Scouting some favorite springtime spots

By Rich King
Posted 4/27/23

Let’s hear it for spring cooling things down and dousing my gardens with needed water, not to mention constant storms create pressure drops which turn on the fish bite. The fishing has been …

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Scouting some favorite springtime spots


Let’s hear it for spring cooling things down and dousing my gardens with needed water, not to mention constant storms create pressure drops which turn on the fish bite. The fishing has been decent for those putting in the time. By time, I mean Dave Moore spent a solid 12 hours on the beach the other day and caught one 38-inch striped bass at Assateague.

That is how putting in the time works. You can fish an entire day for that one bite, no bite or a constant bite. It all depends what you are targeting, what fish are around and the conditions, none of which you can really control. Then the fish you aren’t targeting, of course, bite the most. It makes it sound like a daunting task but this is why we fish. A few days before that, Dave caught a lot of fish, putting in the same amount of time.

The white perch bite is still good up and down the coast in the waterways. Short bass are mixed in with the perch for some added fun. The short bass are in the surf zone more for some rat wrangling, as we call it with swim shads. It is fun action with ultralight gear or lighter surf fishing gear.

Shad are being caught at the Indian River Inlet and the surf — fun action on spoons.

Bluefish are showing up but not in the numbers everyone has been hoping. It might be the one and done spring run or a slow stick around, we will see. No one has really checked headboat beach yet.

The black drum bite is the hotter surf fishing bite, unless you count skates and dog fish as the hot bite. There have been several striped bass caught along the bay beaches by anglers targeting black drum. That action has been random using crabs, clam and sand fleas for bait. Blue crab is excellent bait, just cut it up and hook it through the knuckle. Clam is hard to get onto a hook. It’s best to use nylon pantyhose to help tie it on or the flexible string. Sand fleas are thick in the surf, just dig or use a small net.

I like to explore places at dead low tides to see what structure is revealed. It’s great to see all the life that has grown into the jetty at north Bowers Beach. We caught a few catfish on the DS Custom Tackle glow bullet float rigs with Fishbites blue crab for bait. Then we headed over to the bait shop, Bowers Bayside Bait and Kayak Rental, for some snacks and to say hello to April and Jamey. It’s a cool little bait and snack shop. They are adding kayak rentals this year. I love fishing up on the bay beaches and inlets during the summer. The action is decent and the crowds are a little less than down in Sussex County.

Scouting the marsh banks around the inland bays, I went back to see if I could recover a favorite bucktail and learned what the hole on the bank looked like empty at low tide. There is a lot of structure in eroded tree roots along bay banks. The exposed grass and mussel areas are good to remember when the tide is in to look for flounder ambushing bait fish.

Always explore areas you fish at a dead low tide and check out the exposed structure. It is good to see where the most growth is located and the like. This can give you a better chance of finding a fish in that rip there at high tide. Where a fish might sit to ambush bait is easier to find when it is exposed at low tide.

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