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Fun in the sun for the surf fishing tournament

surf fishing tournament, charles w cullen bridge, indian river inlet bridge, drive on beach, fatihful steward,

Looking towards the Charles W Cullen bridge during the surf fishing tournament

We held our first surf fishing tournament on Saturday and it was a great time.  I arrived at conquest beach around 4:30 in the morning and there were a few folks already waiting to register.  The weather was not as bad as forecast, we never saw any rain.  I signed them in and sent them out to the beach.  We had thirty two people sign up from avid tournament anglers to first timers.  Everyone was set up and started fishing by 7 am.  The sun rose over the ocean and promised a beautiful day.  This was the first gorgeous day we have had on the beach, it was perfect.  The current was heavy at the beginning of the tournament and everyone was having a tough time holding bottom in some areas.  Anglers were spread out from Key Box beach to Faithful Steward.  David Okonewki helped me judge and we spent the entire day cruising the beach checking on the anglers.  There were a lot of skates caught, but that did not discourage anyone since we had the skating rink calcutta.  That helped make the day more interesting.  There were two short striped bass caught, but not much else.  Despite the lack of fish, it was a perfect day on the beach.  The winners were drawn by a lottery, since we didn’t have any fish that scored.  Unfortunately when you schedule a tournament in December it is hard to tell if the fish will abide.  Last year at this same time there were all kinds of fish in the surf.  I even added a few fish to the catch list that would never be in the surf just for grins and giggles.  The winners were … John Rossell with first place at $400 …. Mike Alvisi won second place at $250 …. Michael McGreevy won third place at $100 …. due to the number of participants we cut the prizes down based on 50 anglers.  I want to thank everyone for coming out and participating in our first surf fishing tournament it went very well and the learning experience was priceless, thank you for participating.

Beach Plum Island State Park, snow fences, dune building, pole setting, beach clean up

Jeff Weaver setting a new fence post at Beach Plum Island State Park

Sunday we held another beach clean up and started at the top of the list on Beach plum Island.  Everyone met at 9 a.m. and I had a project the parks asked us to handle for them.  The snow fences in the parking lot and the entrance driveway needed fixing.  The parks can not hire their  seasonal workers right now, so I was asked if our group would be able to handle the project.  Of course we said yes, and Mike Smith from maintenance met us there with supplies and tools.  Jeff Weaver, Mike Andrews,and I tackled the fences, while volunteers handled cleaning up the beach.  We managed to fix all of the broken fences and posts in about four hours.  A few folks were there very early in the morning and left the bags of trash they collected in the parking lot, which we had taken back to the parks to be dumped.  Our volunteers picked up several bags of trash while they combed the beach.  Thank you all for coming out and helping, we will resume next weekend (Saturday April 27th) in Cape Henlopen State Park at Herring Point.  This weekend is Easter and I think we all deserve a break from jobs well done.  Good to see people coming out to help that care about our beaches and the environment.  People fishing on the beach even assisted our volunteers by cleaning their areas and thanked them for helping keep the beaches clean.  Big thanks to them for following  the example set forth by our volunteers.  Just a friendly reminder, but keep in mind Beach Plum Island is located in a small quiet beach community and to watch your speed, there are many hidden driveways, so be careful driving through there.  Keep a close eye for children and pets.

crabs, blue claw crabs, old bay seasoning, steamed crabs, inland bays

Lil Bobby Marcotte about to feast on his blue crabs

The spring this year has been great, up until the last couple of days, and it feels like old man winter wants to give us just one more reminder.  We had sleet and snow the other night!  Today and yesterday high winds were pushing a lot of water and debris onto the beach.  There is still lots of grass and reeds in the water.  Not the tug on a line we want and it gets messy.  Just keep that in mind for the weekend.  There will be more debris on the Delaware bay beaches than the ocean beaches.  The winds didn’t carve the beach up too bad, so it should be nice out there with warmer temperatures.  The surf temp has dropped a few degrees and that will make fishing a little less productive.  Boats out of Lewes have been doing well catching tautog and a few anglers have caught at the Indian river inlet, green crabs for baits.  There are short striped bass here and there in the surf and back bays onblood worms, shad in the Indian river inlet and Masseys  Landing on the outgoing tides on flies, small spoons, and shad darts.  A few keeper striped bass have been caught near Broadkill Beach from the surf and boats, but nothing to write home about.  The northern areas of the Delaware River and Bay like Augustine Beach have been doing well in boats.  Bunker chunking is the choice and bloodworms as well for baits.  A few flounder have been caught in the Lewes Canal on gulp.  Perch are still in the Broadkill river and smaller tidal creeks.  Striped Bass are still moving up the coast from the Chesapeake Bay and we are hoping the surf temp will jump up enough to bring them closer to shore.  Red Drum will show up as soon as the water temps jump up as well as black drum. Blue Crabs are starting to show up in crab traps, just a few here and there but they are starting up in the inland bays.  Good signs of things to come, there are also minnows all over the place.

