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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.

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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

Striped Bass Spawning Season Regulations Started

harbor seal, indian river inlet, Atlantic seals, marine mammals, MERR foundation,

Photo by Mac Davis … Please report any and all seal sightings when they come onto land. MERR wants to keep an eye on them so they do not get into harms way. A seal was hit by a car on the Inlet bridge this past weekend. You can contact MERR for any marine mammal sightings or strandings at 302.228.5029 … Thank You

The days are getting longer and warmer.  Daffodils are popping up everywhere, the trees are budding, and purple henbit in the fields.  My old salt buddies get excited when this happens, they use that as a sign that the flounder are here.   The water temperatures are slowly rising, the surf hit forty one degrees today for the first time since December, and fish are becoming more active.  The Delaware upper bay is forty six degrees in Delaware City and the inland bays are about the same.  Striped bass are moving around the Delaware Bay and Inland Bays.  Keep in mind these are resident fish, but the Nanticoke River has seen some migratory fish move into the area from the Chesapeake bay for spawning season.  April 1st is the beginning of spawning season in Delaware and the regulations are now in effect, these are from the Delaware Fishing guide put out by DNREC  …

Striped bass Spawning season ….. The spawning season for striped bass in Delaware is considered to begin at 12:01 a.m. on April 1 and continue through midnight on May 31 of each calendar year. It is unlawful for any person to take and retain any striped bass during the spawning season from the Nanticoke River or its tributaries, the Delaware River and its tributaries to the north of a line extending due east beginning at and including the south jetty at the mouth of the C & D Canal, or the C & D Canal or its tributaries. Catch and release only during this season; no harvest is allowed.

Circle-hooks ….. It is unlawful for any person to fish during the striped bass spawning season on any striped bass spawning ground with natural bait using any hook other than a non-offset circle-hook when said hook measures greater than 3/8 inches as measured from the point of the hook to the shank of the hook.   The Division recommends that circle-hooks always be used when fishing natural baits because of their proven ability to reduce hook and release mortality for striped bass and other fish species. The circle-hook’s design usually results in fish being hooked in the mouth, simplifying hook removal and reducing injury to the released fish.

Charles W Cullen bridge, Mac Davis Photography, iri bridge, spring,

Charles W Cullen bridge photo by Mac Davis

There have been ample catches of short striped bass up and down the Delaware River coastline and Delaware Bay coast.  On both sides of the Big D, my buddies from Pennsville NJ have been hammering shorts in several places over there, and just shy of keeper sizes (28 inches is a keeper).  The bay beaches here have been active as well as some of the tidal rivers, Murderkill, and Nanticoke to name a few.  Perch are also on the hit list and small minnows or grass shrimp have been the best bait for those.  Bloodworms and clam have been the choice baits for striped bass.  James and his boys were plugging in Seaford the other day and ran into a plethora of shorty striped bass.  Bombers were the choice that day.  I just reloaded on deadly dicks and am looking forward to slinging some metal this week.  I have a few favorite spots I like to hit up for shorts and the occasional keeper.  I am advocating more catch and release this year, so we can have more striped bass for the years to come.  Please practice catch and release, let the females go, especially the bigger breeders.

carry in carry out, trash on beaches, police your litter, litter bugs, delaware bay trash, storm debris, give a hoot dont pollute

Trash collected at 3Rs beach this weekend

The beach clean ups have been going well.  This Sunday we worked on 3Rs beach.  A few folks showed up and some friends of mine from the 3Rs beach crew.  It was good to see everyone.  I am looking forward to Sunday fundays this year, and a few over nighters.  We cleaned for about two hours and then the rain let loose, well actually it poured.  Everyone was drenched, but we managed to clean most of the beach and pick up a couple hundred pounds of trash.  This weekend we will meet at Fenwick Island State park Bathhouse at 9 am and work on those beaches.  Every weekend there will be a beach clean up, the last one will be the weekend before memorial day weekend, and then we will move them to weekdays, and possibly in the evenings.  We encourage people to please clean up your area when you are out there even if it is not your trash.  That includes any area you are fishing or visiting public or private.  Primo Hoagies in Rehoboth has volunteered to feed the clean up crews after we are done, they have some great food.  I really appreciate them offering to help us out, that was very nice of them.  The weather is getting better and better, it will not be long now until toes in sand.  Don’t forget we have a tournament April 12th in Delaware Seashore State Park, that will be a fun day in the surf.

DNREC … Trout opens April 5th …..  ”Delaware’s spring 2014 upstate trout season will open at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, April 5, with six designated trout streams in northern New Castle County – White Clay Creek, Christina Creek, Pike Creek, Beaver Run, Wilson Run and Mill Creek – stocked and ready with thousands of trout, including some trophy-sized fish.   Anglers looking to catch trout in White Clay Creek should be aware of a change for this season: Due to safety concerns with the new Pomeroy Trail, DelDOT has closed both sides of Hopkins Bridge to parking. Anglers and other park visitors can continue to park in designated parking areas or along Creek Road between Wedgewood and Hopkins roads as they have done in the past.  Anglers also should be aware that park entrance fees are now in effect”.

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

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Rehoboth Beach, DE
April 17, 2014, 7:01 am
sunrise: 6:21 am
sunset: 7:39 pm
Forecast April 18, 2014
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