Best storm ever! The bor’easter, as we are calling it now because we are over it! I mean seriously, a six-day nor’easter and not much but dune erosion? That’s a win and we are bored.
I have spent five days chasing cool pictures and trying to surf cast. Sending out an eight-ounce Hopkins in this slop is almost impossible. Another problem, too, is the flotsam and debris. There are lots of dune fence posts to take out your legs. Been there, done that. The only fishing I can report is the osprey are dropping into 12-foot breaking waves and grabbing fish. Mama has to eat and many of the babies are being fed now, too. The parents have some work to put in during a nor’easter or any storm.
Some surfers were out in the slop on the first real storm day, Saturday. I watched swells come into the inlet that weren’t too shy of the south jetty tower’s height. I watched these waves come in for hours. The largest recorded at the offshore buoy was 17.4 feet, and there was a wind gust of 72 mph in Lewes.
The surfers would sit and try to catch waves while being pushed back into the beach. In these conditions, they surf southside. Waves and wind push toward the beach, not the rock pile. The only thing that kept Route 1 from flooding was the constant wind. The inland bays flooded, but that was mostly typical for these storms. Bor’easter for the win.
Now, why would this be the best storm ever? We are about to get an entire surf fishing season of new structure, naturally formed up, to surf fish. That is the best structure to fish in the surf. The beaches are washed flat, and driving may be an issue on some at high tide for weeks to come. The beaches will rebuild on their own, they always do. Having a nor’easter shake them up for the coming season is a bonus. I’ve seen two to three troughs in some areas. Naturally stirring up the surf structure doesn’t kill the natural food like replenishment does. The fish are already feeding like mad in the surf slop.
If you are walking beaches and in the surf wash, be careful. There are a lot of chunks of metal from the old bridge on the beaches around the inlet — big 20-pound chunks of rusty metal that still have that industrial blah green color.
Beach combing is going to be amazing. The metal detectors were out in force during the storm. You all thought fishermen were nuts for spots? Wait until you meet these guys. Secretive? I don’t know, but when someone finds something and runs down the beach like he is Gollum, screaming “My precious,” you might want to give that homeboy some space.
Once the beaches open to drive, do not cross wrack line debris. Many boards will have nails and puncture tires. Now you are really aired down, and get to use that board for the first time. Parks will evaluate beaches and open them once they are safe. My guess is Navy Crossing isn’t opening right away. She lost a lot of sand height, but has some amazing holes and troughs now.
Many beach-town beaches have closed access areas. That is changing constantly as things are fixed or evaluated.
What is everyone catching? Nothing much yet, but that will change in a couple days. Black drum have been here for weeks but the catches were random to none on the Delaware side of the bay. That will change, we hope soon enough. I’m hoping to see migratory striped bass feeding this new surf structure and in the rough water into the weekend. Only one way to find out.
If you ain’t fishing, you ain’t catching.