Summer fishing still in full swing
Did everyone enjoy the fall weather teaser in the last few weeks? Reminds you of the fish to come and the colors of fall. But summer is still in full swing, and 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 also produce a flattie. Jigging for them just behind the first wave in the surf works well with a white bucktail and a squid strip. Rigging up two bucktails in tandem like a speck rig works too. Sometimes flounder will hit mullet rigs during a retrieve or bait check. Croakers, spot, spadefish and triggers are all around the walls and rock piles. Sand fleas are good for the triggers and sheepshead. Fishbite bloodworms formula and squid have 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.
It is Shark Week and Delaware has seen its share of action, from the visits from Septima, the large tiger shark; great whites off the coast visiting angler's boats, and even a large bull shark landed in the surf a couple of weeks ago below Fenwick Island. 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 too. Be careful handling these smaller sharks, many of them are prohibited species and can't be removed from the water. The smaller sharks can literally be a handful, and if they flip around they can bite you. Easiest way to avoid catching a shark is to not use cut bait. That will also help you avoid skates and rays, the two other obligatory catches in the summer. It’s hard to get away from them. Unfortunately you will still have to deal with these catches since the bluefish are around.
Mullet has been the best bait 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; that and the smaller peanut bunker that are 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 mackerel 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 nonetheless. Have a great week and I’ll see you in the sandbox. Fish on!