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Vol 48 | Num 4 | May 24, 2023

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Delaware Report

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

Opening week of sea bass could only be called lackluster at best. The grounds were full of boats and anglers all jockeying to get their share of the coveted black beauty. Most boats held seasoned anglers, however even the most experienced found the sea bass uncooperative. A few boats did manage their limits of 15 per person, however most anglers found the keeper sea bass tough to find. Flounder is picking up with some reports that the ocean is starting to give up the flatties.

Sea Bass, End of Tog Season

The end of tog season showed a good bite for the last few days. Taiwan Meekins was out of Indian River when he hooked a nice tog as well as a 34” rockfish. Brandon Miller reported they got nine tog to end the season, each up to 20”. Brandon fished the next day and despite the 25 mph winds they stuck it out and pulled in a few more fish. Zach Kobosko was also lucky enough to hook a tog, unfortunately it was after the season closed so the fish was returned to the water. It's a shame because it was a fatty. Sea bass fishing is off to a rather slow start with most boats returning to the dock with less than a limit. Michael Gurczenski, along with Joseph Pergeorelis, and 3 others managed their five man limit and had one hell of a day. The spot was kept a secret but the bait was fresh clam and shrimp. Great job guys! Wendy Reynolds was out on the “Pole Dancer” and her crew returned to the docks with over 100 keepers. “Top Fin Charters” also returned to the dock with a limit for their clients. The anglers had to work hard for the prize but prevailed in the end. Linda Orr reports the “War Horse” out of Indian River returned to the dock with around 40 keepers for their crew. She reported it was about five throwbacks to one keeper. John Clancy Jr, stated that although the numbers were not as good, and the quality of the fish was much better. “Ocean Arsenal” reported sea bass opener for them was mediocre to on fire depending on where you were fishing. Anglers found the fish full of small sand eels. Those who fished a sand eel presentation seemed to do much better than those with a piece of bait on a bare hook. I personally switched to their sand eel sea bass style hooks a few years ago and love the results. The “Bill Slayer” said it wasn't their best opening day; they fought crowds and tough fishing with lots of short fish. They did manage to bring home some keepers but not a limit. I don't think I can recall a year when this boat didn’t have a limit on opening day. “Top Fin Charters” was out for the opener, and after picking through hundreds of shorts did manage a limit for their six anglers. Great job everyone. “Bad Wind Charters” had Kyle, Charlie, John, and Durwood fill the table at the dock with a fat catch of bass. It wasn't easy and they had a lot of shorts, but did manage after a long day at sea to return with some quality knotheads. “Jay Sea 2” had a good opening day using white leg crabs. They stated they got away from the fleet and began to catch more quality sea bass that hadn't been harassed by a million boats. The bite started off hot in the morning and then turned off as more boats began to crowd the area. Beau Fibelkorn of the “Skipjack Sportfishing Inc” said he had Jay Kennedy of Milton, DE, and ended up with a double header of keepers for the day.


The great Joe Lewes Memorial Canal Tournament was on Friday and the anglers showed up in support of this great cause. Several nice fish were brought to the scales with your winners as follows:

Monica Powel was the first place winner with a 4.93 lb. fish, Wesley Scott finished second with 4.06 lbs, Kyle Torbert in 3rd with a 3.66 lbs., James Joseph with 3.65 lbs., Kinsley Hazel was 5th with a 3.59 lb. fish, and 6th place went to Jim Park with a nice 3.42 lb. fish. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all that participated with this fine tournament. Philip Sexton brought a respectable 3.25 lb. flounder to Lewes Harbour Marina. Tony DiPietro had a strong week and brought home 3 respectable keepers from the Delaware Bay. Scott West caught a nice 4.06 lb. flattie on Friday. Alex Neiss found a few still chewing and brought home a nice group of four to join him for dinner. David Price said NNE 20+ mph wind and dirty water didn't stop him from his limit of the flat fish. Several anglers reported keeper flounder while fishing for sea bass this week. Minnow and squid combos are your best bet for this early flounder season. The main channel at Indian River as well as the channel near the VFW are the hot spots in the bay and on the ocean areas near deep wrecks are producing the best flounder.

Surf Blues & Drum

With the start of sea bass, not as many anglers struck out onto the DE beaches as in past weeks, however, several nice drum and blues are still being caught on the surf. Fresh clam and crab are the best baits. Shane Kapser reported into Delaware Surf Fishing that he was the only one on the beach Monday and was rewarded with several nice size bluefish. Bill Markel was out with his buddy Mike on the DE bay and landed a nice eating size black drum last Monday. “Flip N Fins” also got in on the drum action bringing home a nice fish for dinner. The 1st Annual Month of May Black Drum Tournament has a new leader with Beau Fibelkorn bringing a giant 46” drum to the scales. The tournament runs till the end of the month. Good luck to all.

Jamie Lawson was casting a big plug on the beach and happened upon a nice striped bass for her effort. Ayden Verbos from PA caught a big drum on his 14th birthday this past week. Jay Werner landed a 26” blue while fishing the Fenwick Ditch out of his kayak bouncing metal spoons off the bottom. And last but not least, Don Polk hooked a beautiful over slot rockfish last Friday.

Until next week...
Tight lines and fins up. §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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