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DNREC: Gordons Pond beach reopens

Gordons Pond beach reopens, with piping plovers all fledged

LEWES (July 24, 2013) – A half-mile portion of ocean shoreline at Cape Henlopen State Park’s Gordons Pond is scheduled to open on Thursday morning, July 25. The shoreline was closed to vehicles and pedestrians on May 21 to protect nesting piping plovers, which are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, and other beach nesting birds from disturbance during their breeding period.

During the 2013 nesting season, one pair of piping plovers nested at Gordons Pond. As many as three pairs have nested there in past years. This year’s nesting pair produced two chicks.  Other species that also nested at Gordons Pond this season were American oystercatchers and least terns, both species that are on Delaware’s endangered species list.

A rare plant species that is also regularly found at Gordons Pond is seabeach amaranth, which 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 sprouts in late July in Delaware. This season, amaranth has already been found at Gordon’s Pond.

Each year, the ocean shoreline beach at Gordons Pond reopens when the last beachnesting bird has fledged there. The dunes and interdunal areas at Gordons Pond remain closed to the public year-round to protect seabeach amaranth plants and numerous other rare species and plant communities that exist in this area.


This is great news!!!

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF

Good times fishing in Delaware

spot, DSSP, delaware seashore state park, dsf, 3rs beach access,

Ron “Jiggy Fins” Kyle doubling up on spot in the surf.

The past few days has been great fishing if you are in the right spot at the right time.  I know, we all hate that, but it is the nature of fishing.  From  ”you should have been here fifteen minutes ago”, to “after you left it came on hot!”  We all hate to hear that, but it happens all of the time.  Thursday I met up with the Reel Friends Surf Fishing club.  A group of first responders that have a fun organization made up of friends and family.  They were fishing Herring Beach in Cape Henlopen State Park.  I dropped by, set up my gear, said my hellos to everyone, and proceeded to catch nothing.  The bite was not hot.  However friends of mine set up near them, were crushing spot and kingfish one after another.  They even managed a very nice weakfish that released itself on the retrieve.  After a few minutes of watching them kill it in the surf, Karl looked at me and said … “Really?  I have the same gear and bait, and been here all day watching them crush the spot and croaker.”  I just smiled, and he said yeah I know, right place right time.  It is what it is in the surf, you may be in front of a good cut, or a decent hole filled with fish.  The tide moves the food around and the fish follow.  They will move like a swarm of locusts up and down the coast following currents and food.  They know their environment better than we think.  Learning what they know, and the difference between what we think they know is the hardest part of fishing.  I had a great timechilling with the Reel Friends and always look forward to a day in the sand with that crew.  Cape Henlopen has been good in the surf for kingfish, croaker, spot, flounder (small), skate, cownose rays, cusk eels, dogfish, and a few weakfish.  Mostly caught on Fishbites, bloodworms, sand fleas, and squid.  I heard of a few bluefish schools going past the shoreline, but farther than we could cast.

mahi mahi, yellowfin, bluefin, hotdog, hambone

Big catches yesterday! Four blue fin, one yellow fin, and three mahi mahi! — with George Glanden, Stephen Garrett, Scott Pantuliano, Kyle Ciber, Cole Ciber and Edward Stein …. Photo by Coryinn Ciber


The Delaware Bay has seen decent fishing, such as the bay beaches at Broadkill and Beach Plum Island.  Same catches as Cape Henlopen, but with more weakfish of larger sizes and bigger flounder.  The other night friends were at Bower’s Beach hitting croaker, cownose rays, and some sharks.  The best description I have yet to hear about pulling in a cownose ray was it is like a boulder with suction cups.  Those creatures do love to dig into the sand and can wear you out, as David and Kara discovered and described perfectly.  They have been getting into surf fishing rather heavily recently, and the stories are great to hear.  With that being said, I have received many pictures of people in the surf for the first time and their adventures.  It has been great to hear all their discoveries about the beaches that many of us take for granted.  Interesting finds, weird looking birds, and critters they see in the surf and on the sand.  Many of the kids out there have been catching fish for the first time and are just loving surf fishing.  James takes a kiddie pool with him to the beach and his girls, Erin and Chloe fill it with fish by the end of the day.  A beachquarium if you will, they even decorate it with shells and whatever they find.  The girls have a contest to see who catches the most by the end of the day.  I think that is just great, and now I know where I can find some bait for later in the day.  I am kidding girls, I would not do that … well maybe.  They always release the fish they collect, unless their dad decides it would be good to have a fresh fish dinner.  Not a bad way to keep the fish fresh, and still be able to put them back if you do not catch enough by day’s end.