 

blood moon, pink moon, fish moon

The Blood Moon or Pink Moon known among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

The full blood moon or pink moon occurred this week and we had a lunar eclipse.  Unfortunately we couldn’t see anything thanks to cloud cover and rain.  It was still very cool to see the moon rise a few times over the bays and ocean when the sky was clear.  It is always a treat to see the moon rise when you are on the beach and then the stars come out as the night falls.  Speaking of stars, the Lyrid Meteor shower started on the 16th of April and will continue until the 25th.  The best night to view this spectacle will be the 22nd, but over the weekend you should be able to see several meteors.  Fishing the beach at night and seeing meteors is an amazing experience everyone should try at least once.  Well, from here on out the weather will just get warmer and nicer, we don’t anticipate old man winter will show his self until after the fall.  The signs of spring are all around, trees are blooming, hummingbirds are being spotted, toads are all over the place.  Despite the cold snap even the peepers are out chirping the night away.  The Osprey Platform Mac and Kent Davis made is starting to see some action, we are hoping to see a nest built there very soon, there is a video they made of the birds using the platform.  I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend with family and friends.  We will see you in the sandbox.

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

Battle on the Beach is Saturday

raibow trout, white clay creek, christiana river, trout season

Jeff Wildonger with a citation rainbow trout from up north.

Saturday is the Battle on the Beach surf fishing tournament, and we are anticipating a great time.  The tournament starts at 6 am and lasts until 3 pm.  I will be checking people in at conquest beach in the parking lot before the start, you can sign up the day of the tournament.  I will be there by 4:30 a.m. The weather is looking great for the day, and we are hoping to see some fish in the surf.  Today I watched a large group of gannets working the surf in front of Rehoboth beach and have seen the same activity south as well.  More than likely they are following migratory striped bass and bunker.  Professor DeWayne Fox caught a 68 pound striped bass while netting for sturgeon near Bethany Beach.  He is doing research for Delaware State University.  Another netter caught a 45 pound striped bass in the Delaware bay.  There have been some hefty fish (up to 35 pounds) weighed in at Port Penn Bait and Tackle.  Those fish have to travel the DE coast to get up there, so that is a good sign.  The surf has warmed up to 44 degrees during the day over the past few days.  The Inland Bays and Delaware Bay are well into the upper forties in the early morning, Massey’s Landing peaked over 56 degrees today.  The flounder pounders are getting excited to see the bays pick up soon.  Even a few crabs have been caught in the back bays, and we are seeing minnows all over the place especially in the sloughs and small creeks.  There are plenty of shorty stripers in the back bays and the Delaware bay, as well as perch.  The Nanticoke River in Seaford is seeing its share of striped bass, mostly shorts.  Bloodworms, and bunker will be the choice baits for this weekend, spoons and plugs (bombers) for the casters.  Today I saw over a dozen osprey from Dewey Beach to the bridge, and half of them were carrying a fish.  Spring has definitely sprung and everyday the water gets warmer.  Soon we will be out there fishing non stop and having fun in the sun.  Looking forward to Saturday, see you all there.

seal, harbor seal pup, cape henlopen state park, atlantic seal, beached mammal,

Seal pup we helped keep an eye on with MERR last weekend at Cape Henlopen State Park … photo by Mac Davis

