Some schools on the move, making their way south

By Rich King
Posted 10/11/23

Well now, another coastal storm this weekend, maybe. I mean, are you even surprised? At least weekday fishing has been decent enough. Work kept cutting into my fishing time, so I had to switch work …

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Some schools on the move, making their way south


Well now, another coastal storm this weekend, maybe. I mean, are you even surprised? At least weekday fishing has been decent enough. Work kept cutting into my fishing time, so I had to switch work to the weekends. Tuesday is the new Saturday.

When weather gets in the way, we just adapt. With constant weekends shut down by bad weather, I changed my weekend schedule. When you work for yourself, you can take all the unpaid vacation time you want. You can also reschedule your work days to get out of the way of your fishing days. At least I keep telling myself that to justify my new weekend.

The surf fishing beaches are slowly rebuilding from the last barrage of storm surge tidal flooding. The fishing changed up a bit, too. Summer fish are still here but slower and their numbers are dropping. They are on the move.
The inland bays dropped 20 degrees in the past 30 days. It dropped 10 degrees in that last week of flooding. This triggers striped bass to start getting on the move. Large fish are already showing up a couple states north of us. Will Delaware see a striped bass run along the coast? Knowing that will depend on if you are out there, if it happens. Schools will swim right along our beaches on their way south. Being there helps a great deal, then you have to hope for a bite. The fickleness of fishing.

There are still kingfish, pin fish, northern puffers and spot around the waterways and beaches, and occasional pompano, but not many. Fishbites bloodworm formula is great, especially if you are fishing with a bunch of kids. It makes it much cleaner on the bait tender.

Bluefish are around but have been random catches. Mullet have moved out along the bay beaches. There is a lot of food in the water to compete with fishing. Use bait and lures. I like to cast lures, or fly fish while soaking bait. It gives me something to do while I wait with bait. Then again, relaxing and waiting for a bite is nice, too. It depends on the mood.

Bull red drum have been caught in the Delaware Bay in the Harbor of Safe Refuge by a few boat anglers last week. Assateague National Seashore is producing bull reds mostly at night but some during the day, too. Anglers are using spot for bait. Bucks usually has spot available for anglers. It’s a great bait and tackle shop with food and supplies.

Flounder are around the inland bays, surf and offshore. They are still feeding heavy and will move out eventually. These temperature drops do get the fish feeding more. You might find a few pompano still around. As fish migrate south, they tend to move along the coast, except striped bass, they like to run the shipping lanes way off the coast. Sand fleas are still around to catch for bait.

Sheepshead and tautog action at the inlets and wrecks and reefs has been great. There are a lot of throw-back tog but still good action. I saw a guy catch an octopus the other day at the Indian River Inlet. Those are always a surprising catch. Most times they catch you and you just let them go, or they let you go. Either way, they are not a fun catch to get off a hook. Thankfully they tend to do that themselves. That beak is sharp, and it’s like holding onto an angry gull with eight arms flapping around grabbing everything.

A lot of cool treasures are being found on the beaches. New sea glass is revealed all the time as the beaches rebuild. Beach combing is great exercise and the perfect excuse to walk a beach. I really don’t need an excuse but sometimes it helps. Delaware Surf Fishing plans on starting beach clean-ups in a couple weeks on weekends again.

Maryland DNR has the fall trout stocking schedule online. Keep an eye on that for some fun fishing. I am looking forward to some fly fishing this fall for trout and the like. Now I just have to wait for that Tuesday weekend.

If you start chunking bunker for striped bass or spot for red drum, be prepared to pick through many a scavenger. Sharks to rays, etc., are all still here but that will change soon as well. The water is chilly, and probably won’t warm up until spring.

Speaking to that, if you are on the water wear a PFD, especially this time of year. The warm days and cooler water are deceptive. It isn’t hypothermic but close enough to be uncomfortable and unhealthy. It’s time to break out the waders and put on the boots.

Crabbing and clamming is still great. Crab pot season ends Dec. 1. There is plenty of time to load up some pots or do some handlining. With the coming mild winter, we will be crabbing in a few areas year-round.

I’m looking forward to winter clamming in the seasonally closed areas. You don’t have to get as wet in the newly open areas coming in December. The shallows hold a great deal of clams.

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