thresher shark, 3Rs beach access, DSSP, dsf, delaware seashore state park

Ray Halfen with a thresher shark from 3Rs beach access

The inner and outer walls are holding tautog, trigger, trout, croaker, and flounder.  The fish are closer to the walls as it is the only structure out there holding food and providing protection.  The wall near the Ferry has been producing as well on the Lewes side, a few nice weakfish were pulled there the other day.  Croaker seem to be larger in those areas, upwards of two pounds.  The outer wall even produced a few keeper striped bass the other day.  Resident bass for sure, and this year we are seeing larger catches, not just the normal shorties.  The tautog bite has been great on all rock walls.  Keep in mind, I mean ALL rock walls, I hope that is enough said there.  Lewes beach is great for croaker, spot, and kingfish.  Some of the rips and structure with fast water has produced a few bluefish.  One fish many feel are just not around as much this year as in the past.  I have seen little of pictures or reports of them, but they are out there.  Speaking of out there, bluefin and yellow fin tuna and the mahi bite has been great at the Hambone and Hotdog.  Recently my sister in law asked why are those areas named that, well because they are shaped that way.  I got a blank stare telling me of course, that was a dumb question, after all fishermen are visual and we prefer the simple names.  The bite has been good chunking and on the troll, I promised my buddies I would keep the color combinations to myself, they know I can’t kayak that far anyway.

sand dredge, indian river inlet, dsf, delaware surf fishing

The sand dredge at the Indian River Inlet

The Indian River Inlet has seen great action for black puppy drum, flounder, and the occasional weakfish.  Shorty striped bass are a given and the other night you could have walked on the shad near the Coast Guard station under the lights.  I met a guy the other day that said he just loves to catch shad on an ultralight setup, and referred to them as Jersey tarpon.  I like that description, and they are a blast to catch when they are hitting like gangbusters.  Small spoons and speck rigs are the best for that action.  Many of the boats have been drifting spot for flounder all over the back areas.  Keep in mind the dredging has begun and there is equipment all over the place.  I would love to volunteer for the job of pulling all the snagged gear off the pipes when they pull them out of the water.  The north access of the jetty cap is closed at the handicap pier, and I am not certain when that will be accessible.  There is a large mound of dirt covering the dredge pipe on land, so anglers can cross.  Birds have been working the water frequently in the inlet, mostly in the middle.  The old bridge pylons are all gone, but the barge is still there, I do not think they are finished removing all of the southern pylons, and it looks very different.  The pelicans have been flying the area in small flocks as well, doing their part cleaning up on bait fish.  Neat to see them in larger numbers this year working the water.

cusk eel, dsf, delaware surf fishing

Miss Ella Baldwin with a cusk eel and striking a pose

Friday after hanging with the Reel Friends I went south and met up with Alex at 3Rs beach access.  We were going to fish all night in the surf, something I have not had time for yet this year.  One of my favorite trips is an all nighter on the beach, listening to the waves, watching the moon rise over the ocean, and trying not to hypnotize myself staring at the light at the end of my surf rod, bouncing with the motion of the waves.  You really have to pay attention to that little light, and it can become mesmerizing.  The beach is beautiful at night and under an almost full moon you can see your shadow in the dark.   The Charles W Cullen bridge, when lit up, looks incredible.  The lights on a hazy night seem like they reach into space.  It is truly a rewarding experience being able too stay out all night and take in all the sights and sounds.  The sand fleas are thick in the surf, and on this particular night they molted.  Soft shell sand fleas (say that three times fast) are great bait in the surf.  I baited a few hooks and caught a few kingfish and croakers.  Ghost crabs were scurrying all over the sand near the surfs edge, and we could see the glowing eyes of the creatures that live in the dunes.  Taking advantage of a night on the beach is an experience you will carry with you forever.  The fact we can do this all of the time is almost something taken for granted, and I try to go out at night as much as possible.  Nature takes on a whole new aspect in the dark.

