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Vol 47 | Num 2 | May 11, 2022

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Delaware Report

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

This week in Delaware was colder weather and wind has been the saga of the week. Despite the inclement weather, quality fish are being caught both in the bays as well as the ocean.

Flounder & Tog

This week the big news was the huge record pending tog caught out of Lewes Marina by the charter boat “Katydid” landed by Capt. Brent Wiest. He hooked and brought in a possible new record tog weighing in at whopping 21.48 lbs. For those of you who read my article the name “Katydid” Charters is no stranger. It is mentioned on most weeks as bringing in top notch fish and happy clients. Congratulations to Captain Brent for his great catch and hopefully new Delaware record tog! This week also saw several other nice tog taken off the wrecks just outside of the Indian River Inlet. This time of year many of the near shore wrecks at sites 10,11 and Coral Grounds all hold big tog. Cut crab, peeler crab and fresh clam are some of the best baits you can use to bring up one of these tasty fish. Tog are notorious bait stealers and if the angler is not paying close attention to his line or is fishing from the rod holder, he will wind up nothing but empty hooks. Tog hang close to holes in the wrecks and will rarely venture far from their homes to get a meal. This has many anglers hung up on jagged wreck structure, as the tog grab the bait and return to the safety of the hole before the angler even feels a bite. Sea bass season opens on the May 15th and many boats will switch from tog to sea bass due to the ease of catching them. The knotheads will eat very voraciously unlike tog. But if you truly want to test your skills, now is the time to target tog and black drum. Any angler can catch a sea bass but only a skilled or very lucky angler comes home with a trophy tog. Capt. Jamar took the “JaySea” charter boat out for a early season shake down and was rewarded with several nice blackfish for him as well as his crew. The new charter boat will be docked in front of the Lewes Harbor Marina this summer. Flounder is also getting a fairly good start. In the back bays the bite has been a little slow to start due to the colder than normal water temps for this time of year. Despite the cold water, several nice flounder have been caught. Many of these fish are coming from the main thorofare channel leading into the Indian River Bay from the ocean. Drifting a squid minnow combo is always a great strategy, however Gulp baits on a long flounder rig also work well. As the water warms up we should see bait fish such as spot start to arrive. These bait fish will surge the catches of flounder as fish begin to fatten up after a long winter offshore. Avery McCormick from Ocean View, DE, caught a nice 18” flattie fishing the main channel using a white Gulp. Brandon Hunt was fishing out of Lewes, Delaware on Tuesday morning when he hooked into a nice flounder around 19”. This was Brandon's only keeper that day. This still made for a nice dinner... way to go! Adrian Decker from Ocean View caught a few short flounder using Gulp baits and also caught a personal best 6.4 lb. weakfish. This is a great catch for this early in the year. Bruce Lynch Sr. was fishing Indian River Bay and he caught a nice 25” flounder on a Bad Wind bottom dragger rig. This is a true trophy flounder any time of the year, but being that the water is so cold this becomes a once in a lifetime type catch. Great job Bruce!

Rockfish, Black Drum & Bluefish

Bluefish and rockfish have started off a little slow this year with several small stripers being caught along the rocks at Indian River and a few more coming off the surf. On the surf, the majority of stripers are being caught at 3R’s Beach on bloodworms and clams. Grant Barnhart did manage a nice 34.5” rockfish while throwing plugs on the Fenwick Beach. The fish was weighed in at Old Inlet Tackle shop tipping the scales at 13.5 lbs. Kevin Trimle caught a nice slammer bluefish off the beach at 3R’s this week. This is the first nice bluefish I have heard of this year out of Delaware. Further up the Delaware Bay, a few trophy fish have been coming in, however, the main group of rockfish does not seem to be here yet. Casting plugs and swim baits along the rocks especially at night seem to work great for the smaller peanut stripers and blues. Indian River usually sees at least one blitz during the spring season. On the surf, bloodworms for the juvenile stripers works fairly well with most anglers targeting the bigger fish using fresh clam or crab on a large circle hook. This time of year is also the time to target black drum off the beach and on the shoals of the Delaware Bay. Large surf clams and cut crabs are great baits for this specie. You should use hardy rods as many of these fish are well over 50 lbs. The end of the outgoing tides and the beginning hour of the incoming tide are usually the best for targeting black drum and larger rockfish.

Crabs & Clams

Crabbing in the Indian River bay is off to a good start with big males being found in the pots. The last two pulls of my pots revealed between 6-9 keepers each with many over 7”. These numbers should increase as the water warms and given commercial crab prices this year well worth the effort! Clams are still hard to find with most being deep in the mud. Many anglers are also still not ready to venture into the 60 degree water to rake, so hopefully over the next few weeks as water temps rise so will the clams.

Until next week...
Tight lines and Fins up

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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