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Surf Fishing with Hunters Helping Soldiers

Hunters Helping Soldiers, surf fishing, delaware seashore state park,  3rs beach access, indian river inlet bridge,

Set up with Hunters Helping Soldiers for a day of surf fishing and this was half the crew.

A few weeks ago Larry Thompson  contacted me about helping him get people to go surf fishing with his group Hunters Helping Soldiers.  They were going to take Dave “Doc” Green surf fishing for the first time in his life and they wanted to show him a good time.  I told Larry we would help anyway we could and contact a few friends to put more people on the beach.  Over the course of a few weeks we coordinated on a facebook page to get organized and met at the beach Thursday morning.  We set up Easy up tents, tables, and grills for a full blown day on the beach.  Between my friends and Larry’s crew we had a beach full of people.  Now we just needed to wait for Dave and I was hoping the surf would calm down so we would see some fish.  The waves were peaking at nine feet and the water was stirred up with a heavy current.  Either way it would be a nice day on the beach.  We set up all of the rods and baited up for a day of fishing.  Corby Fulton met us down there and grabbed bait from Dan’s Tackle Box and when he told him what we were doing and why, Dan loaded us up with enough bait to feed an army of fish.  Big thanks for that Dan, it was appreciated by everyone.

Hunters Helping Heroes, surf fishing, 3rs beach access, dsf

Dave Green all settled in for a day of rod watching on the beach

Dave arrived about 11 am, he was in Dover all weekend for the races.  Hunters Helping Soldiers arranged a weekend at the races and we were going to help them top it off with a day in the sandbox.  Dave was very surprised to see everyone there, he was told about the trip the day before but he didn’t know all of these people would be there to hang out for the day.  He is an avid hunter and angler.  He took up fly fishing a couple of years ago and fishes in Oregon, his home state, so surf fishing was a whole new world.  After some quick instruction on casting and what it was all about he fell right into step.  I presented Dave with a DSF T shirt and Hoodie and thanked him for his service.  He has been through a lot serving in the armed forces.  All of our vets have and deserve the appreciation.  After talking for a bit I told him I hoped we would see some fish today, but due to the conditions it might not happen.  Some of the boys were hammering skates left and right, but the Jersey flounder was not what I was hoping to catch.  Dave looked at me and said … “When I hunt I am in the woods, it is my church, I don’t care if I bag a deer I just am happy to be out there and I feel the same way about fishing”.  I couldn’t have agreed more, because that is what being in the great outdoors is all about.  People spend their whole lives fishing or hunting and miss that one point.

Dave Green, Hunters Helping Heroes, surf fishing, 3rs beach access, burrfish, spiney box fish

Dave “Doc” Green with a burrfish from the surf.

Dave hung out all day talking, joking, and having a great time rod watching.  Eventually the fish turned on and we started catching a few spiney boxfish or burrfish.  The fish didn’t show up until later in the afternoon, but everyone was having a blast in the sandbox.  Sometimes that is all you need, a day with good people doing something you love.  I had a great time meeting Dave and the folks from Hunters Helping Heroes.  This organization is doing good things for our veterans and I told Larry any time he needed help just to let us know.  We spent twelve hours on the beach, got burnt to a crisp, and little fish to show for the day, but that is not why we were there.  We wanted to show a man our appreciation for his service and sacrifice, by showing him what he and everyone is fighting for, the freedom to enjoy life.  Check out Hunters Helping Soldiers and see what you can do to help them they have many events they are doing this year.  It was an honor to be asked to help Dave  and I had a great time with HHS crew on the beach Tuesday.  Tomorrow is the anniversary of D Day, the landing in Normandy.  Thank a vet for their service, buy them lunch, but most importantly sit and talk with them.  You will be surprised how much you may have in common, and you will do the best thing, showing them the respect they deserve.