kingfish, 3Rs beach access, Ron jiggy fins Kyle, delaware surf fishing

Ron on the surf’s edge with a kingfish

Massey’s Landing and the Inland Bays has produced fish in many areas.  Redfish or puppy drum are being caught again this year at the pier.  The sizes are much larger than last year with more keeper sizes, and many nice keeper flounder.  Croaker, kingfish, and spot are thick in the bays as well.  Clamming has been good, but crabbing has not been all that great.  Many feel it is the rains and some feel it is the temperature fluctuations.  On the outgoing tides the water has hit close to eighty degrees.  There are jellyfish popping up everywhere, which can make clamming a bit of an extreme sport.  Yesterday the surf was sixty seven degrees, and that is a big difference compared to the back bay temperatures.  Drifting the bays is a great way to spend an afternoon, with friends and family.  Finding a nice place to pull up on a bay beach and chill for the day grilling and fishing is always a bonus.   The inland bays offer all kinds of out of the way places to relax and just take it easy.   Watching fiddler crabs move through the marshes, ospreys catching their food for the day, and eagles are in many areas now.  We have a lot of wildlife here and that does not include the occasional Sea Doo ripping around.  You can catch all kinds of baitfish in cast nets for a day of fishing or do a little clamming.  Just make sure you are in an area that is designated safe to harvest them.  Watching the sunset on the back bays is always a treat.  Keep in mind as the winds die down the bugs have a tendency to eat you alive.

summer flounder, anchor fishing, gigging for flounder, indian river bay

Matt Pry … keeper flounder on anchor … nope, I kid you not, he caught a keeper flounder with the boat anchor … this will have to go up as the catch of the week

Tuesday I met my buddy Ron “Jiggy Fins” Kyle for a little surf fishing.  He needed to get back in the sandbox for some serious rest and relaxation.  Sometimes the toughest times in our lives can be eased by a day in the sand fishing the surf.  We geared up with bloodworms and fishbites and hit 3Rs beach access at one of my favorite spots.  I wanted him to get into some serious catching.  Meaning I wanted him to not have the time to sit still all day.  Fishing can take your mind off of many of life’s ordeals and curve balls.  When you are thick into the bite and reeling in fish after fish, you forget all of life’s little problems, if only for awhile.  We had a great time and I was able to share some of other people’s adventures this past week while they were fishing.  On Saturday, Ray Halfen, caught a thresher shark in  the surf at 3Rs beach on fresh spot chunks.  That was an interesting catch to say the least since two had been caught on the same day a hundred and fifty yards apart.  The first one was caught on a top and bottom rig with squid and bloodworms.  Another favorite story from this week, Matt Pry caught a keeper flounder, with his anchor.  I guess we can say there is a new technique in town, why jig when you can anchor.  When he was ready to leave for the day he pulled in the anchor and found a seventeen inch flounder stuck, like it had been gigged.  You can’t make this stuff up, I kid you not.  Today Ron and I caught kingfish, spot, and a few croaker between stories.  Ron hit the first fish of the day with a spot on fishbites.  I however am going to have to take the catch of the day.  I pulled in my line when the rod bounced.  Everything was normal until all of a sudden it felt like dead weight.  I figured maybe a ray hit the fish on my rig, or I snagged some old line.  The other night I dragged in two mullet rigs with a pound of weight between the two of them.  Once the rig and fish cleared the waves they were floating in the air, because they were in fact snagged on fishing line.  I was thinking oh cool I get more free gear.  To my surprise I pulled in a rod and reel.  The best part, it was an old school surf rod, with a brand new Quantum Optix 60 reel.  Score!!  You just never know what you are going to catch out there, and unless you put in the time, you never will.

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

DNREC press releases: Rosedale Beach Boat Ramp

Rosedale Beach Boat Ramp to be temporarily closed
on July 19, with full access to be restored July 20

DOVER (July 17, 2013) – The Rosedale Beach Boat Ramp near Millsboro will be temporarily closed Friday, July 19 during planned completion of parking lot upgrades, DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife announced today. The ramp is scheduled to reopen with full public access restored on Saturday, July 20.

While the construction wraps up, boaters who regularly use the Rosedale Beach ramp for access to the Indian River Bay may opt to use the Masseys Landing Boat Ramp, located on Long Neck Road in Long Neck.

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


Piping plover chicks trying their wings at Gordons Pond

‘Threatened plant’ alert: Seabeach amaranth spotted sprouting early

at Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore state parks


LEWES (July 17, 2013) – Piping plover monitors are watching closely as two plover chicks try their wings at Gordons Pond, in order to determine when the chicks can officially be declared fledged. With their parents defending them along the pond shoreline, the chicks have been observed taking short flights. 

At the Point, all five pairs of piping plovers have completed incubation of their nests. Chicks belonging to two of the Point’s pairs have been seen taking short flights. Another set of Point parents have been seen primarily on the bay side tidal flats, defending a single chick, while a fourth nest just hatched on July 3.

The status of chicks from the fifth nesting pair on the Point remains unknown. A full clutch of eggs had been observed in the nest, but monitors were unable to determine a hatch date due to unusual circumstances.

