Anglers getting a nice spring blast for fishing

By Rich King
Posted 6/23/21

Spring popped back up for a few days. It was a nice reprieve from that heat wave last week. Water temperatures will drop a tad in some areas. It won’t affect fishing much at all this time of …

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Anglers getting a nice spring blast for fishing


Spring popped back up for a few days. It was a nice reprieve from that heat wave last week. Water temperatures will drop a tad in some areas. It won’t affect fishing much at all this time of year. It’s just much better for us anglers, and that breeze off the water feels good too.

That’s much better than the hot, fly-filled breeze off the marshes. Ticks are out of control this year and so are the chiggers. I live in the woods — going outside is an adventure.

Surf anglers are catching a variety of the summer fish, or it is all skates and dogfish. The summer fish are all good table fare, catching with bloodworms or Fishbites for the best baits. Top and bottom rigs (high low) with sharp hooks for the win. If the fish aren’t biting, try getting some bait on the bottom. Use a single drop hook, no float. Crabs and scavengers will be an issue. Holding your rod to feel the hits helps to move it away from crabs.

Bluefish catches are scarcer this year. Even the summer blues are barely arriving. Start using the DS Custom Tackle Modified Mullet rig. These are designed to keep the mullet in place so you use up less bait and catch more fish. Holding the mullet in place increases the chances of a bluefish getting hooked.

Regular mullet rigs, when in the water, the float will “hammer” the mullet to the end of the shaft. The hook winds up behind the head. Bluefish hit from behind. They eat the whole fish, except the heads, and miss the hook. The modified mullet rig fixes that issue by keeping the fish on the shaft and hook in the anal opening area. Using these rigs will increase your catches for that whooping three-fish creel limit. More commercial limits for bluefish are coming soon too.

Amazing and sad to see this fish need help rebuilding stocks.

The yearly bloodworm shortage is starting to happen. Fishbites for the rescue. Some places are trying lug worms too. We did a Fishbites versus bloodworms comparison and the Fishbites held up rather well. Nothing replaces the real thing, but sometimes it can even out fish the real thing.

Remember to keep Fishbites, all flavors, refrigerated when not being used. The strips will fade in color and dry out.

Zebco Surf Fishing Tournaments are coming soon by DSF, DS Custom Tackle and Fishbites. The title says it all. Anglers are using Zebcos to catch fish at the beach and scoring the catches. This is going to be a blast. I can’t wait to see who wins the title King Of The Googans. Prizes are donated by the sponsors and the tournament is free. Delaware Surf Fishing is doing all kinds of fun free events this year at the beaches. Check their website for details.

Sharks are hitting all the cut baits. Anglers have been beaching many of the sharks and creating issues for DNREC officers. I might suggest increasing the fines. Maybe that will get people’s attention.

Based on comments on a post online, people think 50 bucks to take a picture with a shark is cheap. Honestly I can’t argue that point with them. Know your shark regulations if you intend to shark fish. If you really want to learn, find a crew that already fishes and tag along. Many of these folks do not mind help. It takes a crew to work a large shark in the surf.

Flounder is picking up around the Inland Bays and canals. Gulp or minnows on the drift. Make sure your drift isn’t too fast. The fish want to eat, not swim a marathon. Fish know how much energy they will receive from a meal so a large fish will not waste energy eating or chasing a small fish. I used to keep small damsel fish in a aquarium with a si- foot chain-link moray eel. He wouldn’t even look at the damsels. Anything bigger hitting the water was instant food.

Most people who drift for flounder get too fast a drift. If the wind is working against you and the drift is too slow, drop a drift sock or bucket to pull the boat in the current opposite the wind.

Lot of spot around the Inland Bays and in the surf. Great bait, just catch the small ones and live line them for big flounder. The hardest part is storing them to keep them alive. Round containers are a must and air pumps. Some places you can catch a spot in one spot, then move to another spot, and whack a flounder with that spot, in that other spot, then repeat catching spot in the other spot to fish for flounder in that spot, until you hit four flounder using spot.

Offshore action has been great for sea bass. Tuna and tilefish are picking up more and more. The usual offshore action is starting to really pick up. Hit up your local charters and head boats.

The Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier has been decent for spot and flounder. The action has been hot to not is the only issue. You have to be there when it is hot and then decide if you are going to bail when it is not or wait for more heat. The joys of fishing, which is really the struggles of catching.

It is your basic summer fishing. Mornings and evenings are much better on the ponds for the cooler air. Same goes for the beaches. Weekends we avoid the crowds, and mow the grass.

We are hitting the beaches for overnighters in the next couple weeks cleaning up the Solo stoves for the fires and getting the solar lights charged. Night fishing at the beaches is amazing especially during and around peak meteor showers. No crowds. You can’t even see your neighbors, and catch fish all night.