The heat is on
Wow, talk about a heat wave! For the first one of the summer I can honestly say I don't miss August. We went from March in June to August in July in a matter of days. No wonder the fishing is so "off' these last few weeks (months). The weather has been crazy.
Fishing is still fun even in this deathly heat; just make sure you have plenty of water with you to stay hydrated.
The water is beautiful at the beach when it is not stirred up it looks like the Caribbean blue green. Fishing is best early morning and late evening for a few reasons, the main one being fewer people to contend with especially at the beach. Fish feed closer to shore in the morning and evening. It isn't as hot as midday.
One fish, two fish, bluefish
Kingfish are finally biting regularly at the beach, hitting Fishbites, bloodworms, squid, or sand fleas on top and bottom rigs.
We prefer DS Custom Tackle rigs available at most bait shops, locally made by anglers for anglers. These rigs have Owner hooks which stay sharper than the usual off-the-shelf gear you find in all shops.
Bluefish are hitting off the beach and at most of the wreck and reef sites. Cut bait, mullet on mullet rigs and spoons are good to catch blues for the beach. They are usually a by-catch for boat anglers on the offshore trips. Not many will target blues unless they are looking for shark bait.
Invasion from the Gulf Stream
The Gulf Stream fish are invading early this year. We have seen juvenile lookdowns in the surf. There are trigger here at the wrecks, reef sites, and inlet rock piles. Sheepshead and spadefish are being caught offshore and inshore. The Gulf Stream even brought us some Man O Wars just to remind us she is in town. They were blown in from the easterly winds, several offshore anglers saw them out near the canyons in an eddy of warm water.
Flounder fishing is getting better offshore and has been steady inshore for small fish and the occasional keeper. The Cape Henlopen fishing pier has been seeing decent action but mostly short fish. It is a great pier to fish for flounder around the structure of the pylons.
Croaker action has picked up at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier as well as spot. Anglers are using Fishbites, squid, Fortescue baits and bloodworms on top and bottom rigs. There have been a few in the surf but they are mostly at the pier and offshore on wrecks and reef sites.
Unicorn and weakfish, Delaware's state fish, have been decent catches this year. One charter captain said, " ....if it weren't for the weakfish catches this year, fishing would not be as good, this is the most we have seen in a long time."
So killing them seems logical to help boost the populations. The creel on them is still 13 inches and only 1 fish per angler. Did you know you can take the weakfish home and then go catch another one on the same day? There are several fish you can do that with in Delaware, based on the creel limits.
Crabbing is excellent whether you are using pots, hand lining, rings or trot lines. Bunker is best in a crab pot or bluefish carcasses to bring the crabs in more readily. Chicken is good to keep them there.
Crabs can escape a crab pot that has no bait. They will keep moving around until they find the way out, they don't have much else to do all day except move and eat.
The offshore tuna bite has been on fire; that seems to be all anyone is trying for offshore. When you find the fish the bite is hot. Except for some, they haven't seen any fish, but that is the nature of the sport or pastime.
Stay hydrated, I cannot stress this enough, the beach and hot air can literally suck the life right out of you.