The beaches area little carved up but the cuts are forming back up nicely.  You will notice a difference at low tide be prepared for that.  There has been a lot of weeds in the water especially when the wind kicks up.  Fenwick Island’s water was a beautiful blue green color a few days ago and I imagine not much has changed.  Beach Plum and Broadkill was nice and clear today.  As long as the winds stay low, we will have nice looking surf this weekend.  There is a chance of showers Saturday morning, but that bit of overcast will be good for striped bass fishing in the surf.  The Indian River Inlet and Masseys landing has rather clear water and visibility is certainly up compared to a few days ago.  During low tide the other day the water in one area near me was boiling with minnows, and a crab or two were moving around in the warmer shallow water.   People have been splashing boats all week, and everyone is getting ready for a break, winter was a rough one this year.  If you are interested in learning to surf fish we offer fishing lessons and you can sign up for them in the online shop.  These are personal lessons, and held at private locations, so no one distracts you from learning.  Once you get the hang of everything we will do a little fishing together later that afternoon.  You might still get a chance to see a seal this weekend, you just never know.  There have been a couple of them playing in Masseys ditch, so be careful if you are out boating.  Most of the ones you see are juveniles and are very curious.  Please look out for our furry marine friends.  If you see a seal please contact MERR, especially if they are on land they like to keep an eye on them so people do not bother them … 302 228 5029, texting the location is all that you need to do to help.

beach clean ups, fenwick Island state park, delaware beaches

Trash collected on Fenwick Island last Sunday, thanks for helping everyone.

Last weekends beach clean up was a big success, several people volunteered to help, and we combed Fenwick Island.  It was a bit chilly and windy, but the temperature creeped up as noon approached.  Big thanks to everyone for coming out and to Primo Hoagies in Rehoboth for feeding the clean up crews, that has been a well deserved meal after a day of cleaning a state park beach.  We do weekly clean ups if anyone is interested in helping out, or collecting community hours for kid’s schools or troops.  Keep in mind this is not trash that is left behind by visitors but mostly from upriver, and inland.  Everything eventually washes to the sea and winds up on a beach, that is a worldwide issue.  Sunday the 13th we will start back at the top of the list and hit Beach Plum Island State Park.  We have also been asked by the parks to assist them fixing the snow fences in the parking lot there, and we will happily help.  Last week’s haul was over two hundred pounds of trash.  It feels good to clean up the beaches that we use so much, would be nice to see everyone do more of that this year.  Carry in Carry out, and take some extra with you, I don’t care if you didn’t put it there we have a responsibility to keep our environment clean.  Using these beaches is a privilege, and so many take it for granted, not just tourists either.  There are many groups that preach, but never practice, we never see them out here helping.  We might start working on a few other areas on weeknights, or a weekend clean up.  Oyster Rocks road looks like a bomb full of trash went off there, it is disgusting.  When the Broadkill River floods its banks during a storm, that debris washes into the sea.  We have many out of the way fishing areas that are public access, but never cared for by anyone.  Hope to see everyone Sunday to help spiff up the beach.  Have a great weekend, after this winter we all deserve a good break.  Good luck in the surf fishing tournament!

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

Navigational aids (buoys) are being placed in the inland bays

whites creek, peppers creek, navigational aids, buoys, inland bays, coast guard

navigational aids or buoys being placed by the aids to navigation crew … photo from the U.S. Coast Guard Station Indian River

The navigational aids placement was started on Monday the 7th of April.  Big thanks to the folks at the Coast Guard for leaving them in much longer than normal this winter.   Who knew the bay would freeze over so fast this year, or at all for that matter.  From the Indian River Coast Guard Station … “Update: Been receiving a lot of calls in regards to Whites, Peppers Creek and depths that aids to navigation will be set. These creeks will be marked until further notice and aids will be marking the best available water. By Wednesday all aids to navigation will be in place and will update upon completion. Please ensure to look at local notices to mariners for any status or updates to these existing aids.  Also we have worked with Aids to Navigation Team to replace south jetty light with high visibility LED conversion. Will be significant increase to navigation for our area. ”   I know how they feel I have received hundreds of messages and emails about the Peppers creek and Whites creek navigational aids.  As far as I know they are going back in until further notice.  The waters back there at low tide have been examined by the company that places the buoys and they will decide the best locations with the most water.   The issue with that area is a prime example of why wee need these areas dredged and further protected from erosion on  land.  The fact this area is not a commercial waterway makes it of no concern to the powers that be.  The more these areas fill in the less water will be exchanged from tides, which will increase fish kills and poor water quality.  Factor in increased pollution, and it can get real messy, very fast.  Just my opinion, but when you look at everything going on back there it is not to hard to realize these issues.  If the bays were dredged and protected from further filling in, then there would be more water for dilution of waste water during tide changes.  That is not an opinion it is a fact.  Dredging would probably help decrease flooding issues, by allowing water to drain faster and not spread as far during floods.  Just my opinion again, but it has merit.  As far as everyone up in arms about waste water being dumped into the back bays and ocean.  Maybe we should look at the technology that treats the water and make that better, instead of worrying where this water is going, but instead try to make it much cleaner in the first place.  Then it won’t matter where it is used and we can find better solutions for that as well.  Sorry for going off on a tangent, but I keep hearing about these issues from a lot of people who feel helpless when they talk about them.

