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Vol 47 | Num 20 | Sep 14, 2022

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Delaware Report

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

Last week, we experienced more wind and storms than previous weeks. The fishing however was bright and the catches were plentiful. Lots of big flounder along with more record sheepshead from the bay as well as ribbonfish and sea bass.

Near Shore Waters

At the Old Grounds, fishing has been very good. Lots of nice size flounder are coming off the coral patches as well as big sea bass on the wrecks. Brandon Miller and Chris Hall were out at the Old Grounds drifting for flounder with custom made jigs. The crew came with limits of fish. Diana Vansant was fishing with her husband on their boat “High Pressure”. She hooked and landed a once in a lifetime fluke measuring almost 28 inches and weighing 9.1 pounds. The fish was weighed in at Lewes Harbour Marina. Ryan West picked up a few nice fish before the wind blew them out. The crew caught sea bass as well as flounder. David Quigley was out with the family and came home with 22 sea bass. David reports he caught 9, his wife caught 10 and his son got 3 keepers. He reported several other smaller fish were released. Tony Lewes was out on the Grounds and returned to Indian River with some nice sea bass, and got lucky finding a few pots loaded with mahi. It's too bad the mahi tournament is over at Lewes Harbour Marina, because Paul Sciecinski would have won first place with his 18 pound fish he caught last week! Paul was fishing with Captain Keith Beebe on the “Surface Tension” near the sea bass pots. Several mahi have been caught inshore this year, but 18 pounds is the biggest one I've heard of this year.

Daryl Mergenthaler Jr., Fred Robinson and Joseph Nicholas Jr. had a stellar day with the dolphin bringing home a boat load for dinner. They even caught a big starfish. Mike Gentzler was also out at the Old Grounds trying to catch mahi off the pot. He said they threw everything they had at them but could only get one fish to bite. I received many reports this week that the fish on the pots were very picky and it was either feast or famine. Dan Faora was a little further south near A Buoy and got a nice catch of mahi as well as a few nice keeper flounder. The southern coral grounds near A Buoy have been a little more productive for a better quality fish than the northern Old Grounds. Rockfish Ed and Diana did it again after two days running. The duo put a hurting on the mahi at the sea bass pots. Gene Willman was also down south and got a limit of keeper flat fish. The biggest one being 5.7 lbs. Looking at the photos they all looked to be quality fish! Archer Morgan had a great day out on the water and came home with multiple big fluke, including a 22” flattie. David Quigley got more fish for the freezer, catching a cooler of delicious sea bass with most between 13-14” and a few over 15”. As the temps continue to drop, the sea bass fishing should become better and better. Tony Kaledas went out for a quick 3 hrs. and returned with 6 keepers measuring 17” up to 23”. Great job guys, that's quite the catch in a short period of time. Tim Morris went out with the boys last week and returned with a table full of a keeper fish varieties. Paul Cusimano was also out getting in on the great dolphin bite returning with his taco collection for the winter.

We finish the near shore reports with Walt Hanwell who pulled 10 mahi off the nearshore bass pots, with many over 25”. This year has been one for the books when it comes to catching these offshore pelagic fish this close to shore. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

Back Bay Areas

At the Indian River bay, fishing has been strong. Flounder remains the main target. The south wall of the inlet has been your most productive spot, with Massey Ditch a close second. Joseph Blair scored a really fat 6.06 lb. flounder. Joseph said the fishing was slow but the big one he took home made him forget about all the shorts he caught. Don Smith fished the inlet and confirmed that the sheepshead are still here, bringing home a nice fat one for dinner. Ben Dove was using sand fleas at Indian River Inlet to catch his sheepshead. Further north at the Delaware Bay Ice Breakers as well as the outer wall, there are also still quality, if not citation sheepies. Fresh sand fleas on a tog/sheepshead jig are the ticket for getting one of these fine fish to bite. Brooke Yarnali was out with the family and returned with a few keepers for dinner. Green and white Gulp accounted for their keepers. Gunther and sons were out fishing and returned home with a nice limit of fluke.

Surf, Crabs & Clams

Christopher Villanueva caught a big ray off the beach this past week. While on the beach last Sunday, I watched John Kolakowski of Lewes, DE fight a ray for 1 hour and 48 minutes. The fish was safely released to be caught again. He fought it perfectly, just keeping tension on it as it sank into the sand and then fishing it as it came back up to try to make a run. He did a great job and had a lot more patience than I ever would.

Clamming remains very strong with most places yielding big clams. Rehoboth Bay has been the best spot for smaller clams.

Crabbing is very good although the numbers are beginning to dwindle. Last haul for us produced 42 crabs for 4 pots, with 16 of them being over 7 inches.

Until next week,
Tight lines and fins up §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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