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Happy Labor Day from DSF

Happy Labor Day … It is the end of summer season.  I would like to thank everyone for following the site and social media.  It has been a fun summer and we have all had a blast.  I have kept the reports minimal this month for the fact the fishing changes very little, and the servers are over loading again.  Which I think is awesome, but drives the webmaster crazy.  Like Scanners meets the Exorcist crazy.  Thank you all for following DSF we will always be here to keep you up to date as much as possible.  As soon as Dave our webmaster is done freaking out, and stops crawling around on the ceiling, we will be able to have more space to keep the traffic going.  This report will be in the Beach Paper this Thursday.  Also you can now listen to fishing reports on the new internet radio station Boardwalk Broadcasting.  There are a lot of new things that will be added soon to the web site.  Thanks again everyone … Rich


cape henlopen state park, the point

Fishing the Point

Well the summer season is over and seems like just yesterday it was beginning.  No worries though the fishing will continue and just get better.  Cooler days on the beach and waters, fall fishing should abide this year.  We are hoping the fall striper run starts earlier this year and actually happens in “Roctober” as in days past.  With the milder summer and cooler water temperatures it is very possible we will see that happen.  Slot season in the Delaware Bay and its tributaries for striped bass ended on the 31st of August as did tautog season.  Fishing has been great most days.  Flounder are still the hot catch.  The Old grounds looked like a parking lot on Saturday, but everyone for the most part was catching.  Sea bass are in the mix and we are seeing bluefish increase in size slowly.  For the most part the blues are upwards of twenty inches.  There are lot of the little blues everywhere as far up as Cupola park in Millsboro, chasing peanut bunker.  Mullet are starting to show up in the inland bays and sloughs.  They are small and minimal in numbers, but that will change soon enough.

The point in Cape Henlopen opened on Wednesday and it was nice to be out there all by my lonesome fishing my favorite area.  The fishing there is great most of the time you have the option of fishing the ocean surf, or the bayside below the flats of Cape Henlopen.  You never know what you will see out there either.  in the off season people ride horses on the beach, and some have small wagons or carriages.  The Kalmar Nykel, Delaware’s tall ship will pass by when it is on a tour.  The ferry is always going by, and lots of boats.  It is a very active place.  The other day I had a jawbone with a tooth still in place wash up on my feet in the surf.  I am working on what it is from, but was a neat find.  The water was moving fast across the point this weekend it was nearly impossible to hold bottom with 8 ounces of weight.  Even sputnik sinkers were not working.  That area of the point has some serious water movement, you can see just how fast and strong it is when boats try to cross the area and it bogs them down going against the current.

Dave with a tiny blue on a 8/0 circle hook

Dave with a tiny blue on a 8/0 circle hook

 Croaker, kingfish, bluefish, flounder, spot, dogfish, skates, rays, and sharks have been pulled from the surf and area waters all week.  Fishbites bloodworms, live bloodworms, mullet, squid, and gulp have been the best baits.  Peeler crab and clam are producing as well, that is one problem with fishing, deciding which arsenal of bait to use, or to just go with lures and flies.  That all depends on the angler and in all cases what the fish are biting that day.  Matching the baitfish is always key, because that is what the fish are chasing.  Stocking up to have a variety fo bait can get a little costly.  The offshore action has been decent.  I have seen (pictures) a lot of white marlin releases this week.  Tilefish are still hitting out there, as well as mahi and tuna.  In fact mahi are still occasionally being caught at the Old Grounds.

    We have been seeing all kinds of fish in the surf this summer, and sharks have been abundant.  Please make sure you can identify the shark before you remove it from the water.  The prohibited species are not to be removed and many do not know the difference.  I watched a guy pull in a shark the other day, land it on the surf, drag it up the beach to the dry sand, hold it up for pictures, and then toss it back in the surf just as the wave was going out.  The shark hit the sand like meat slammed on a wet counter top.  All I could do was cringe, you could hear it one hundred yards away.  If you are going to release a fish at least try to do so in a manner that the animal is not any further stressed out or injured.  That toss back in the surf was the equivalent of throwing a person twenty feet in the air onto wet concrete.

