Home | Advertise | Issues | Fishing Info | Tournaments | Buy a Photo | Delivery Locations | Merch | Send a Photo

Vol 48 | Num 21 | Sep 20, 2023

Offshore Report Ocean City Report Delaware Report Virginia Report Chum Lines Ship to Shore The Galley Issue Photos
Delaware Report

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

As summer draws to a close and I sit down to write the season’s final report, I reflect on the fish reports from this past summer. It has been a remarkable season, one that brought us some of the best sea bass and flounder fishing we’ve seen in years. Despite the challenges posed by Hurricane Lee lingering off our east coast, this past week remained productive for anglers who ventured out. The rough seas, with swells reaching up to 10 feet, did however lead to more beach erosion and coastal flooding.

For those brave enough to head into the Atlantic, dolphin were as close as 5 miles out, and although flounder were a bit elusive, they were still ready to bite. Sea bass remained abundant, with many fish congregating near the wrecks due to the increased bait in the area. Juvenile fish were also prevalent, requiring anglers to sort through the smaller ones to reach their catch and limits.

Nearshore Wrecks and Coral Reefs

Despite another hurricane lurking just off our coast, the nearshore waters teemed with life. Mahi were inshore, easily caught near most bass pots and wrecks. Sea bass continued to thrive, despite the warm water temperatures for this time of year. Anglers like Jim Osborne, Alex Osborne, and Bruce Carlton fished the Old Grounds and returned with limits of sea bass, flounder, and mahi—a true “Smorgasbord Catch.”

Madelyne Motsko and Lil had their first ocean fishing experience, which turned out to be rewarding with catches of triggerfish and dolphin, proudly displayed upon their return to Indian River Marina’s Hook’em and Cook’em Tackle. John Massey and his Sunbelt Electric crew enjoyed a day of team building on the “Jay Sea 2,” returning with an impressive haul of flounder and sea bass. The crew must have worked well and hard together because the filet table at Lewes Harbour Marina was loaded with flounder and sea bass. The anglers praised Captain Jamar for putting them on the fish.

The “Judy V” was out a few times and targeted the flounder with great results bringing home several trophy size flat fish for the anglers. Captain Cris even had a 27 inch, 7.4 pound one himself. The “Capt. Ike II” reported proactive trips for mahi both inshore and offshore, with plenty of tilefish in the deep waters. John Coffiey joined the annual Pipe Fitters fishing trip and the crew yielded over 140 sea bass, with Marty’s 3-pounder winning the big fish pool. The crew switched to flounder in the afternoon, adding some decent flatfish to their black sea bass dinner.

The “Port-a-bella” stood out with a big gaffer mahi caught on a piece of floating debris while heading offshore for blueline tiles. It’s notable to see these big mahi close inshore this year, unlike previous years.

Captain Mike Faust on the “Chasin Tail” charter boat managed to get his group their limit of flounder in challenging sea conditions. Nick Sampson and the “MobSquad” had a solid fishing day, catching sea bass and chicken mahi, even landing a big gaffer. Jonathan Green returned with a cooler of mahi, despite not enticing the big boys to bite. “Skipjack Sportfishing” had DJ’s Landscaping on board, returning with a nice catch of flounder and sea bass.

John Gudknecht had a fantastic day aboard the “Katydid,” where he caught a citation fluke measuring 27.5 inches and weighing 7.48 pounds with a 23-inch girth—a remarkable flounder, indeed. Kyle Falgowski also made an impressive catch at Lewes Harbour Marina with a 7.5-pounder that initially looked like a ten-pounder. Great job! Lewes Harbour Marina has seen numerous citation fish this year, with anglers boasting both lengthy and unique names.

Scott Stapleford and Donald Downes had a fun day on the Atlantic, catching sea bass and chicken mahi. “Last Call” charters with Captain Matt hooked nice bass, fluke, and mahi for their group. Virginia Smith received a citation for a 9.41-pound, 24-inch sheepshead she caught while fishing with her husband near the w\Wall. Susan Haddaway fished on the “Grizzly” and caught a substantial 25-inch, 5.9-pound fluke with Captain Carey at an ocean structure.

Back Bays and Inlet Fishing

Shazmin Stearn, displaying some girl power, hooked and landed a beautiful 5-pound, 25-inch fluke from the Lewes Canal off the family dock using an LHM rig. Eloyce also showcased girl power by catching a keeper flounder in the canal. Despite rain and wind, Ryan Saunders managed to bring in two 18-inch flounder while fishing at the Inlet before seeking shelter from the rain.

Horace Hockenstien had a productive day fishing just north of the Delaware Wall, reeling in some big fluke. The Delaware Ice Breaker walls have been yielding significant catches, including fluke and sheepshead. Larry Hall even landed a nice 11.3-pound black drum on sand fleas, which he weighed in at Breakwater Tackle.

As you look forward to the winter edition, remember to keep an eye out for the next season’s adventures.

Until then,
Tight Lines and Fins Up! §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



Buy a Photo