 

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Surf Fishing News

CCA DE chapter meeting April 14th

Please mark your calendars for our next meeting on Monday, April 14th at 6 pm. Our meeting will be held at the Milford Diner in Milford, DE. The address … 1042 N Walnut St, Milford, DE 19963.  Attending a meeting is a great way to see what CCA is all about and what you can do to help the fishery issues in Delaware.

If you would like to know more about the fisheries in Delaware check out the ASMFC’s website.  There is a section titled fisheries management, this is where you will find individual species information and the numbers of stocks over the years.  The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission … “For over 70 years, the Commission has served as a deliberative body of the Atlantic coastal states, coordinating the conservation and management of 25 nearshore fish species. Each state is represented on the Commission by three Commissioners: the director of the state’s marine fisheries management agency, a state legislator, and an individual appointed by the state’s governor to represent stakeholder interests. ”  These folks have a very important, tough, but necessary job.  Check out their site to gain better knowledge of our fisheries on the Atlantic coast.

 

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Surf Fishing News

DNREC … shad and river herring identification guide

DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife announces new online

shad and river herring identification guide for anglers

DOVER (April 3, 2014) – A new online shad and river herring identification guide is now available for anglers on the DNREC website, the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife announced today. The handy ID guide was developed to help anglers distinguish between shad and river herring, which can be similar in appearance but must be treated differently by anglers who catch them, according to state fishing regulations.

In response to population declines, regulations were enacted to help restore Delaware’s once-thriving shad and river herring stocks. The Division of Fish and Wildlife is reminding anglers that they cannot harvest or possess blueback herring and alewife, from any waters in the State of Delaware. Also, the harvest of American shad and hickory shad is prohibited from the Nanticoke River and its tributaries.

“When in doubt about the identification of a shad or river herring, please release it unharmed,” said Fisheries Biologist and Program Manager Michael Stangl.

Anglers also are reminded that using any type of net to catch fish within 300 feet of any constructed dam or spillway on a tidal water river, stream, canal, ditch or tributary is prohibited in Delaware, with the exception of using a landing net on a fish caught with hook and line.

American shad, hickory shad, blueback herring and alewife are anadromous fish, meaning that they spend the majority of their adult lives at sea, only returning to their native streams and rivers in the spring to spawn. Blueback herring and alewife are collectively known as river herring. Historically, thriving populations of shad and river herring spawned in virtually every Delaware river and tributary. However, populations of these fish declined dramatically in the last century due to dam construction, poor water quality, overharvesting and other factors.

Posted in DSF

Bunker are in the Delaware Bay

 

bunker, menhaden, atlantic fish, gill nets, fresh bait, port penn bait and tackle

Bunker from Port Penn Bait and Tackle … photo by Richard King

Yes you read that correctly.  The past two days I have been talking with several people and they are catching bunker in the Delaware Bay.  The watermen I know are seeing bunker in their nets and even some nice sized striped bass here and there as well.  It is possible behind these bunker schools we will start to see large migratory striped bass schools.  The fish follow the food, as much as anything else when they return to spawning grounds.  If you wold like to see and purchase some of these bunker go to Port Penn Bait and Tackle owned by Richard King (no relation to yours truly).  He has the freshest bunker you will find right now.  Port Penn is located at 2 B South Congress Street, Port Penn, Delaware.  Across the street from Kelly’s bar.  This weekend will be a good time to get out there and see what you can find.  Please release any of the big girls if you happen catch, so we have more breeders for spawning.  Catching large breeders does not stress them out anymore than when they are in the wild.  Granted it is stressful being caught, but not enough to stop them from spawning.  Don’t forget the circle hook regulations are in play in certain areas of Delaware Tidal waters.  These fish have survived a long time in the ocean as part of the food chain.  That in and of itself is respectable when you think about what they are up against on a daily basis, let the big girls go and have fun.

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

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Rehoboth Beach, DE
April 18, 2014, 6:03 pm
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48°F
sunrise: 6:20 am
sunset: 7:40 pm
Forecast April 19, 2014
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