   The end of summer fishing never changes just the frequency of the catching.  The surf temperatures never hit eighty degrees this year.  The Inland bays even stayed mild in temperatures, which is one of the reasons the crabbing has not been so great, but also why we are seeing a lot of nice flounder catches out there.  Clamming is always good if you can find a nice spot.

   Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to hold Sept. 11 public hearing on interstate striped bass management plan

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to hold
Sept. 11 public hearing on interstate striped bass management plan

DOVER (Aug. 28, 2014) – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) will hold a public hearing on a draft addendum to the Atlantic Striped Bass Interstate Fisheries Management Plan at 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 11 in the DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover. The hearing will give the public an overview of the draft addendum, which proposes new fishing mortality reference points as recommended by the 2013 stock assessment, along with three options in associated management measures to reduce fishing mortality to a level at or below the proposed target within one or three years.

The addendum is in response to results of the 2013 Atlantic striped bass benchmark assessment, which suggested fishing mortality in 2012 was above the proposed target, and female spawning stock has been steadily declining below the target since 2006. This means even though the stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring, striped bass spawning stock is approaching its overfished threshold and stock projections show that spawning stock will likely fall below the threshold in the coming years. A similar decline has been observed in total harvest.

The addendum includes management options to reduce recreational and commercial harvest along the coast and in the Chesapeake Bay under three reduction timeframes. The options are:

  • Reducing fishing mortality to its target in one year with a 25 percent reduction from the 2013 harvest numbers starting in 2015; or
  • Reducing fishing mortality to its target within three years with a 17 percent reduction from the 2013 harvest numbers starting in 2015; or
  • Reducing fishing mortality to its target within three years with a 7 percent reduction from the 2013 harvest for three consecutive years starting in 2015.

Specific options to be considered to achieve the necessary reductions include bag, size, slot and trophy size limits for the recreational fishery, and quota reductions for the commercial fishery.

The draft addendum is posted online at www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInput/StripedBassDraftAddendumIV. Anglers and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the addendum either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. Public comment will be accepted until 5 p.m. (EST) Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 and may be mailed to Mike Waine, ASMFC Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; faxed to 703-842-0741, or emailed to mwaine@asmfc.org, with Draft Addendum IV in the subject line.

For more information on the plan, visit www.asmfc.org. For more information on Delaware’s public hearing, please contact the Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

Delawareans unable to attend the Delaware hearing are welcome to attend the Commission’s public hearing in Maryland at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25 in the Cadby Theater, Kent Humanities Building, Chesapeake College, 1000 College Circle, Wye Mills, Md.


The above was a DNREC press release ….

This is why the Coastal Conservation DE chapter was started.  We need to start keeping up with these meetings as well as have input for them.  No one is watching the fishery in Delaware and that needs to change.  Maryland has been fighting this for years and we need to help in that fight or the striped bass populations will be in more trouble than they already are now.  Several of us will be at this meeting I suggest everyone who is concerned with the striped bass fishery and all fisheries for Delaware start attending these meetings and join the CCA.

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

Park Road to reopen near UD’s Lewes campus

Park Road to reopen near UD’s Lewes campus 

LEWES (Aug. 28, 2014) – The Division of Parks and Recreation has announced that Park Road in Lewes will be opened Saturday morning, Aug. 30, for through traffic. The road just underwent a major resurfacing and realignment, and had a new shared-use pedestrian/bicycle path added. Some minor clean-up projects remain but they can be completed with closures or temporary closures of a lane occurring only periodically.

Park Road connects New Road and Pilottown Road, and is commonly used as an alternative route to the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment/Hugh R. Sharp Campus, the Lewes Public Boat Ramp, U.S. Coast Guard Station and Lewes Dairy, as well as other businesses and residences along Pilottown Road.

For more information, contact the Cape Henlopen State Park office at 302-645-8983.

