Find a new place you've never been and fish it

By Rich King
Posted 6/29/23

Summer showed up and set the temperatures to hot plus humid. When you walk outside in the morning at the crack of dawn and your shirt sticks as you cross the driveway, you know it's …

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Find a new place you've never been and fish it


Summer showed up and set the temperatures to hot plus humid. When you walk outside in the morning at the crack of dawn and your shirt sticks as you cross the driveway, you know it's summertime. When is fall again? 


It was a lovely mild spring. I will miss the cool mornings on the beach, followed by my gardens. But the vegetables are all popping like mad, the bonus of the dead of summer. Is 50 watermelon plants too many?   


Staying hydrated is definitely a thing now, we are in that time of year. I’ve gotten so used to it being cool out, I forget to take more water with me. The igloo five-gallon water dispenser is now in the back of the beach buggy. Ice-cold garden hose well water for the win.  


The fish are already hydrated, and they don't even know they are wet. The summer variety has gotten more active. The croaker action around the inland bays is on fire in many areas. Loading up a cooler full of croaker doesn't take too long, even from the parking lot of Massey’s Landing. They are a decent size for the table but could be a little meatier. That just takes a little time, they grow rather quickly.


Flounder is decent action inshore and offshore. Try drifting minnows or jigging softies in the canals. The surf has plenty of flounder along the ledge in the surf and in the cuts. When you walk into the water at the beach in Delaware, that little drop-off is the ledge. The waves stir up the ledge sand and that food gets into the water. Fish move along the beaches hunting and feeding in that area. That is why we cast roughly into the area behind the first breaking wave. Where that wave lifts up, or forms, the ledge is just behind that spot. Cast to there. 


This time of year at the beach, you will just need top and bottom rigs with Fishbites for the smaller summer fish. Artificial baits tend to keep the scavenger catches down as well as crabs. Use a larger surf rig with a chunk of cut bait or squid for any predators or scavengers you want to catch. A mullet rig for bluefish is always a popular option.  Bluefish action has been random. Spanish mackerel are also starting to show up. Keep a spoon at the ready for some fast casting. A sting silver works well, too. I always have a lure rod rigged and at the ready.


The inlets are seeing triggers and sheepshead. Sand fleas are the best baits for those.  Plenty of other fish are moving through and around the inlets. It's fun to just fish and see what you will pull. The tides change the action constantly. A guy got a lobster last week fishing the rock wall. Big conger eels are possible, too. 


It is a lot of fun to fish for the short striped bass at the inlet at night, with sand fleas. Get about a half of a bucket of fleas. Find a nice semi-dark spot. Seed the water with a handful to get the fish excited. Then throw a baited 6/0 or 4/0 circle hook with a couple fleas on it into the seeded area. Don't use any weight, just toss the baited hook in there and hold on. It's fun "fleaing" for bass. Don't shine your head lamp on the water. Your eyes will get used to the low light and the bridge puts off plenty.


The beaches are producing more kingfish now, perfect for tacos. Top and bottom rigs with Fishbites bloodworms, blue crab or clam formulas are working great. Bloodworms have gotten so expensive some shops aren't carrying them and anglers are tired of the expense. You can always dig up sandworms around the inland bays and Delaware Bay mud flats. Dead low tide can produce some nice worms. But it is some work, which will give you an idea why they are so expensive these days. 


Crabbing is great around the bays. The crab pots are filling up. Unfortunately, as usual, there is always someone out stealing crabs or entire pots. Long Neck has someone this year taking lots of crabs and pots around Pot Nets Bayside area again. It is a shame for those who just want to catch a few crabs. Back in the day there was a way to fix that issue permanently - with a small hole in the boat, but it is frowned upon these days.  DNREC is spread so thin they can't camp out at night and try to nail these folks.  


Get out and fish, there are all kinds of options. Hit your favorite spots. Run the tides, fish predawn to dawn light. Find a new place you've never been and fish it. I know too many people that aren't comfortable fishing new spots. Instead they fish the same spots over and over with the same results, most not so great. It kills the fun.


There are many time and spot options. I think that is my favorite part of fishing - deciding what you want to go catch, then where you are going to do that and how once you get there. That's the fun of fishing, catching is a bonus. 

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