Storm surge, full moon wreak havoc on dunes

By Rich King
Posted 3/27/24

Brrrrrr more winter-like weather, but at the end of the day it is still March. It is supposed to be warmish to chilly during spring, like it used to be when we were kids. Long, cold winters of snow …

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Storm surge, full moon wreak havoc on dunes


Brrrrrr more winter-like weather, but at the end of the day it is still March. It is supposed to be warmish to chilly during spring, like it used to be when we were kids. Long, cold winters of snow and some ice with a chilly spring warmup into summer. Then we would get lost in summer adventures and no school until fall. Oddly now as an adult, some days we wish for that first day of fall so we can get a break from the craziness of summer. That is coming soon enough and I will happily take a slower warmup.

The fish are already moving around rather well. The foul weather conditions keeps the company factor to a minimum on the nastier days. Yesterday was no exception. It’s always good to fish a storm and rough weather. The fish are biting and most anglers are fair weather folks who skip storm fishing. Less competition is good.

Tuesday’s rough surf conditions coupled with the full worm moon during high tide really pushed a lot of water into the dune line in Delaware Seashore State Park. The northside beach has been taking a beating this winter. It doesn’t matter how much sand they truck in to fill, the constant storm surges we have seen keep eroding out more than they can put back. Tuesday the dune breached below the Charles W Cullen Bridge on the north side of Route 1. The wave action removed a lot of the sand along the sheet metal bulkhead that protects the bridge access base. A couple years of not being able to pump sand from the south side for the sand relocation program has created a very thin beach. The older road debris is exposed again, even more this time around. The ACOE is scheduled to work on the inlet soon. I’m not sure if this issue will be incorporated in this project. There are a lot of projects around here that need attention.

There is another section washed out under the jetty cap of the inlet wall. It is near the closed section toward the inside of the bridge. That area is not closed but the ACOE starts there next week. The more storm surges hit our damaged areas, the worse that damage gets each time. I’ll be glad to see it finally getting fixed. I wish they could put my favorite rock to sit on and fish back in place.

DNREC and DelDOT fixed the dune breach area in no time. The crews did a great job. It is a tough job trying to hold back Mother Nature. It’s been interesting to watch them truck in sand and spread it around to form up a new dune line to divert the next storm surge. “Dune 2 The Breach, The Sea Must Flow” for your summer movie. It’s time to get the office pools started up on the next one. Every nor’easter will be closely watched now. This was a bit of an unexpected surprise — forgot about that full moon effect.

The fishing is spring conditions, cooler days and slower fish, but they are feeding. Perch is the usual favorite this time of year, white or yellow. It makes for a good day on the water, and a long time at the cleaning table if you have a really good day.

Catching a lot of fish is fun, cleaning a lot of fish not so much but I use the parts in my gardens. I am terrible at fileting fish but it will pass for the table. I prefer the services at the marinas. Those guys are fast and priced just right.
Bait and tackle shops are shifting to spring to summer hours. Check them out for some of the latest gear on the market. There is always something new coming out in the fishing industry.

Keep in mind the water is still cold enough to be dangerous. Wear your PFDs and don’t forget Jersey has that new PFD rule in play. Many striped bass anglers will venture into Jersey waters on the Delaware Bay and River. Make sure you know all your regulations.

Bloodworms will be pricey again this year. Expect that to be an issue. Fishbites makes a great alternative. Also storing bloodworms helps extend their life. Turn the bags daily in the fridge. Washing them out a little helps, too. Please dispose of the algae in bloodworm bags in a trash can. Do not throw that packing algae into the water. The algae can host a variety of invasive species even on the micro level.

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