Winter, geese have arrived in Delaware

7dsn outdoors jetty by .

The new jetty at Bowers Beach will be a hit with local fishermen. (Special to the Delaware State News/Rich King)

Old Man Winter showed up in full force this week and temperatures plummeted.

Of course I don’t have to tell any of you that we are all living it right now. The one group that is excited for colder weather are the hunters.

Snow geese are starting to show up in full force across the state.

Outdoors column logo FINAL by . Tome Deptula, of Dewey Beach and his crew managed to bag a limit of Canadian geese the other day in the Smyrna area.

Bombay Hook is covered with thousands of snow geese, as is Gordons Pond in Cape Henlopen. According to DNREC, thousands moved into the area last week after the cold snap and are all over Kent and Sussex counties.

The duck hunters are hoping to see better numbers soon. So far, it has been slow according to Mike Andrews of Dover.

Deer harvests

Handgun season for deer is open until Jan. 9. Shotgun season runs Jan. 16-23 and muzzleloader Jan. 25-31.

Crossbow and archery is open until the end of January.
According to a DNREC report released last week. deer hunters have harvested 12,040 deer. Coincidentaly, it is the same amount harvested the year before, but there is still time to increase those numbers before the seasons’ closing.

Fishing slows

Fishing has slowed down for striped bass, but boats are still finding fish near the Cape May area according to Captain Brent of the Katydid.

The Delaware Bay areas that were hot have turned off. Either those fish went south or back to feed on the bait near Cape May.

The surf has been a dogfish and skate fest. White perch action is great in the tidal creeks up and down the state. Yellow perch action has heated up with prespawn fish moving in closer to spillways.

Tom Hudecheck of Lewes was hammering yellows near Milton over the weekend. The crappie bass action he said was picking up as well.

Pickerel are always fun to catch during the winter months on small spoons.

Rafael Vazquez was hitting some nice short striped bass along Route 9, even during the cold snap.

Tautog action has been good for the charters out of Lewes, once they find the fish the catches have been decent.

Shiners are a hot bait for large mouth bass this time of year, check your local bait shop for availability.

New jetty

Bowers Beach now has a new jetty on the north side of the Murderkill River. It was completed a couple of weeks ago.

The structure is impressive to say the least.

Eventually, the channel will be dredged again and the north beach will be restored, which is great news for the homeowners. Extreme high tides have washed the beach out to their back porches.

Everyone is looking forward to fishing the new jetty.  You have to go see it, a description doesn’t do it justice.

According to Bowers Beach councilman Bob McDevitt, the south jetty will not be replaced due to a foundation issue.

Fly sessions

The Saturday fly tying sessions with the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware started Jan. 2 and will continue into March.

If you want to learn about fly fishing, fresh or saltwater in Delaware, this is the group you need to talk with. They are always willing to help people with information and instruction.

The Saturday sessions are held at Lewes Harbor Marina from 8 a.m. until around noon.

Odds and ends

There is a possible swell headed this way next week and the surfers are waxing their boards in anticipation. The winter surfing is much better than summer here in Delmarva. … This time of year all state parks have free access. We usually see some nice days in the winter that you can get out and enjoy the outdoors. … There are still a lot of whales and dolphins in the area.  You should be able to observe more seals on the rocks of the haystacks and walls in the Harbor of Safe Refuge.  Hopefully the group shows up at Masseys Landing again this year. … Bird watchers are being treated to aerial shows by northern harriers. Harlequin ducks are at the Indian River Inlet  A couple of ring neck pheasants have been spotted near the Augustine wildlife area. These are a non-native species introduced for hunting. … You can follow the Delaware Birding Facebook page for reports and hot spots to see and report species.

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

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