Tackle shops are busy getting ready for spring


If you haven’t noticed, the days are getting a little longer. Which makes it easier getting more yard work done before spring is upon us and we can fish. I’ve had my fill of white perch and short striped bass action. Still fun to catch and about the easiest to find right now from land or boat.

White perch have been hot for bloodworms and most places have them in stock for the weekends only. Hard to carry bloodworms during the week this time of year. Grass shrimp are always a go to bait and easy to catch.

Tautog has been decent to the charters getting out. It is that time of year to call ahead to make sure they are taking trips. Land-based anglers are fighting crazy weather. It was like summer on Tuesday and the dead of winter on Wednesday. Good times. One or two more cold snaps and we can start looking for the spring fishes. Or it will snow in March — one never knows these days.

I’m just sitting here waiting for spring, and watching everyone in this warehouse make tackle like it is going out of style. It is inventory day at DS Custom Tackle. Because who doesn’t like counting thousands of fishing rigs. We would all rather be fishing, but sometimes the gear comes first. Otherwise we can’t fish. Later this afternoon I am sure we will go test this gear out and make sure the hooks are sharp, the sinkers sink, and floats float.

The surf has been quiet aside from skates and the occasional dogfish. The beaches are really nice this time of year with no crowds, but that temperature is less than desirable. Beach combing has been really good for sea glass.

The Cape Henlopen fishing pier will receive some needed repairs over the spring into summer. It will NOT be closed during these repairs, despite what you may have heard. According to Dave Beebe, the owner of Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle, “The crews always block off areas to work so anglers and visitors can still use the pier.” Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle is stocking the shop up for the spring already.

DS Custom Tackle is piling up loads of gear for all the local shops. These boys have been busy all winter building gear. Owner David Okonewski said, “We are trying to get ahead of the spring rush. We have several new stores to stock in New Jersey and New York. Now we are super busy getting everyone stocked up for the coming spring. Our gear builders are working overtime and we don’t expect them to slow down until after the fall. Anyone interested in getting paid to make fishing gear should get in touch with us via Facebook at DS Custom Tackle.”

DNREC will cohost with Maryland DNR a virtual joint Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council hearing to get public comment on the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. You can find information on the draft amendment, connecting to the hearing, and commenting at www.mafmc.org/newsfeed/2021/sfsbsb-allocation-am-hearings.

Always a good idea to keep an eye on fishery issues. It is boring listening to meetings but that is how things are changed for better or worse. Usually it is worse if people don’t get involved and voice their opinions. Better to ask now than complain later.

Saturday there is a rocket launch at Wallops Flight Facility. Antares resupply mission, one of he big ones. The rocket is schedule to fly at 12:30-ish. Keep an eye on the sky you will see a fast hot dot heading to space. You will be able to see it from Delaware beaches. Locating the launch trajectory is easy if you know where the Indian River inlet bridge is located. Looking south towards the bridge. If you are on the beach, the rocket will rise behind the bridge from roughly the direction of Millville.