“This nest was hidden deep in a stand of beach grass, which is unusual in a species that prefers nesting on open sand or sparsely vegetated dunes. Because of this, monitors had not been approaching the nest too closely, in order to avoid disturbing broods of newly hatched chicks and possibly drawing predators,” said Wildlife Biologist Matthew Bailey. When no adults had been observed in the area of the nest for more than two days, monitors checked and found no eggs in the nest and no sign that predators had taken the eggs.

“The adult plovers have since been seen in the general area of their nest acting defensively,” Bailey said. “The nesting area is heavily vegetated, and determining the status of this brood would require disturbing the site by ‘beating of the bush,’ so we haven’t been able to determine if any chicks are there.”  

Seabeach amaranth, which is listed as a threatened plant under the federal Endangered Species Act, has gotten off to an early start this summer, Bailey noted. Typically, substantial numbers of this plant are not seen on Delaware’s beaches until late July or early August. This season, the first plant was discovered on July 4 at Gordon’s Pond, with an additional four plants observed since then. A search at Delaware Seashore State Park on July 10 turned up an astounding 50 more seabeach amaranth plants, Bailey added.

For more information on beachnesting birds and monitoring efforts, please contact Wildlife Biologist Matthew Bailey at 302-382-4151 or emailmatthew.bailey@state.de.us.

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Posted in DSF

Delaware surf fishing report

surfrider foundation of delaware chapter, barefoot wines, beach cleanups in delaware, dsf, delware surf fishing, tower road beach bath house, delaware seashore state park

Surfrider Foundation of Delaware and Barefoot Wine crew with the collection trash removed from the beaches … Good job gang!!

It was very wet here a few days ago, Friday we were hit with monsoon style rains, and the state flooded.  Many people in Delaware had instant waterfront property.  That didn’t stop a few people from hitting the water, and doing a little fishing.  It did make travel conditions rough for the weekend.  Now we are having a heat wave, but it is nice on the water.  Saturday I met the Surfrider Foundation of Delaware and Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project crew, and volunteered for their beach clean up.  We picked up a great deal of trash off of the Tower road walk on beach access in Delaware Seashore State Park.  These folks do a great job of keeping people informed of beach issues, and help out when they get together.  I had a great time meeting people, and doing my part to help clean the beach.  We always clean the beaches as much as possible when we are out there surf fishing, as do many people I know.  We always take out more trash than we brought with us, and dispose of it properly.  Please remember to carry in and carry out, there are recycling facilities near all of the parks.  That same afternoon I met Dave Eastburn’s family and his crew on the beach.  He and the kids were chasing down any trash that washed up on the beach.  Good to see people taking care of the beaches while they are out there.  It was great to see Dave now that he is back from overseas, he went from the desert sand box to his favorite place, the surf in Delaware.  There has been a lot of good fishing these past few days.

spear fishing, indian river inlet, DSF, delaware surf fishing, trigger,

Dan Keim with a trigger he hit spear fishing the Indian River Inlet

Dan Keim braved the rains on Friday and was catching trout (weakfish) at the Indian River Inlet.  He was also spear fishing the other day and said the rock wall is full of black puppy drum, sheepshead, tautog, and triggers.  Yesterday he managed to hit a few triggers.  He also said the inner wall at Cape Henlopen is loaded with croaker.  There has been a lot of activity at the inlet the last few weeks other than fishing.  Tomorrow tautog season begins, July 17 until August 31, the creel limit is five and keeper size is fifteen inches.  That should increase the fishing activity down there tenfold.  The North pylons for the old bridge have been taken down and the Southern pylons are almost to the water’s surface.  Soon they will be gone and the view will change forever.  We will have to see how that affects the fishing and water flow at the inlet.  The dredge is also now at the inlet just below the marina entrance, and soon will be pumping sand onto the northern surfer’s beach.  The dredging is necessary to remove the sand built up in the inlet, however many feel the inlet jetty needs to be fixed, or the sand will just wash back into the inlet.  Beach access will be closed as the dredging continues up and down the coastal beaches.  Once a beach is replenished it will reopen, I do not know an exact date, that keeps changing.  I do know it will change the surf fishing for a while, whether that will be a good thing, or not, will remain to be seen.  Usually dredging and replenishing the beaches makes the fishing worse.  The beaches have been carved out from the recent storms.  There is a drop off that has smoothed out, but the beach is much higher than the waves breaking on the shore.  Most if not all of the troughs and holes have been filled in with sand.  When you look at the water you will notice that the clean water is very far out there, and that is the area holding most of the larger fish.  However many croakers, spot, kingfish, skate, ling, and large rays have been caught in the surf.  In some cases you hardly have time to sit down the fish are hitting so fast.  Bloodworms have been the best bait, but Fishbites, clam, squid, and small sand fleas have worked well.  Mullet rigs are doing good when there are bluefish, bust mostly have been producing skate and small sharks.  Dave and I observed two guys shark fishing the other day and when they tried to beach the sand tiger they caught we stopped them.  One of the anglers complained he needed his hook back, Dave cut the line and told him to put the shark back in the water.  They were about to drag it up the beach and do the whole photo session thing, also not legal with a prohibited shark species  Beaching a these sharks is not legal in Delaware, and I know the rules are very vague on that subject.  I am working on a clarification of the rules, when we fished for sand tigers last year for DSU, no shark was to be beached, unless the permits were on hand.  The rules state that you have to release the shark in a manner that will insure its survivability.  The issue with beaching is the fact large sharks can crush themselves from their own weight when beached, due to the fact they do not have a skeletal structure.  Just a heads up, and I will have a better clarification from the state and DNREC soon.  If you do not know the species, then let it go.  Showboating while catching sharks on the beaches is not a good thing to do either, it does not do any good for the sport of surf fishing.

