Wintertime activities: watch a lunar eclipse and stargaze

From Lewes Harbor Marina … The monster 19.8 pound Tautog that angler Steve Kiibler of Lewes caught off of the Lewes Town Lady. Congratulations Steve and Capt Mark Steeleman! Contact … Captain Mark on the Lewes Town Lady @ 302-542-5497 or 302-645-8862. Submitted photos

Winter shows up, then we get the spring teaser. It is not pitch black dark at 5 anymore, days are getting a tad longer, so there is some good news.

We have the Super Blood Wolf moon on deck, a total lunar eclipse coming up soon, very cool to see. Get ready for that on Sunday, Jan. 20, into Monday, Jan. 21. Just after midnight will be the full eclipse and it will last a while. The entire eclipse process will take about three hours. Cameras are charged and ready — this new hobby is killing my wallet.

The winter is one of the best times to stargaze — the sky is so much clearer with less humidity. Unfortunately all the good stuff happens late at night, but even in the early evening after 6 p.m. you can catch some shooting stars. Back in the day the blood moon was feared, used in prophecies, and all kinds of myths and lore of old. Do a Google search — the history is fascinating.

Hunters are blasting away at snows and hardly making a dent in the populations. The rafting flocks on the sea in front of the beaches are huge. That tiny stretch of Broadkill Beach at high tide is loaded with geese. The sky is full of V formations as far as you can see some days.

Duck hunters doing well

Duck hunters are doing well when they can get some birds to drop in on their decoys. I watched a goose try to land in a field puddle, or whale wallow, the other day. Poor fella dropped those legs in for a landing and went head over webbed feet That puddle was about 2 inches deep. Would have made for some wild photography. I was busy concentrating on the red tail hawks, that were now focused on that goose. So the hunters are not the only ones doing a little waterfowling.

Fishing has been great for the boats that get out for Tautog and sea bass. Lewes Harbor Marina checked in a “togzilla” at 19.8 pounds. There have been a lot of large double digit fish hitting the scales. Boats are either limiting out or at least getting some fish in the box.

Spiney Dogfish caught in the surf … Dennis McCain … “Outstanding day to be at the shore. Temps great with a breeze at our backs. 1st time girlfriend went surf fishing. It was a dogfish day. Salted mackerel was the key. No hits on shrimp or squid.”

Striped bass fishing? Well if you aren’t seeing a hundred pictures online of boats lined up Jersey side catching fish, then you also know it isn’t that good. People are marking fish and bait but having a hard time hooking up. There have been fish brought to the docks, but not like in the past years.

“All of the fish are miles offshore, there are acres of them out there.” My question is why? Food? Population down and they don’t need to spread out for said food? The assessment is coming out soon, and previews from some that are doing peer reviews are not looking favorable. We will have to see but that is the jist I am getting from the “experts”.

We have seen a lot of pictures online of 50 to 60 pound fish around Virginia being caught in the Chesapeake Bay area down there. That is about the biggest fish we have seen this year, and don’t expect it to change up much at all. The fish might just stay off our coast for a while like they in years past during mild winters. At least the resident short bass fishing is still fun and productive.

Pond hopping for bass and pickerel is good and we haven’t had to deal with ice yet. DNREC will stick trout in March for the spring pond season. Other than that it is white perch and yellow perch time.

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

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