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

Fish for free in Delaware waters June 7 and 8


Anglers invited to fish for free in Delaware waters June 7 and 8

DOVER (June 2, 2014) – Been thinking of casting a line into a nearby stream or daydreaming about a sunny afternoon at the beach with your surf rod, but just haven’t gotten around to purchasing your 2014 Delaware fishing license yet? DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife has an opportunity for you.

To celebrate National Fishing Week, June 1-8, the Division of Fish and Wildlife invites you to test your luck fishing, clamming and crabbing by offering free fishing days on Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8. On these two days, anyone may fish the state’s waters without a fishing license.

Anglers are reminded that even though they don’t need a license on those two days, if they intend to fish June 7 or 8, they are still required to obtain a free Fisherman Identification Network (F.I.N.) number. A free F.I.N. number can be obtained online at www.delaware-fin.com or by calling 1-800-432-9228. Anglers also are required to comply with Delaware’s fishing regulations, including size and daily catch limits.

National Fishing Week festivities will also include DNREC’s 28th Annual Youth Fishing Tournament from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 7. Sponsored by the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Enforcement Section, the event will take place at a pond in each county: Ingrams Pond in Millsboro, Silver Lake Park in Dover – a new location for Kent County this year – and the dog training area at Lums Pond State Park in Bear. Participants are asked to arrive before 10 a.m. to register for the tournament.

With the exception of this one weekend, resident and non-resident anglers from the ages of 16 through 64 who fish, crab or clam in any Delaware waters – including ponds, impoundments, streams, rivers, bays and ocean – are required to purchase a fishing license. Delaware residents 65 or older and both residents and non-residents under age 16 do not have to purchase a license. Licenses are required for non-residents age 65 and older.


Delaware fishing licenses cost $8.50 for residents, while non-residents pay $20 a year or $12.50 for a seven-day license. Fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find the participating agent nearest you, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.


Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

Thresher shark brought into Lewes

thresher shark, atlantic sharks, delaware family fishing

Mike Trestka, Captain Brian Wazlavek, Mate Aahron Jost, and angler Josh Chubbs with the thresher brough in today by Delaware Family Fishing …. photo from Mike Trestka

After a bit of a cooling off earlier in the week, the temperatures jumped back to normal, and we had a beautiful weekend.  May was a fun month with some interesting weather and great fishing.
June so far has not been disappointing. The surf has been producing bluefish on cut bait and whole mullet. Puffers are hitting fishbites and bloodworms. A few keeper striped bass have been caught on bunker chunks. Flounder are close to the surf feeding on sand fleas, or a live minnow will produce. Croaker are thick in the surf now as well as kingfish on fishbites bloodworms and crab formulas. A few drum have been caught on fresh surf clam. It is rip current awareness week and NOAA has been putting out a lot of information to keep people aware of the dangers of these currents. For a surf angler it is a great place to fish, but not for swimming. Be careful if you venture into the water, keep a close eye for rip currents. This is one reason it is preferred that people swim in an area with lifeguards. Fighting a rip current is never a good idea, swim with the current and you can
break free. Fishing a rip current is a great idea, fish both sides of the rip current and in front of it if you can, that is where you will find fish feeding on the critters stirred up out of the sand from the
strong currents.

sea bass, atlantic fish, lewes harbor marina, knothead

Saad Soliman with a sea bass

Seabass action slowed down for a few days and has slowly picked back up, the boats out of Lewes have been doing well. The Delaware bay is filling up with flounder, seabass, and croaker are all over the place. Broadkill Beach has been a hot spot for croakers with bloodworms. The drum action has been great out on the coral beds and the Broadkill area. Woodland beach has seen a lot of croaker action from the pier and boats. There are still striped bass being caught
farther up the bay on bunker chunks. Not sure how long that action will continue the spring run is about to an end. The Roosevelt inlet and Lewes canal are still hot for flounder and weakfish. A lot of nice sized tiderunners are being caught mostly on soft plastics like  pink zoom on a 2 ounce jig head. Nothing like a day of lazy drifting the canal and this weekend was perfect weather. Spot and are showing up everywhere including the Inland Bays. Masseys Landing is seeing bluefish and flounder running the ditch. Bubble gum beach at the Indian River Inlet has seen bluefish, shad, flounder and short striped bass.

