but the fish are not. The problem is the water is nine degrees cooler than it was last year. Hopefully this weekend warmup will start to change that and fish will start hitting in the surf and surrounding cooler waters.

There are schools of bunker all the way up the coast to about the middle of New Jersey. We have everything in place for fish to feed, we just need the fish. The spawning areas of the Nanticoke River are on fire for striped bass. These are not allowed to be kept, but you can catch. Personally I think we should just leave the spawning bass alone until they are done.

Bluefin tuna record

A local Townsend angler, retired Brigadier General Scott Chambers, has set the new North Carolina Bluefin tuna record at 877 pounds.

“We were trolling dead bait on 130-pound line test on a 130 Shimano rod and reel, aboard the charter boat A-Salt Weapon fishing out of Pirates Cove Marina in Manteo. We knew we had a big fsh on and once I was in the chair, I could really tell. You don’t know until it breaks the surface just how big the fish is and when that happened, everyone looked at each other in disbelief,” he said.

“The real work started when we had to get the fish in the boat. It took eight grown men and a block and tackle, an hour and a half just to get the tuna into the boat. We had to remove a rod holder to take the door out and then the captain had to run a line from the windlass up front just to get it in the boat. Captain Dennis Endee looked at me once we were done and said … Can we go home now? I just laughed and said yes sir I am done.

“I am very excited for my friend Captain Dennis Endee, he is a great angler and fishing guide. Every time we fish it is an adventure. I can’t wait to see what happens on our next trip I already booked for this summer!”

Congratulations sir … that is one heck of a catch!

Great weekend on tap, Expo set April 27-29

We are looking at a great weekend with a little less wind and much warmer temperatures. Get off that couch and get outside, gang, it is going tobe a great weekend.

April 27-29 is the Delmarva Outdoors Expo. You will not want to miss this event. We have so much going on that weekend it is hard to list it all. From the dock dogs to drone racing, a jeep show and shine, cornhole tournaments, firearms simulators, hag trough, kids fishing by DNREC, casting competitions, and auctions. Beer gardens and food trucks.

Come out and bring the whole family … we have tripled the amount of vendors from last year and all kinds of fun activities for the kids.

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

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