kingfish, delaware surf fishing, conquest beach drive on access,  
Dallen with a 13.5 inch kingfish from the surf.

Bluefish have been far and few between in the surf, but they are out there.  My buddy Boots was catching spot the other day, rigging them up, and casting them out as far as he could.  He had a huge smack from a blue, and reeled in half of a spot with a large clean bite out of it, actually all that was left was the head.  So the blues are probably cruising the shallow areas looking for all the spot, croaker and kingfish they can eat.  Speaking of kingfish.  Before I met up with Dave Eastburn and his family the other day Dallen hit a nice thirteen and a half  inch kingfish.  The other day Jenny Blackstock caught a citation kingfish at Conquest Beach.  The kings have been thick in size and number this year, and they are great eating.  Some f the kids with Dave’s crew were using a two and half foot pink Barbie pole and pulling in spot two at a time.  It was great to see the kids tearing up fish they were having a blast.  Dave eventually had to take a break from running between the kids’ rods keeping them baited, and casting for them.  I got into the mix, helped for a while, which that can definitely wear you down, but is worth every minute.  There have been a lot of kids fishing this year, catching for the first time, and you can see the excitement in their smiles.  They are definitely hooked, pun intentional.  The surf has been producing good catches and everyone is having a blast.  The rays are out there in full force and James Blackstock’s neighbor on the beach the other day caught one the size of a car hood.  There are a lot of fish out there.  Even cusk eels are popping up all over the place.  Rig one of them up, or a small spot and see what is chasing them.  A few bluefish schools even moved in close enough to cast to the other day, but none of us had spoons, I will be remedying that today, my gear is a mess.

cownose ray, delaware surf fishing, conquest beach, DSF

Photo by James Blackstock … Here’s a pic of the giant butterfly ray that was caught by this nice guy fishing next to us today. I’ve never seen one this big before, of course my girls took advantage of the photo opportunity.

Flounder are showing up in all of the usual spots in the bays, surf, rocks, rails,and piers.  Massey’s Landing has seen some nice keepers produced … spot, chartreuse gulp, and minnows have been the best baits.  White or chartreuse Gulp on a jig head in the surf is working well, you just have to put in some time casting.   Black puppy drum and even red puppy drum have been caught at Massey’s Landing as well.  The old grounds and site ten have been hot for the past few days, with many keepers produced on almost every drift.  People are filling the boxes with nice sized flounder.  The Indian River Inlet has been good for flounder on spot mostly, live or even strips.  This is just a personal preference of mine, but if you are going to use one fish too catch other fish, make sure you are fishing to keep.  Catch and release is great, but using another animal to catch another animal just for fun, kind of defeats the purpose of helping to increase fish stocks.  This is just my opinion, and one reason I prefer to use artificial baits and lures.  Also if you are using bloodworms be sure to dispose of the package properly, including the algae they are stored in, so as not to introduce any invasive species into our tidal waters.  Invasive species has become an issue in many areas, and doing your part to prevent this will help.  Slot season for striped bass started July first and will last until August thirty first, twenty to twenty six inch fish may be kept two fish per angler.  This is for the Delaware bay and its tributaries only, that includes the Roosevelt Inlet and the Lewes Canal starting at the train bridge.  The outer and inner wall has seen some nice slot fish, and many a resident striped bass has been caught at the Indian River inlet.  Most have been just shy of twenty eight inches, and that area unfortunately does not qualify for slot season.