hog chker, atalantic fish, marsh fish, sole

Hog choker caught in a crab pot the fish at top of picture brought nto Lewes

Crabbing is definitely picking up more and more. Love Creek, Herring creek has been good and the shallower areas of the inland bays. People are filling crab pots and trot lining is starting to produce as long as you put in the time and find crabs. I have seen a few monster crabs on the pier poles at Masseys Landing and in people’s baskets. That is not a great place to crab, but the fact they are on the poles shows they are around. The Cape Henlopen pier is starting to produce crabs more frequently. We fished the pier the other night
and had a nice take out dinner of Chinese food. While I was stuffing myself with egg rolls, there were fish coming over the rail left and right. I arrived just before dusk waiting to meet Scott and Aahron  Jost. Some guys walked on to the pier with a ton of gear, and bait.
They asked me a few things about fishing the pier, it was their first time there so I gave them a quick rundown. Told them the best way to fish the structure or pier poles and how to fish the lights at night. the pier poles is where the fish feed on the smaller critters that
live on or around there. They geared up and were pulling in flounder after five minutes of fishing. Needless to say they were very excited. It was fun watching these guys hammer flounder and croaker like no tomorrow. There were some nice blues caught earlier that day.  A few guys coming off the pier told me their buddy had a nice croaker
on until a bluefish slammed it during the retrieve and bit it in half.  They said the entire pier immediately switched to cut bait and started catching some gator bluefish and smaller blues. Spot were also coming over the rail all day long with lots of croaker in the mix on bloodwoms and fishbites.

puffer fish, blowfish, atlantic fish,

Mason Baldwin with a puffer from the surf

Saturday morning I took some folks to the beach for a little surf fishing. We went to Faithful Steward crossing and set up the gear. I had an array of bait and showed them how to cast and explained how to read the beach to find a good fishing spot. I also explained that finding a good spot doesn’t always mean you will catch fish, since we are fishing the Atlantic pond. That is one huge body of water to just sit on the edge of the shore and fish. We rescued a couple of horseshoe crabs while we were there and picked up some trash. I
really dislike finding trash on the beach, and watching a Mylar balloon wash up really drives me crazy. We didn’t catch anything and neither did most of the beach from the early morning into the early afternoon. I took our new friends back to their vehicles and they left with a better knowledge of what to do next time they get in the surf. A half hour after we left the beaches started seeing bluefish, puffers, kingfish, dogfish, skates and rays. The old “you have to be at the right place at the right time” scenario strikes again. It happens and that is why it is called fishing and not catching. That morning while we were drowning bait, a buddy of mine was hammering bluefish at the Indian River Inlet for about forty five minutes then the bite turned off at the south wall. Other friends were catching fish in the bays, canals, and the beaches south of our location saw some action. Still a great day in the sandbox.

Sharks on slaughter beach, by catch from netters, sand sharks

Sharks washed up on slaughter beach .. photo submitted by Karen Sekcienski

The offshore bite has been good for yellowfin, bluefin, and even a few big eye tuna. The shark action has been heating up offshore, blues, makos, and threshers but we have not seen much of that action from the surf. Please keep in mind that most of the sharks you catch from the surf are usually the prohibited species and are not to be removed from the water. Sand tiger, dusky, and sandbar sharks are prohibited species and ninety nine percent of the time these are the sharks you will produce from the surf. If you can not identify the shark, then let it go, either cut the line or get in the water and remove the hook. I have done that a few times with large sand tiger sharks and it is definitely a pucker factor off the scales. I will tell you that story another time, it was a real experience being waste deep with a ten foot sand tiger shark. Speaking of sharks, a 221.5
pound thresher was brought to the docks today (Monday) in Lewes.  Delaware Family Fishing’s captain Brian Wazlavek had a charter Sunday night. Josh Chubbs caught the 79 inch (measured to the fork) shark
about 14 miles off the Delaware coast. Mike Trestka and mate Aahron Jost assisted in landing the thresher, the first brought into Lewes,  DE this year. The fishing as always is hit or miss but still a good time when you are with friends and family.

