High winds a reminder to secure items during storms

By Rich King
Posted 1/10/24

We went from rain for the weekend right into a monsoon for 12 hours. Many people were calling this a hyped-up storm. Those same people are looking for everything they used to have in their yard. It …

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High winds a reminder to secure items during storms


We went from rain for the weekend right into a monsoon for 12 hours. Many people were calling this a hyped-up storm. Those same people are looking for everything they used to have in their yard. It is always a good idea to secure everything before these fast storms. You never know what will happen. Most of us in Delaware live too close to a body of water to not secure our belongings to keep them out of the environment, especially those mini dumpsters on wheels. When those blow over around the inland bay communities, the whole area is covered in floating trash bags that wash into the inland bays.

There is standing water all over the county this morning. If some of the developers see a few spots, you all are getting charged for more waterfront. True story: We had a massive amount of rain years ago, and what looked like a large pond formed in a low-lying field. It was there for almost a month. One day some people pulled up, got out of their vehicles and started fishing.

Saturated ground did not help during the windy storm — we lost a lot of trees around the area. If a tree falls in the forest, can anyone hear it? The answer is no, you can’t hear it fall, but you can hear it land 200 feet behind you in a high wind with a loud boom. That sent me back inside for the rest of the night and not worried much about the few branches that had just hit the house I was inspecting.

I always tell people stay out of the woods in high winds. I also stay as far away as the height of the trees. Now I am dropping all of the small thin pines on the property. Never call storm predictions hype. Think of the conditions and then judge for yourself. We just got hit with high winds and surf, with heavy rain, on ground that is completely saturated and nowhere for water to drain with the bays being full at low tide. That spells more than usual flooding than predicted. The Chesapeake Bay saw 80 mph gusts. It was very flooded in places and still is this morning. Next week we might be looking at snow.

The beach combing should be pretty good and there is always metal detecting. I picked up a new stainless steel sand scoop for metal detecting, but it can double for a sand flea scoop and cull out the tiny ones. I can add some screen to sift for the smaller ones, too. Nothing like buying versatile tools.
Fishing has been typical winter conditions, but now we have to wait for the water to calm down and clear. We were already waiting for it to calm down. Fish are always hungry so we count on that and use live bait in cloudy conditions to help. Lures and flies are fun but if you want to catch in dirty water, bait is much easier. Crappie fishing is picking up. Grass shrimp are easy to catch scraping bulkheads and grass banks — perfect for white perch.

The surf has been dogfish and skates before and definitely after this storm. Those migratory bass off the coast a mile or so might still be around, but it will be a day or so before anyone goes out to check. The inlets and bridges were producing tautog. Massey’s Ditch sees the occasional keeper-sized tautog. Mostly it is small fish after small fish in a not too large area to fish.

Boats will get back out soon enough, but I’m not sure for how long. Looking at long-term forecasts, it is a busy month.
The storm rearranged some places down south. I noticed one pier system with a concrete frame and blow-out panels for the walking deck. The state needs to go look at this for the pier in Cape Henlopen State Park. The panels are easy to replace after storms instead of an entire pier. Ice would be an issue obviously up here, but we have that metal one at Woodland Beach for a model.

If you are fishing cold conditions for perch and the little fish, use a set-up with mono and not braid. Freezing braid is no fun. I get lazy and forget to switch out and go anyway, thinking it will be fine. It is never fine and I spend half the time getting wet braid off frozen metal. Mono is much easier to deal with in the cold and, let’s face it, you don’t need braid for a 12-ounce white perch. I have an old beater set-up I use for winter fishing. One of those $50 starter combos from the bait shop the fake surf anglers use is perfect. You know, that bass rod you see in the surf rod holder with 10-pound mono line in the summer. It’s perfect for wintertime, catching perch and crappie in the ponds and cricks.

The warmer days are nice in winter but I would like a really long snow day.

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