dolphin fish, mahi mahi, dorado fish, delaware offshore fishing,

Josh Witmer with 2 dolphins or mahi mahi …

The bite out front has been great for many of the off shore charter boys.  From John French of Overboard Sportfishing … “Well, to start this off- the weather was wonderful for a change instead of the normal weekend conditions we’ve been fighting this year.  So flat yesterday you could skip a stone to Europe!   7/13 We leave the slip, start heading east to that small unheard of spot… the hot dog. As I go back to rig wind- ons, and someone pulled out a big no no. Yep, a banana.  Need I say more?  One pull that didn’t come tight that day.  7/14 We run south, through pea soup. Lines in around 30fa trolling E now. Plenty of life and let me tell ya, I have never seen SO many turtles out there! Didn’t even have every line in long, snap bang dolphin in the boat pulled a couple more in for the box. Back on the troll were greeted with Mr White. Eat and run, never came tight. Well either him or his cousin was hungry a little bit later on. I think this cat tried to mash every bally in the spread. Slim hooks him on a big medium bally on an 80wide wwwwwwwwb and Dan cranks him in for his first ever white Marlin release and at boat side, this fish was lit. Beautiful but GREEN!  Slim and I had to double up for a clean release, in the pond of course…. two hands on the bill and still giving me a fight!  Lol no revival necessary as he was happy to dart off. Oh yeah, we had two skippys and a lot of small dolphin bites. .. don’t think they could get their mouths around the baits!  Anyway, we had some great customers this weekend and some excellent fishing yesterday.  Congratulations to Dan his first white boy. ”  …  Thanks John sounds like a fun time aside from the banana!!  Josh Witmer was out front yesterday and brought in two nice dolphins … “It was a beautiful day on the water. Started trolling inshore and worked our way to 40 fathom line and then trolled back. Had some short bites too, probably peanut dolphin. We were away from the fleet all by ourselves.  Awesome day on the water “    

Tri state bird and rescue, osprey,

Help the rescued birds out

Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc needs your help to feed the many juvenile osprey we have received this season. This species eats fish almost exclusively, and these hungry young patients have been feasting their way through our supply.
You can help! We would greatly appreciate donations of whole fish (18″ or smaller, fresh or frozen) to help these feathered hunters recover. The osprey’s favorites include spot, perch, trout, scup, panfish, shad, catfish, and bluefish. We will gratefully accept them at Tri-State’s Frink Center for Wildlife any day between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Please spread the word so we can give these osprey a second chance at life!
Tri-State Bird rescue is located at 110 Possum Hollow Road, Newark, DE 19711, the phone number is 302.737.9543

Barbie pole,  spot, delaware surf fishing, conquest beach

Spot on a Barbie pole!! Shaun Taylor and his daughters were hammering spot

It has been a great time in Delaware’s tidal waters this week and will continue.  Remember it is summer time, so the traffic can be a bear, plan your trips, pay attention and be careful out there.  The accidents this year have been numerous, stay off those phones, you can update your status when you arrive.  I would like to thank everyone for supporting DSF, and sending in pictures to the DSF Facebook page.  It has been rewarding seeing kids out there with their first catches having a great time.  Soon I will start a photo contest on DSF with different categories suggestions are definitely welcome. I will announce when it will start soon, the subject for the contest, and the rules.  If you want to send in pictures just email them to us, or post to the DSF Facebook page.  There is a contact link at the top right of the website for emails or send to … admin@delaware-surf-fishing.com.  I also appreciate everyone supporting our sponsors, without them this site would not be possible.  Speaking of sponsors, Love Creek Bridge Marina now has gas available and pontoon rentals with a captain.  Fill up your boat, drop it in for the day, or hire a pontoon and spend a hands free day on the water.  Also check out Dave Marshall Fitness and Tennis for great summer deals on memberships, they have a nice pool to cool off on these hot days.  Don’t forget to drop by Whoa Daddys in Long Neck for free ice for your coolers when your headed out for the day, mention DSF and get an extra 10% off their weekly pizza special.  Starting this week (Thursday) you will be able to read the DSF reports and see pictures in the Cape Gazette’s Beach Paper, a great visitors’ guide to what is up in our area.  I am very excited to be working with them this season, and look forward for more to come.

Fish On!!

Rich King

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Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

Delaware Surf Fishing report …

summer flounder, dsf, delaware surf fishing, flounder fishing in delaware,

Clay Harrison Blasting flounder from the bays

Well it has been one heck of a week and weekend, which for us never seems to end.  Hope everyone has been well I have been very busy playing catch-up on all my orders and all is well now.  I just want to thank everyone for their patience and apologize for the delays.  The fishing has been excellent as long as you are catching :D …. Yeah, yeah, yeah …  I know, not everyone always catches, but the fact you are out there trying, and enjoying yourselves should be a reward in and of itself.  So what has been happening?  We will have to back track to Fourth of July weekend and go from there so this could be a tad long …..