Hope everyone had a great week and we will see you out there again soon.

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

Bluefish and now redfish showing up

bluefish, surff fishing, gator blues, atlantic ocean fish, coin beach, delaware seashore state park, old inlet bait and tackle,

Kevin Baldwin with a bluefish from the surf on Saturday.

Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, I hope everyone took the time to remember why we celebrate this holiday by honoring those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, and their families. The summer season is upon us and we had a nice reminder of that this weekend with hot temperatures and tons of traffic. The gnats and flies made an appearance in full force when the winds subsided. Trucks stuck in the sand, cars trying to drive on the beach, boats so thick at the inlet you could walk across without getting your feet wet. You could definitely tell everyone was glad to be at the beach and start their summer vacations. Despite the crowds summer brings here, everyone had a good time fishing this weekend. A few days before the holiday weekend started I went to the beach a few times after work. It is nice to sit on a beach all by yourself with out a vehicle in sight and do a little surf fishing. Just you and nature all alone for the evening. I know it drives some people nuts the beaches get so crowded during the weekends, I highly recommend you get out there on a weekday it is much less crowded, especially in the morning. If you want to deal with less crowds on the beaches in the summer get out there very early in the morning, and fish until about ten, then leave and find something else to do until that evening and go back at six. The crowds clear out around five and there is much more space on the beach. The same happens on the waterways and bays.

atlantic croaker, port mahon fishing pier, delaware bay fishing, dover delaware, master baiters  bait and tackle, delaware fisherwoman, upper delaware bay, hardheads, lewes harbor marina

Croaker from Port Mahon caught by Dave Okonewski

The fishing before the weekend was not too bad. Bluefish were showing up in the early morning and late afternoons during high tide. Mostly on bunker chunks and mullet rigs. Every day around the afternoon tide change bluefish and shad would swarm around the Indian River Inlet. The birds would show up in force and work the fish and anglers would work the schools. Boats were stacking up by the entrance to the inlet. The rocks were covered with anglers fishing. On Saturday we watched this scene from Coin Beach. Amazingly enough we were practically alone on the beach with more than 50 yards to the next vehicle on the beach. I met the Baldwins down there for a little surf fishing. They were catching bluefish in the morning and dogfish. After the tide changed it was skates, dogs, and cow nose rays for the rest of the day. A few people on the beach farther north caught some small dusky sharks. Keep in mind protected sharks (Dusky, sandbar, and Sand Tiger) are not to be removed from Delaware’s tidal waters. You need to either cut the line or remove the hook in the water. We watched the osprey feed on bunker and small bluefish all afternoon. These birds are my favorite fish finders. If they are circling high then the fish are deep, and if they are low the fish are shallow or close to the surface. They were certainly outfishing the surf anglers on Saturday. We spent a good ten hours in the surf and had a great time.

blue claw crabs, steamed crabs, crabbing, crab pots, chicken lining, inland bays, the crabhouse, the crab barn, crab claw, soft shell crabs, peeler crabs

