Fishing always means putting in the time

By Rich King
Posted 10/7/21

The fall is upon us, and the weather is cooling off, which is starting to trigger some reactions from fish, mainly striped bass. There are still pompano in the surf with all the summer species, too. …

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Fishing always means putting in the time


The fall is upon us, and the weather is cooling off, which is starting to trigger some reactions from fish, mainly striped bass. There are still pompano in the surf with all the summer species, too. Soon that will change so enjoy it while it lasts.

Fishbites has been the easiest bait of choice. Sand fleas are easy to dig up and bloodworms have been easy to find in area shops. I prefer Fishbites because they are easy to use and zero mess. The fact they attract and catch fish so readily is a bonus, too. Fishbites has a little chum ball they make for offshore anglers. If you can find their catfish formula locally, try the bloody shad formula. It does very well for catching catfish with zero mess. Next year, I have been told, look for the Fight Club large swim mullets. These will give Gulp a run for their money. The smaller Fight Club soft plastics are a great artificial to use on a jig or bucktail.

The schooling striped bass action is picking up more and more. Fish will school up and feed heavier for the upcoming migration south, which happens much later these days than a couple decades ago. Not all the schooling bass will join the migration but many will. The short bass action is always hot at the beginning of the migration. The large migratory striped bass have hardly moved from up north but it is starting. All of the action you will see are resident fish. There are some rather good-sized resident fish and I expect many of them to join the migration. What causes a fish to not join the migration is beyond me, but food would be a good start. If you have a good food source and decent water temperatures, why go anywhere? We had a few seals stick around here all summer — great food sources for them so why leave?

Triggers are still being caught, as well as sheepshead. The offshore wreck and reef anglers going for flounder and sea bass are catching a variety of fish. The bigger tautog are starting to show up in coolers.

Spot is still a hot-to-not catch at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier. The pier tackle shop is closed now so make sure you have all you need. Many shops will start reducing their hours soon.

Mullet action has picked up a bit but not much. The inland bays have been easier to net mullet.

Flounder action has been decent, not just the inland bays and Delaware Bay but the surf as well. Everything is feeding heavier for the winter fattening up. The key to any fishing this time of year, like anywhere, is put in the time. You can’t just run out and whack fish on the daily. You have to put in some time for a good catch. There are those lucky times you got there at the right time, but they are far and few between.

Hoping to see more speckled trout soon like last year. The action in the Chesapeake has been good.

The Delmarva Outdoors Expo was awesome! The vendors want to thank everyone for coming out. They did very well and many of them needed that boost after a year plus of no events to work. We organizers know it was smaller than usual due to so many COVID issues. We are happy we were able to put together a good show. Many have no idea what it takes to put on an event. It was good to see everyone back doing shows and having some fun.

Now that things are winding down, I get to take a little vacation. I think it just might be a week staycation and do some local exploring of places I haven’t fished in years. For such a small state, we have a decent amount of places to fish in Delaware, but we could always use more land-based areas.

As soon as vacay is over, it is back to work in the tackle salt mines. DS Custom Tackle has a whole new line of patterned floats for the pompano fishery in Florida. Looking forward to all the new rigs coming out by this local company.