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report

Eight piping plover chicks fledged this season at Cape Henlopen

Eight piping plover chicks fledged this season
at Cape Henlopen, beachnesting bird monitors report

Oceanside beach at the Point to reopen for Labor Day weekend


LEWES (Aug. 27, 2014) – With beachnesting bird season winding down and migratory shorebirds passing through, beachnesting bird monitors reported that six pairs of piping plovers fledged eight chicks this season, four on the Point and four at Gordons Pond at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes.

Two of this season’s nesting plovers might stand as evidence supporting long-held speculation among biologists that plovers that nest in Delaware will return to breed here again in the future. In the last few years, several banding studies conducted in Atlantic Coast states used colored plastic leg bands in unique combinations on the plovers that allow observers to identify individual birds without having to recapture them.

“This season we had two piping plovers nesting in Delaware that had been banded in New Jersey, one in 2012 and one in 2013,” said Wildlife Biologist Matthew Bailey of the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife. “Next year, we’ll be watching to see if our two banded plovers return to Delaware to nest.”

Meanwhile, seabeach amaranth, a rare plant, is having a good season in the beach parks, with about 75 plants found between Tower Road and Faithful Steward Crossing in Delaware Seashore State Park, and about 10 plants scattered throughout the Point and Gordons Pond at Cape Henlopen State Park. This species, like the piping plover, is listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Seabeach amaranth grows in the same kinds of habitat where piping plovers nest and usually begins sprouting in July in Delaware.

The dunes and interdunal areas at Gordons Pond and the Point remain closed to the public year-round to protect seabeach amaranth plants and numerous other rare species and plant communities that exist in these areas.

The oceanside beach at the Point will reopen by Labor Day weekend, while the bayside beach will remain closed until October.

For more information about beachnesting birds or monitoring efforts, please contact Wildlife Biologist Matt Bailey at 302-382-4151 or email matthew.bailey@state.de.us.

About the piping plover

The piping plover was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1986, and the Division of Fish and Wildlife is responsible for its protection in Delaware, where Cape Henlopen is its only current nesting area. Under a binding agreement and subsequent species management plan that DNREC made in 1990 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the federal agency with oversight of this ESA-protected species, piping plover nesting areas at Cape Henlopen State Park are closed annually to the public to protect the shorebirds from disturbance during their March to September nesting season, including the Point and smaller areas around Gordon’s Pond. The closure, which must include feeding habitat as well as nesting areas, has been successful, increasing the number of piping plover nesting pairs from a low of two pairs to a high of nine pairs. Piping plovers feed on small invertebrates that inhabit the intertidal zone near their nesting territories. Chicks are not fed by their parents, but rather are led to the shoreline to forage while the adults keep watch for potential threats. Allowing pedestrian traffic in the intertidal zone adjoining nesting areas would disturb the vital link between nesting and foraging habitat and risk adverse stress or mortality to the chicks.


Posted in DSF, Fishing Report

Augustine Beach Boat Ramp to open for Labor Day weekend

Augustine Beach Boat Ramp to open for Labor Day weekend

Periodic weekday closures to continue next week through Sept. 18

DOVER (Aug. 27, 2014) – The Augustine Beach Boat Ramp near Port Penn and adjacent intertidal beach located on the south side of the existing groin, which has been closed for maintenance dredging of the boat ramp access channel Monday through Thursday each week since Sept. 4, will be temporarily open for the long Labor Day weekend from 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 28, until 8 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 2, DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife announced today.

Following the holiday weekend, the Augustine Beach Boat Ramp will continue to close from 8 a.m. on Mondays until 5 p.m. on Thursdays, reopening from 5 p.m. each Thursday until 8 a.m. each Monday.

Weather permitting, the project is expected to be complete, with full access restored, on or about Sept. 18.

The Augustine Beach ramp parking lot will remain open for the duration of the dredging project.

Boaters who regularly use the Augustine Beach Boat Ramp may opt to use the Fort DuPont Boat Ramp, located approximately 5 miles north in Delaware City.

For more information, please call the Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report

Back in the surf!