Mike Smith caught some blue claw crabs this weekend

Flounder fishing has been decent for the Inland Bays, Masseys Landing, and Roosevelt Inlet. Some are starting to be caught near the usual spots in the ocean. Minnows have been the better bait, though chartreuse gulp has been working still. The Cape Henlopen fishing pier has been the hot spot the past few weeks and it still a great area to catch flounder. There have been some large “doormats” caught the past few days. Weakfish are still showing up averaging five pounds plus, good to see them still strong out there, I even heard of a few speckled trout caught a few days ago near Cape Henlopen. Puffer fish are heavy in the surf and showing up in Rehoboth bay and bloodwomrs are the best bait for them, fishbites bloodworms will also work. Puffers are good eating and are known as the chicken of the sea. Just be careful cleaning them, the abrasive skin can irritate your skin. Kingfish are in decent numbers in the surf on bloodworms and squid. Haven’t seen any in the bays yet but that is only a matter of time. Spot are showing up everywhere about medium in size and blood worms or fishbites work well. Black drum are still on the coral beds and the Broadkill area, just not int he surf as readily. A few redfish or red drum were caught over the weekend at Roosevelt inlet and the Cape Henlopen area. Nice to see them back this year. Croaker are all over the place now and as far up as Port Mahon, and they are in some decent sizes. Big Catfish are being caught in the C&D canal, waterways, and other upper Delware Bay Beaches.  The bluefin and yellowfin tuna bite has been picking up at the canyons.  Friends were out the other day and hooked up on three nice tuna, almost had a big mako shark to the boat, and released 2 blue sharks.  Several boats come in on Sunday and Monday to the back bay marinas and Masseys Landing, and flying flags .  I’m looking forward to some nice dinners this week.  The sea bass bite has been excellent at the deeper wrecks and the Lewes fleets have been doing well out there.

flounder, fluke, flattie fishing, gulp, top and bottom rigs, rehoboth bay, indian river bay, assawoman bay, inland bays, delaware bay, osprey, cape henlopen state park, rick's bait and tackle

Nick pictured with his Pop pop, caught this 21″ flounder on Sunday in Rehoboth Bay

Everyone wants to catch a big striped bass and unfortunately that has been few and far between. A lot of shorts have been caught in the surf, inland bays, Indian river inlet, and Masseys landing. A few keepers have been caught in the surf and surrounding areas. Unfortunately the striped bass populations are down and the ASMFC reports are not looking good. I know many say there is nothing wrong with the population numbers but they are dead wrong. The best spawn we had as of late was in 2011 and after that every spawn has been subpar at best. We have our hopes that the spawn from 2011 will grow into the big breeders and help replenish the stocks. If we don’t start releasing more fish and killing less, we will not see favorable numbers. This is not a doom and gloom prediction this is just the facts based on the available science. Why are there less fish? We (anglers) killed them all, sorry but that is the hard reality. Practice catch and release and we will see more fish numbers in our ocean stocks, and that goes for all fish out there not just striped bass. Keep what you need, not what you are allowed, when it comes to creel limits. I saw striped bass selling for eighteen dollars a pound the other day, that should be a good indication of the stock numbers.

pygmy sperm whale, stranded marine life, beached whale, delaware seashore state park

pygmy sperm whale

We have seen a lot of horseshoe crabs in the back bays and the surf. Pickering beach is littered with spawning horseshoe crabs. A few red knots were spotted up there the other day,feeding on the crabs’ eggs. If you see a stranded crab please send them back to the sea. A few sturgeon have been caught in the Delaware bay in bunker nets. They were quickly released, but is good to see them still here and we are hoping those numbers increase. Maybe some day their numbers will increase in the Delaware bay. You just never know what you will see in our waters. On Sunday James Blackstock and his family set up to surf fish conquest beach. Just as they were getting settled in for a long day in the sandbox, a pygmy sperm whale swam up in front of them and beached itself. They contacted me and called the parks. I contacted MERR and the rangers to let them know there was a stranded whale on the beach. At first we thought it was a pilot whale from the pictures they sent. MERR and the rangers responded quickly but the whale unfortunately did not survive. MERR did a necropsy on the creature and then it was buried on the beach. A big thanks to the Blackstock family for reacting quickly and making the right calls. Whales will beach themselves to avoid drowning when they are distressed. If you ever encounter any stranded sea mammal you can text MERR at 302 228 5029 and if in the parks contact the rangers’ dispatch at 302 729 4580. Keep an eye out for our sea creatures, anglers are usually one of the best sources when it comes to what is happening out there.

