Weekend’s looking decent and fishing’s good in many areas

Dave Moore with a 53-inch bull red drum from Assateague Island. Submitted photos

We are dodging a bit of a bullet with hurricane Michael, which is good news for all the War On The Shore surf fishing tournament participants. We are looking at a pretty decent weekend with fall-like temperatures. The fishing has been good in many areas.

The surf has been producing a lot of summer snapper or cocktail bluefish on mullet rigs or chunks on top and bottom rigs. Cut mullet and cut bluefish have been great baits. Some flounder in the surf hitting mullet rigs on the retrieve just behind the first breaking wave. Good place to jig for them or the bayside of the point.

The blues are around the inland bays mixed in with short striped bass schools and some shad around the Indian River Inlet.

Short striped bass in the surf have really picked up. They are schooling up in the waterway but many have started to roam the surf. They are getting fatter and hit pretty hard. Most anglers fishing for bluefish with cut bait or mullet rigs are hitting them. Spoons and bucktails will work as well for you lure lobbers.

Offshore doing well

Offshore charter boats are doing well for sea bass, trigger, sheepshead, and flounder on structure. Lot of triggers this year, more so than last year.

Short striped bass are thicker in the surf now … Alex Tkachuk

Tautog action has been decent offshore and not too bad at the Indian River Inlet.

Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier has been great action for little bluefish, striped bass and flounder, Spot action has been decent. There are mullet all over the flats there and at Lewes beach.

Mullet with a cast net

Catching mullet with a cast net is easy. Look for spots of disturbed or nervous looking water. You will be able to see the direction the fish are swimming. Literally will look like a tiny wake pointing towards the direction they are heading.

Throw a cast net in front of them, even a bad toss will produce a decent haul. If you have skills you can fill a 5-gallon bucket in no time. A lot of anglers freeze them for next year and for times when the mullet have left and there are still fish around.

If the mullet are hard to find wander Lewes beach and the flats beach at the pier. If not try down in Delaware Seashore State Park at the bay access areas below Dewey Beach. Even the Indian River Inlet is a good place to look along the rocks. They have been running a little deep on the higher tides in the flats.

Pond hopping has been fun for ditch pickles (pickerel). They are hitting anything that moves and hiding under the algae mats in the ponds, ambushing bait. Bass action has been good and of course the snakeheads are still hitting hard.

Weekend looking good

Despite the weather this week, the weekend is looking good for fishing and being outdoors. Water will be a little stirred up along the coast. However the fishing should not change up much. The air temperatures dropping will help get the striped bass even more excited as they school up and feed heavily.

Dolphin action has been heavy along the beaches.

Lot of horses being ridden on the park beaches. Great place to take the horses for the day. You don’t have to air them down either.
Dave Moore and several folks have been fishing hard at Assateague for the drum run and doing well all week.

“Another epic morning shooting a TV segment with Outdoors Delmarva … unfortunately he (Andrew Tawes) only got one of the fish on film. Tune in to watch which one … managed a 40″ red pre sunrise, a 40″ after sunrise, then a double-header 10 minutes apart with a 47″ and a massive 54″ red with a 30″ girth “

Spot has been the choice bait but sand fleas will also work. Kingfish heads have always been a popular bait with the North Carolina anglers and work up here as well.

Hopefully this action lasts a little longer and we would love to see a few of these caught in the tournament.

Bull reds

Matt Miller with his bull red drum from Bethany Beach.

Just when you start asking if anyone has caught or tried to catch a bull red from the surf near Ocean City, this happens. Matt Miller posted a picture to the DSF group page the other day of one of the three bull reds he got in the surf in Bethany Beach.

We all know the drum come into Assateague, but they have to show up in our waters, if even a little bit. We are right next door and the conditions are the same. We catch juvenile and slot sized red drum all fall into winter along the beaches and back bays. There have been a few big reds gotten over the years near the walls in the Delaware Bay.

These guys kayaked out bait like for shark fishing and weren’t targeting reds, but just fishing. I’m guessing these bulls are off the beaches on the farther sad bars eating kingfish, spot, and crabs.

Matt Miller … “Little unconventional and I wish I could say it was all finesse. Been successful using similar strategy to kayaking baits out for shark. 250 yards with cut bait. Ended up catching a total of three Wednesday and Thursday. Wish I could say it was all skill. It was a thrilling fight and glad we were able to safely release her to swim another day.”

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

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