Josh Thomas with a thresher shark at Cape Henlopen today
Did everyone enjoy the fall weather teaser in august? Reminds you of the fish to come and the colors of fall. Summer is still in full swing, it’s hot and crowded. The fishing has been decent for the most part. Flounder are still the hot catch and can be found just about everywhere. Many of the charters have been loading up on flounder limits. Minnows or gulp have been the best baits, but squid strips can produce a flattie. Jigging for them just behind the first wave in the surf works well with a white bucktail with a squid strip. Rigging up two bucktails in tandem like a speck rig works. Sometimes flounder will hit mullet rigs during a retrieve or bait check. Croakers, spot, spade fish, triggers are all around the walls and rock piles. Sand fleas are good for the triggers and sheepshead. fishbite bloodworms formula and squid has done well for the croakers, spot and spades. It is hard not to catch a croaker just about anywhere you fish. A few turtles have been caught the past few days. If you happen to catch one please carefully remove the hook and gently place them back in the water. They have a tough enough time out there as it is.
Clay Harrison took second in the kids ocean division.
It is Shark Week and Delaware has seen its share of action. From the visits of the large tiger shark Septima, Great Whites off the coast visiting angler’s boats, even a large bull shark landed in the surf a couple of weeks ago below Fenwick Island Delaware. A thresher shark was caught in the surf the other day by Josh Thomas on a mullet rig at Cape Henlopen State Park. It was a small or “pup” sized shark, but that means the parents are probably not that far away. Lots of small sand sharks being caught in the surf this year. Be careful handling these smaller sharks, many of them are usually the prohibited species and can’t be removed from the water. The smaller sharks can also be a handful, literally, and if they flip around they can bite you. Easiest way to avoid catching a shark is not use cut bait. That will also help you avoid skates and rays. The two other obligatory catches in the summer, it is hard to get away from them. Unfortunately you will have to deal with these catches since the bluefish are around.
Another shot of the thresher shark by Irene Latzko-Farmer
Mullet has been the best baits for bluefish, whether on a mullet rig or a top and bottom rig with cut bait (mullet). That is what the fish are feeding on and the smaller peanut bunker that is in the bays. Unless you are going whaling, they have been hammering the larger bunker schools. The Delaware bay is seeing its fair share of blues and the surf has seen random catches mostly during the morning and evening hours. Dogfish are prevalent in the surf and the inland bays. Slot striped bass fishing has been good at the walls in the Delaware bay and as far up as Augustine beach. The Indian River Inlet has seen a lot of short striped bass.
Offshore action has been good for tuna, mahi, white marlin, and tilefish. I have seen a few Stargazer pictures here and there. Some boys I know in Maryland are hammering Spanish makerel in the Chesapeake Bay. A lot of tropical fish have been popping up in seine nets up and down the coast the last couple of weeks. The gulf stream and storms will bring all kinds of tropicals to the area. Crabbing has been decent once you find them. Clamming is about the same and a good day on the water. Summertime is shooting by but we are enjoying it none the less. Have a great week and see you in the sandbox.
Ramp to reopen periodically during work through Sept. 18
DOVER (Aug. 15, 2014) – The Augustine Beach Boat Ramp near Port Penn and adjacent intertidal beach located on the south side of the existing groin will continue to reopen periodically during the work through Thursday, Sept.18, while maintenance dredging of the boat ramp access channel continues, DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife announced today.
The Augustine Beach Boat Ramp will be closed 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 during this time frame. The boat ramp also will be temporarily reopened for the long Labor Day weekend at 5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 28, until 8 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 2. The Augustine Beach parking lot will remain open for the duration of the dredging project.
Weather permitting, the project is expected to be complete, with full access restored, on or about September 18.
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.
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Photo by Jeff Muller … humpback Whale off Bethany Beach
Fishing this week has been decent in the surf. Random bluefish, kingfish, croaker, and spot mostly on fishbites bloodworm formula and squid. Small sharks have been plentiful, from little sand sharks to dogfish. Skates galore as usual, I just saw a picture of skate wing meat selling for eleven eighty eight a pound. Apparently Jersey flounder (skates) has some value, who knew. Flounder are still the hot fish for this year, and are all over the place on gulp chartreuse swim mullets or minnows. Triggers are still on the walls, reef and wreck sites, the best bait is sand fleas. There are still slot striped bass catches showing up in the Delaware Bay area. Keep in mind that is only the Delaware Bay and its tributaries that slot season counts. The Lewes canal is a tributary from the train bridge to Roosevelt Inlet. Bluefish are in the Delaware bay still and the catches have been decent. Small snappers but fun to catch and great in the smoker. The carcasses make great crab trap bait. Crabbing has been okay, still not as good as previous years. You just have to find them. Clamming is still decent but they are on the larger side. Off shore fishing has been great for mahi, tuna,and tilefish. Summer fishing at its finest. August is usually like this and the traffic on weekends is insane. Summer season is coming to an end, but the fishing will continue.