On the fourth of July weekend this area was crazy with traffic and what not, so I ventured north or hid in the air conditioning inland.  We hit Beach Plum Island on the fourth of July and met up with some friends and set up to fish the surf.  Mike Bashore, Jamie Speraw, and Tyler Speraw met me out there and set up their gear.  We had several lines out with fishbites to bunker chunks.  By the way some dirt bag broke into several cars at Beach Plum Island in the parking lot so be careful leaving valuables in plain site.  Anyway, we were all fishing, grilling, and pulling in little croakers, spot, and dogfish.  Scott Jost had his telephone pole all set up (monster surf rod) with a nice bunker chunk hoping for a large skate.  We knew Tyler was dying to catch a big fish and as luck would have it the rod went crazy just after dark and the fireworks.  By the way we probably saw at least twelve different shows, we could see the whole lower coast of Delaware including Jersey.  Then the rod went nuts, Scott looked at Tyler, handed him the rod and said … “Hey do me a favor and reel this in for me”.  Tyler said … “are you sure” … Scott said … “of course”.  Well, Tyler grabbed the telephone pole, and honestly it was hysterical watching him try to hold this rod (14 footer) and horse in whatever was dragging all that line out.   He would get it close and the fish would take off … he had a serious look and an epic smile.  Eventually he pulled in what turned out to be a sandbar shark.  Since these are prohibited to beach or take out of the water, we let him get it close to the shore and then slacked the line.  The shark threw the hook and swam off, no worries for the fish and the look on that young man’s face was priceless.  Actually the looks on his face while trying to pull it in were very priceless (we have pictures … of Tyler, not the shark).  Long story short, Scott made Tyler’s day letting him reel in his first big fish, and the fact it was a shark was a bonus.  Kudos to Scott for allowing Tyler to take command of that catch.

trout, sea trout in delaware, weakfish, dsf, delaware surf fishing,

Shawn S. with 6lb Sea Trout …

So what is happening out there?  We have fish all over the place.  Croakers are everywhere, and I mean everywhere, even very nice sized ones.  Ray Hibbs told me a guy checked in a few two pounders at Bills Sport Shop one afternoon from the Broadkill River.  I have seen them caught all over the place.  Kingfish are just as thick in the surf and out front on wrecks and the walls.  Triggers are out there as well as sea bass, and spade fish have even made an appearance.  Squid, clam, fishbites, and real bloodworms have been the best baits for these guys.  Sand fleas are excellent as well, I tend to dig for my own, but you can find them in some shops.   The floundah poundahs have been killing it in the bays, Roosevelt Inlet, Indian River bay, Rehoboth bay, and out front at places like site ten.  The best places in the Delaware Bay and the ocean have been structure.  Flounder are in tight to the structure so watch the snags and fish out of the current, or away from it, not into it.  Slot fishing for Striped bass (residents) has been good at Roosevelt Inlet, Broadkill River, Lewes Canal (only legal from the train bridge to the Roosevelt Inlet), and the Delaware bay.  Bunker chunks, swim shads, and even speck rigs have done well for these fish.  Big news!!… the trout or weakfish have been getting bigger and showing up more all over the place.  Epic sized catches compared to the last few years have been reported up to six pounds.  Same baits as the rest of the fish, but chicken works well too, raw, not Kentucky Fried, and even though Royals Farms’ chicken is addictive, I don’t think the fish are down with fried.  Little dogfish have been every where and I have been sent many pictures of kids catching these as their first sharks.  I am very excited to see kids catching, not the fact the catches are sharks, but that they (the kids not the zombies) are out there fishing instead of playing zombie in front of video games.  It has been a great week fishing Delaware’s tidal waters.

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Tyler Speraw hooked into something large …. good times!!

