The surf and surrounding waters are going through that summer to fall transition, with decent mixed fishing and great temperatures for the anglers.
Striped bass are starting to school up more and feed heavier around structure. Bridges and pylons, and rips in creeks and waterways are good places to look. Get the ultralight gear ready for some fun schoolie bass action or surf rats.
I’m getting ready for the Delmarva Outdoors Expo this Friday to Sunday at the state fairgrounds in Harrington. Should be a great time, with lots of vendors — especially fishing. There will be a few local makers with some serious specials, I am told. Come see the dock dogs, too! Attention Maryland hunters: Bucks-Bears-Stags will be at the expo. Call 410-935-5966 for your appointment, or learn more here: www.bucks-bears-stags.com.
The fishing has been decent. Seeing more flounder action in the surf and Lewes canal. The puppy drum are all over the surf and soon will be in the creeks mixed in with the perch and short striped bass. Use Fishbites or bloodworms for these guys.
There are a lot of the small pompano in the surf recently. Four or five make a decent taco.
Bluefish are almost nonexistent. There have been a few days of fun action from a few schools, but nothing like typical action for this time of year. Then again, right now everyone is targeting a catch we rarely try for in Delaware: bull reds.
Why try for fish that maybe shows up for one day a year? The usual one-day red drum run for Delaware has stretched into a week plus so far. Total surprise and has been a lot of fun for several surf anglers. Many, not hundreds, but more than several bull reds and some keepers in the slot range were caught from the surf.
From Dewey and beaches farther south, surf anglers hooked up on random red drum action. The catches were mostly the early mornings on the outgoing tides. Twelve were caught in one day at the recent surf fishing tournament, a great day of action for many anglers. If I wanted to target red drum, I would still make the drive farther south to Assateague. Don’t get me wrong, I still would like the bull red caught in Delaware waters notch, too. But the safer bet is Assateague and then Delaware. Always try the southern beaches first to see if the same fish are up near us.
Assateague is seeing her fair share and more frequent red drum run action. Early morning and predawn hours are the best. There are plenty of other species caught targeting drum. Sharks, skates and rays are still readily taking cut baits. Weeding through them for a drum bite is the challenge.
Live lining a spot or kingfish helps cut down on some of the scavengers. Cut spot, bunker, kingfish, crab or clam have all been working. Same bait are working in Delaware. Catch a spot and send it back out. One guy used a small bluefish and caught a bull red at 3R’s.
I’m looking forward to just relaxing and fishing the beaches and waterways next week when my vacation starts. This year is a staycation, to go catch up with friends and places I haven’t visited in a while. Sometimes it is nice to take time off in your own backyard and do some exploring, especially this time of year.