Rob Schumacher with a croaker from the Indian River bay
You can see the excitement in people’s eyes in these pictures when they are fishing. Catching their first fish for the season or life. Just seeing a fish for the first time, kids have some of the best reactions. Excited joy and amazement all at the same time. You never forget that first fish and the thrill continues every time you catch. There are many reasons I love to fish, the thrill of the catch is one of them. Having a blast with your friends while fishing, and the cool things we see on the water. This weekend the Bluedogs surf fishing team was offshore in front of Bethany Beach flounder pounding. They were treated to a show by a humpback whale feeding on bunker. They said it was amazing to watch and will never forget that experience. Seeing the pictures are cool, but to experience that is a once in a lifetime for most people. It is a fishing trip friends took together that they will never forget. That is everything that fishing is about all rolled into one. I have memories of fishing when I was a kid I have been reliving for the past week, it has been a refreshing experience. People fish for fun, food, and/or a living, but no matter they also do it for the love of the thrill of the catch. It is fishing, something we all do for the joy of the experience.
Photo by Matthew C Beatty … This is high tide at the first entrance south of Bethany almost completely flooded in certain areas.
Even though tropical storm Bertha is well off our coast, today the storm surge at high tide flooded most of the beaches in Delaware and Maryland to the dune line in no time. Lifeguards had to close down the beach at Indian River Inlet south side. Water washed across the beach and filled in behind beach goers. Basically water washed up just like it would normally during a storm and started to “recut” the beach. With sandbars and tide pools, essentially what the bottom looks like just farther up the beach. Most of the time people are not on a beach to see this happen or be there when the beach fills in like this from a storm surge. Rip currents are more of a danger with this surge so take precautions. The waves will be large and fast. There were a lot of rescues on a few beaches today in Ocean City. The waves and currents will make it difficult to hold bottom for surf fishing. I do not know if the beaches will be open for drive on in some areas due to high tide. I am sure the parks will decide that tomorrow. Alex said the water came up to the dunes fast on conquest today. Not a good idea to be on a drive on beach if the tide is coming in with a storm surge. Be careful Wednesday and Thursday. The storm will be much farther away by then but the surge will remain. The weekend will most likely see stirred up water, a cut up beach, and fast water. Hopefully it calms down more than that, but that is my best guess.
The non toothy unit
Fishing slowed down over the weekend when the rains showed up, but that didn’t stop many from getting out there. Flounder have been the hot catch this month and summer. They are popping up everywhere on either minnows or gulp. From the Inland Bays to the Delaware Bay to the ocean it is hard to not find flounder. Croaker are still everywhere on fish bites or squid. Resident striped bass are still heavy at the outer walls and Roosevelt inlet. Spot are hitting the same baits and just about as frequent, the surf has seen both as well as kingfish. The beaches over the weekend were quiet. That rain really keeps people away from the drive on beaches. Several of my friends were out fishing despite the weather. They were catching the “norm” in the surf for summer time and having a blast on the barren beaches. Not a lot of fun to party in the rain I suppose, but the fish don’t mind. The off shore action has been pretty hot this week. The White Marlin Open started up, and watching the scales is always a good time. Good luck to all the boats this year!
Toggin is still hot and triggers are still prevalent at the outer and inner walls. Live sand fleas are the ticket. Blue fish have been out there as well and at times at the Indian river inlet. Blues are popping up in the surf here and there. crabbing has been okay this week but nothing to write home about. Clamming has been decent too, just have to find them. For all you back bay fans. The tagged tiger shark (Septima) popped up in the Isle of Wight Bay on the first of August. This shark weighs in at 1,000 pounds and is about twelve feet long. That is one big shark. When we caught one two years ago in the surf, that freaked some people out, but was only six and a half feet long.
I heard the traffic on route 1 has been a real bear. When it was jammed up to the inlet bridge last week I was just about arriving to the lake in Connecticut. We have a couple family cabins on a private lake in the mountains. It is a great place to escape for some down time. I have to say aside from the killer fishing, the weather has been about the same as Delaware. You should see the license costs up here it is insane, $55 for an out of state fishing license, and in state is $28. It is some of the best fishing in the New England area. The rivers have been tougher to fish, but this lake is like an aquarium some days. I spend long nights on the dock listening for fish and then in the early morning go looking for them. No light pollution so you can see the milky way. We have bears and moose up here now and I have yet to run into either of them. I was able to reconnect with an old friend from college and it turns out he and his wife live ten minutes from the lake. All in all it has been a great vacation, but I am looking forward to getting back in the sand box soon.