What has been going on at the Indian River Inlet?  Well I am going to let Dante Cilia tell you all about it … “On Saturday and Sunday nights between the times of 1030 p.m. and 2 a.m. in the inlet seemed to be the best time to fish over the course of the week with three of us fishing using speck rigs and storm lures we released well over a hundred and fifty stripers between 14 and 25 inches and released 15 bluefish weighing around 3 to 5 lbs also we caught 6 trout with the biggest one being 28 inches and smallest one being 17 inches also we stumbled across two flounder some how working a jighead with a chartreuse gulp not even touching the bottom.   The first time I have ever seen flounder hit in open water, and we also caught lots of shad while casting into the huge schools of stripers running through the coast guard station while fishing the rocks.  It was one of the best fishing nights I’ve had here in the inlet in a long time.  All the trout were caught on speck rigs and most the blues other then one weighing around 5 and a half pounds was caught on a storm lure, while the stripers were hitting anything you threw at them.  Please share this with the other member of the page  …… (Tuesday) … Fishing the inlet last night caught a three lb trout, 6 small stripers, and five blues up to 4 and a half lbs“. … Thanks Dante I appreciate the detailed report.  That is what this is all about gang, helping your fellow angler catch, or at least have a shot, and still having a good time.  The Inlet has been the hottest on the incoming tide.  The water clarity is best at the top of the incoming or high tide.  During the low tide it has been rather dirty and visibility is maybe two feet, during the incoming it gets up to four feet visibility on the top.

no quarter sport fishing, charter fishing, big eye tuna in delaware, dsf, delaware surf fishing

Bigeye Tuna , Caught By Robert Klerlein , 159 pounds! He was fishing on the No Quarter

The bite out front, and I mean wayyyyy out front, like at the Hot dog and the canyons has been great for blue and yellow fin tuna and a few big eye have been caught.  Yes you will need a boat or hire a charter, not gonna happen from the surf, and if it does send pictures!!  The boys from the Quintessa and Overboard Sportfishing have been doing well.  No Quarter (no not Led Zeppelin) have been creaming the fish as well.  You want to catch these beasts??  Go for these folks, they have the knowledge and skills.  Oh and the bait schools have been sick off of the coast in the surf.  Huge schools of bunker, shad, and blues have been a hundred yards plus off the beaches and move in from time to time.  You just have to be there when they do, that is something I cannot predict.  I can say if the tide is incoming they will move in closer to chase the bait.   The beaches are shelved off from the storms and winds.  most of the troughs and holes are filled.  You can see the edge of the clean water is wayyyyy out there and that is hard to cast out to.  That is one of the reasons the bluefish have been hard to find in the surf.  They are out there though. and mullet rigs have been the best for them, but they have been far and few between.  Puppy drum are showing up at Massey’s Landing and indian River Inlet, and clam has been the best bait.  This is all I have for you kids, I apologize it took so long for a report………………….  David Eastburn!! … Welcome HOME!!!!  Many of us have missed you brother, and to all in the armed forces, we miss you all, and hope you come home soon!!!  This … “war” … sucks.

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

Delaware Surf fishing Report

cusk eel, sand eel, dsf, delaware surf fishing, delaware seashore state park

Cusk Eel caught in the surf … photo by Raymond Hamm

Hey gang!!  Sorry I have been away for a while following Jeff on the 2013 Great Delaware Kayak Tour.  We had a blast and it was a very educational experience, I will tell you all about it in a few days.  The fishing has been decent all over the place, this is a quick report.  The big news, bluefish are in the surf at Cape Henlopen the last couple of days on mullet rigs.  They have also been heavy in the Indian River Inlet and the Delaware Bay, mostly near structure and in heavy rips.  Weakfish are out there as well, good too see them back in larger numbers and sizes this year.  Croaker are thick everywhere.  Some decent sizes are starting to show up in the surf and in the bays.  I was catching them as far up north as Fort DuPont.  Fishbites and live bloodworms have been the best, squid is doing well.  I saw some great sizes at Woodland pier and Port Mahon fishing piers.  There were a lot of catfish up north in the Delaware bay and the C&D canal at Reedy Point.  A few resident striped bass have been caught at the Indian River Inlet.  Sandbar sharks have been showing up in the surf as well as sand tiger sharks.  Kingfish are all over the place and bloodworms is the best bait for them.  Small sand fleas work well, you just have to dig them up in the surf.  Spot are everywhere and have been great bait for flounder.  The flatties are all over the place, minnows, gulp, and spot have been the best baits.  Slot season for striped bass started July 1st and will last until August 31st, creel limit is two fish.  20-26 inch fish may only be kept in the Delaware River and Bay and their tributaries.  Lewes canal from the train bridge to the Roosevelt inlet is considered a tributary by DNREC and can be fished for slot striped bass.   A nice sized sheepshead was caught a week ago at IRI by Jimmy Dove.  Puppy drum are in the back bays now as well, both reds (redfish) and black.  No need to start that debate on the naming of puppy drum again, any small drum is considered a puppy drum.  The funny looking eel like fish showing up in the surf are Cusk Eels.  They are not true eels but look just like one.  Everyone have a safe holiday weekend, I am about to participate in the Bethany Beach parade, and then do a little shark fishing this evening.

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF

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Rehoboth Beach, DE
April 18, 2014, 9:06 am
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