Wondering if we’ll be down with blues

Rich King spotted this seal at Masseys Landing swimming the ditch looking for food. (Submitted photos)

The most exciting outdoor activity this week was the Polar Plunge. A few thousand people jumped into the ocean from Rehoboth Beach to help raise money for the Special Olympics of Delaware. People come from all over to witness and participate in this yearly event.

Many of us are sitting around day dreaming about the spring bluefish run we have had the past three years.

Will they come in again this year? When will they come in if they do? Will they come close to the beach or stay offshore? Will they eat everything while they are here?

Before the blues started showing up along the coast, they would stay offshore and maybe someone would get one or two from the surf.

There are many theories why all of a sudden these big spring blues decided to start running the coast line. It’s not for the outlet shopping on route 1. One theory is they are looking for food since their numbers jumped up so high,and they are an aggressive predator.

Dave Beebe, owner of Lighthouse View bait and tackle at the Cape Henlopen State Park Fishing Pier, has noticed the spot and croaker fishing has gone downhill heavily ever since these spring blues started hitting our coast line. Kingfish in the surf has been the same each year.

The blues are either eating all of these fish or pushing them offshore to deeper water. The first year they were here, blues were spread from Virginia to New York in huge schools. Whatever the reason, we will see if they show up again this year.

Check your gear

In the meantime, get that gear ready. Clean and service your reels. Check your rods for any issues. You can use a cotton ball to check ceramic rod guides. A small crack or nick in the ceramic can cut lines. Rub a cotton ball on the guide’s inside, it will leave behind some cotton where the crack or nick is located. Guides can be replaced by any local rod builder and some bait shops have the service as well.

Check your line and spool your reels if the line is old. Replace your hooks on lures, tie new terminal tackle,and keep dreaming. Spring will behere before you know it.

Sitting on the perch

Fishing right now is mostly white perch and hopefully soon more yellow perch for Delaware. Crappie fishing has been OK, the ice coming and going has been an issue. The upper Chesapeake is seeing some killer yellow perch action. Some anglers are landing twenty to thirty pound striped bass over there as well. Winter fishing is in full swing. Icy guides and frozen reels are the standard on the really cold days.

Seals all around

Seals, our yearly winter tourists are here in decent numbers this year. They are being spotted sunning on beaches and pulling up on mud banks and sandbars around the inland bays.

Flies tied at the Saltwater Fly anglers of Delaware Club, which meets on Saturdays at Lewes Harbor Marina.

Many people do not realize seals migrate here every year and spend the winter in our waters. It is a treat to see one but make sure you stay 150 feet away from them, they are federally protected. I know they look like cute little water puppies, but touching one can be dangerous — they bite.

The seals that are not afraid or wary of humans are usually the year old ones that have not had much human contact.

Talk fishin’

If you want a good time to talk fishing and learn. Come to the Saltwater Fly Anglers Of Delaware Club’s flie tie meets at Lewes Harbor Marina this Saturday at 9 AM. This is a great way to learn about fly fishing, tying and telling fish stories.

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

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