Crabbing is starting to show some better signs of life. Catches have been increasing and sizes as well. There have been more females in some areas than others. The crab pots in some of the marinas of the Indian river bay and Rehoboth bay keep getting poached. This happens all of the time but this year seems to be more of an issue. Clamming is not too bad but Dave ran into mostly the large chowder or chuckle head clams. In June DSF will resume our weekly beach clean ups and we will have a schedule announced for that soon. See you in the sandbox this weekend.

Fish On!!

Rich King

***** This was written last night it iwll appear in Thursday’s Beach Paper, since then the temperature outside has plummeted, and it feels amazing.  The east winds may push some fish this way over night.  This morning a few keepers were caught at 3Rs surf fishing beach and many dogfish on bunker chunks.

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

Delaware’s invasive finfish regulations and harvest opportunities

DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife reminds anglers
of invasive finfish regulations and harvest opportunities

Regulations designate a number of species as invasive,
including snakeheads, and authorize bowfishing


DOVER (May 23, 2014) – DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife reminds anglers and sporting enthusiasts that several species of finfish in Delaware are now designated as invasive, with use of bowfishing equipment authorized for taking them in the state’s tidal and non-tidal waters under regulations adopted last year. These regulations expand fishing opportunities for anglers while also enabling them to help DNREC control invasive fish species, including snakeheads, that have recently shown up in Delaware tidal waters. Anglers also should be aware that there is no closed season, nor size or creel limits for invasive finfish, among which are listed three separate species of catfish.

In tidal waters, snakeheads, along with blue catfish, flathead catfish, walking catfish and grass carp, are designated as invasive finfish. Snakeheads have been found in tidal waters including Sussex County’s Nanticoke River and its tributaries Broad Creek and Deep Creek, as well as New Castle County’s Nonesuch Creek. Grass carp also have been documented in the Nanticoke River and its tributaries. Flathead catfish have been caught in the Brandywine River and the C&D Canal. For more information about invasive aquatic species in Delaware, and where you might encounter (and help remove) them, please visit the Fish & Wildlife website.

“Snakeheads and other non-native invasive fish species have the potential to cause ecological harm and damage native fish populations, and anglers who catch them should never release them back into the water,” Freshwater Fisheries Program Manager Michael Stangl said. “Bowfishing is an effective harvesting technique that may help reduce invasive fish numbers and slow or prevent their spread.” A similar regulation allows bowfishing for snakehead and other designated invasive fish in non-tidal waters, he added.

In tidal waters, invasive fish species, including snakehead, may be legally harvested with a bow and arrow, unless otherwise prohibited by area rules or local ordinance. In non-tidal waters, bowfishing is allowed for snakeheads and grass carp. Common carp can continue to be taken by bowfishing. Anglers and anyone wanting to help curtail invasive species in Delaware should note that bowfishing is not presently authorized in Delaware State Parks and New Castle County Parks.

“Anglers are our conservation partners, and we encourage them to join us in helping to control invasive fish species such as the snakehead, which can harm the fisheries we are working to conserve,” said Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Saveikis. “As an added attraction, our invasive finfish regulations also give anglers the new option of expanding their fishing methods to include the exciting sport of bowfishing.”

The snakehead is similar in appearance to the bowfin, a non-invasive species native to Delaware waters. Anglers are encouraged to view the differences between the two species at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Fisheries/Documents/C_argus.pdf. Bowfin have been caught by anglers in Becks Pond, Nonesuch Creek and Dragon Run.

Anglers who catch a snakehead or other invasive species in tidal or non-tidal waters should dispatch the fish rather than returning it to the water, document the catch either by freezing it or taking a clear photo, and then contact the Division at 302-735-8652 to report the catch.

For more information on Delaware Fisheries regulations, licensing, or invasive fish species, visit www.fw.delaware.gov/fisheries or call the Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914. To view the revised regulations, click Fisheries Regulations.

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

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24 Hour Forecast

Rehoboth Beach, DE
October 31, 2014, 6:40 pm
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
sunrise: 7:26 am
sunset: 6:01 pm
Forecast November 1, 2014
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