Sorry this is so short I am writing this at a truck stop in NY.  Coming home!!

osprey, raptors, denest the osprey project

The osprey we have been following all summer

We have had some nice weather and some not so nice weather, whether we like it or not.  Fall is on its way and the fact the days are getting shorter noticeably now is a sure sign.  Sunset is earlier and earlier now, and the temps are cooling off.  All in all this has been a great summer with the mild temperatures, granted we had a few very hot days, but for the most part it has been mild.  Coming this weekend we will probably see some storm surge from the latest tropical storm that is developing.  Most likely it will be difficult to hold bottom in the surf and boating will be dicey at best.  Hopefully that is wrong, but so far that is what is in store for labor day weekend.  Vacation was a blast but I am glad to be back in the sand box near the sea.  The mountains are fun, but I so love the beaches and miss the sunsets and rises.  Big thanks to the crew for keeping myself and the sites updated while I was in the middle of no where … fishing.  What can you expect to catch this weekend?  That is a good question.

     The fishing has been heavy still for flounder.  The flatties are everywhere and compared to last year the sizes have been tremendous, hopefully that is not a fluke and continues to next year.  Minnows, gulp, cut squid strips and even croaker strips have been great baits.  Live spot is also always a favorite for flatties and striped bass.  The Old Grounds all the reef and wreck sites, inner and outer walls, inland bays, and surf have seen great flounder catches.  The largest ones would definitely qualify for the term doormat this year.  The other catch that is not hard to come by are croakers.  They are literally everywhere still and it is hard not to catch one.  Makes for a good excuse to use them for very fresh cut bait.  Fishbites bloodworm formula, squid pieces, and small sand fleas are choice baits.  The off shore sites are also seeing a lot of trigger and sea bass.  Blue fish have shown up in the surf caught on mullet rigs and cut bait (mullet) on top and bottom rigs.  Blues have been caught at the Indian River Inlet on small spoons, metals, and bucktails.  IRI is also thick at the walls with croaker, flounder, small sea bass, oyster crackers, puffers, star gazers, sea robins, and short striped bass.  Skates, rays and sharks are heavy no matter where you are fishing close to shore.

blue heron, de nest the osprey project, fishing birds

The blue Heron that has been visiting the nest

The DeNest “The Osprey Project” that Kent and Mac Davis started this year has been very entertaining, and educational to follow.  The Osprey will be packing it in soon and headed south.  The boys are already gearing up for next year with possibly more platforms and definitely more high tech gear to observe the birds.  The nest was not used to lay eggs this year, but interest was certainly shown by a couple of osprey and one big blue heron decided to check out the platform several times.  We will have to wait and see next year if the osprey take to the platform and start a family.  You can check the Facebook page out at  https://www.facebook.com/ospreynest  and follow progress on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/user/theDeNest .    hoping next year is even better and knowing the Davis boys it will be just that.

    Offshore action has still been hot with tuna, mahi, tilefish, and albacore.  A mahi was caught near the Old Grounds.  It has been a strange year for fishing in some areas.  Not long ago a tuna was found swimming in the surf in New Jersey.  There have been tuna showing up in canals in Florida as well as billfish.  It has certainly caused people to wonder what is going on in the water or has this always happened and now thanks to social media and the internet we hear about it more.  Septima the thousand plus pound tiger shark keeps popping up off our coast, which isn’t strange, but very cool to follow online at OCEARCH.  Makes you wonder if that one shark that is tagged is showing up, what else is off our shores.   Crabbing has been good if you can find them or soak pots long enough.  Clamming hasn’t been too bad either.

  Labor Day Weekend marks the end of the summer season but also marks the beginning of the locals season.  This is when the streets are less crowded as well as the beaches.  Summertime is fun, but after a few months the crowds can wear on you.  It also gets everyone excited for fall fishing which by many is considered to be the best time of year, aside from spring, to fish.  That is when the bigger bluefish show up and the striped bass run.  It is time to restring reels and check all of your gear.  Summer fishing will give way to the fall and you will need the proper gear to land bigger fish.  Don’t forget the warm clothes this year.  According to the Farmer’s Almanac it is going to be a cold snowy winter.  We will have to wait and see how that plays out over the next few months.

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

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