Cooler nights have been a blessing. Overnight fishing trips are much cooler, but lots more dew to deal with. It can get chilly when you get a little damp near the ocean. The firepits help knock that chill. The air is a little crisper for astrophotography shots on the cooler cloudless nights. There are still plenty of shooting stars to see while fishing.
Get your gear ready if you haven’t already. It’s time to switch out the 20-pound mono reels for the summer surf fish. Get the SaltXs ready with new braid for the big fish. I’m leaving 30-pound monofilament on one reel this year for chunking bunker in the surf. The old-school fishing is fun. The braid line is better for casting lures and retrieving big fish. Like any line, it too has its drawbacks. Strong yet fragile if frayed, it snaps easily. Rocks can play havoc on braided line.
I switched back to mono for the summers, it’s fun and cheaper as far as line for the reel. I might know a guy that has a few hundred miles of fishing line laying around.
The lures for the fall fun fishing never change, but sometimes the “preferred” colors will shift a bit. But if you consider the baitfish never change color each season, why would the color schemes change? The white swim shads in fall will be the winner usually. Anything that is mullet or mummichog colors, darker swim shads in the two-ounce range for the schooling fall striped bass.
Mullet pattern poppers are great. Just work them along the surface like a jumping mullet. That activity really gets the fish excited and predators investigate sound. The funny thing about sound when fishing, little fish will spook. The predators roll in like, what’s going on over here, an easy meal perhaps?
The big fish might spook a little, but will always investigate a sound or disturbance in their territory. That’s why certain sounds are used to our advantage, popping lures, buzz baits, rattle traps, etc. We try to recreate those noises from the food chain. If you ever hear recordings of sounds underwater in our area, it is wild. At night especially the water comes “alive” with sound and it gets noisy, like late summer woods noisy. A GoPro can pick up the sounds even in a case.
Sound can be detrimental to fishing, but the reason we tell people that sound is bad for fishing is so they will shut up and fish. No talking, I’m contemplating.
Mullet should be in the bays by now. If not, they will be soon. I have my spot around the inland bays, and when it stops producing, it is time to head out front. It’s about time or I’m getting worse at this cast net thing. I’d go with the latter.
The summer surf fishing suspects are still around and will be for a little while. Kingfish, spot, etc., are hitting decent on Fishbites. Bloodworms have been a little scarce. The water cooled off a little which slowed down the bite.
Offshore anglers are doing well, just have to get out there.
The weather last week was wild. The beaches flooded to the dunes one day and stranded people on Assateague.
When it comes to surf fishing this time of year or any time, always park above the wrack line. Know not only the incoming tide times but the surge heights and times. Big surges and long times are big waves. Just use the marine forecast. They are usually dead-on for wave activity. The flooded beach last week was a storm surge that crept in fast and hit hard. It happens, but hard to call those. Just be prepared. This time of year is a little different on the beaches — desolate is a good description for a weekday.
The fall run fish are starting to move south of us. Red drum in the south and striped bass will start soon up north. The runs we all want to see. Now the question is, will the red drum Delaware run be a one-day and done or do we get a repeat of last year? Red drum showed up for a couple weeks last year. They also hung around into the summer at Assateague. I am hoping we see more this year and longer in Delaware. I know of a few caught already. Sadly we watched a guy gut one at Massey’s Landing last week. Don’t worry, the locals let him have what for about it, too. Still, a dead fish that should not have been harvested. Always know your creel limits. It is up to the angler to know and follow those limits. “I didn’t know” isn’t an excuse, especially from an angler.
The Broadkill Brawl Surf Fishing Tournament 2022 was a great time! There were only 15 anglers, but everyone had a great time fishing. There was a wedding on the beach around noon, and the dogs and bathers were all over. It was a fun mix for an afternoon of surf fishing for some prize money. DS Custom Tackle donated prize packages and gave out free gear in packets. The Broadkill Store loaded up competitors with all kinds of swag. Everyone had a good time catching a lot of fish that barely scored. We had them pick raffle tickets at the end for winners. Never leave a tournament early.
There was a nice variety of fish caught though. Bluefish, spot, croaker, sand perch, pompano, flounder, skate, dogfish, butterfly rays, sharks and striped bass (shorts) were caught throughout the day. Next year, they are adding some fish to the lists and the trash fish competition. Look for a black drum tournament in the spring and a casting accuracy tournament in November. Broadkill Beach is a fun place.