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Vol 49 | Num 3 | May 15, 2024

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Delaware Report

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

Last week in Delaware we had temperatures from 86 degrees down to the mid 50s. With these big temp swings, fishing was slower than in previous weeks. Good fish can still be caught in the Delaware Bay, the inlets and on the beach. The big drum have begun to move into the Delaware Bay to spawn, and we are seeing bigger fish on the beach with these breeders moving into the bay.

Back Bays, Inlet & DE Bay

The back bays and near inlet areas are beginning to heat up. Big bluefish are in the inlet at most times of the day with the evening hours being the most productive for the bigger slammer blues. Swim jigs and chunk bait on a circle hook are the best baits for the bluefish. A few small rocks have been mixed in with the blues but we haven't seen many blitzes yet this year.

The Delaware Bay has been producing much better fish as the water warms. Jim Hittches was fishing the bay and hooked a 4.6 pound speckled trout. The fish was weighed in at Lewes Harbour Marina. Lacey Moffett landed a beautiful 58 pound black drum while fishing the coral beds in the DE bay near Lewes. Good to see that the big girls are finally moving into the bay to spawn. One of the best techniques to target these fish is to anchor up on a sand shoal or just off a shallow coral patch and drop fresh clams on a 6/0-8/0 circle hook behind the boat. Fresh surf clams will out fish most other baits, however in the past few years anglers have been having good results using clam Fishbites along with sand fleas. Breaking the shells of fresh clams and dropping a few off the front of the boat will allow the scent to travel down current and draw these fish to your rigged baits behind the boat. “Flip N Fins” reports the coral beds on the DE Bay are really heating up with some big fish being caught as soon as the tide changes. Using a hi-lo rig with a 4 oz weight and fresh surf clams was the ticket this past week to hooking these ugly but tasty fish. With water temps between 50 and 64 degrees, even more of these fish should move in over the coming week. Ryan and Damien went to the bay on Saturday and caught two nice sized drum off the coral beds on fresh clams. The fish were brought into Henlopen Bait and Tackle. Great job guys. Tanner Virden used clams to fool his 40 lb. black late Wednesday evening. Anthony and Tara caught two nice drum. The fish weighed in at Lewes Icehouse Bait and Tackle. Tara’s drum weighed 57 lbs. and Anthony’s weighed 42 lbs.

The bay has also produced a few stripers. Dale Owen was on target with his catch of a 23” rock. He was all smiles showing off his catch before safely reeling it to the water. The Indian River Inlet is also producing both stripers and blues. Marsha Kummerer Hepler caught a blue for dinner in the inlet. The Lewes Canal has been producing big flounder and an abundance of small bluefish.

Just a reminder... the Lewes Harbour Marina Canal Tournament is Friday, the 17th, with over $10,000 in prize money. This year they even added a $1,000 for the biggest flounder caught on an AquaClear rig. For those who have never fished the AquaClear flounder rigs they are a great high low style rig with line guides to keep the baits separated. Keith Lipton caught bluefish up to 11.8 lbs at Indian River Inlet. The fish were weighed at Rick's Bait and Tackle.

Surf Fishing

The surf has been producing some big drum as well as some smaller but still nice sized bluefish. Stanley Chaplinski said the wind blew out of the east at 20-25 mph making the ocean very angry. 8 oz were needed to hold bottom, however he did manage to reel in two bluefish. Mullet rigs and cut bait are working best for the blues, and fresh surf clams on circle hooks are best for the drum. Steve Douglas was fishing on Conquest Beach and reeled in a big slammer blue. The fish was caught on a bluefish mullet rig. The annual Old Inlet Spring Surf Tournament was held last weekend and 61 bluefish were scored along with 3 flounder, a 49 inch striper and a 29 inch drum. In the open division Jim Haug landed in first place with 181 points, Jeff Kirby was second with 141 points and Dennis McCain was third with 101 points. In the women's division Keisey Cycyk was first, Amy Dixon placed second and there was a tie for third between Anita Chandler and Katie Hall. And in the most important division, the kids, Adien Sparano was your first place winner, Finn Hudecheck took second and Wyatt Hull placed third. Congratulations to all the winners and hats off to Old Inlet for year in and year out always having a great tournament with a big turnout. Chris Connolly used a mullet rig to fool a few bluefish off the beach. Kevin Senior stated the blues are getting smaller but are still just off the beach. The fish were caught on chartreuse swim jigs on a white jig head. Tristan Archer had a great day on the beach bringing in a way over slot rockfish and a good eating sized black drum. John Bolduc fished 2 hours after low tide and had several bite offs. After switching to a steel leader he managed 3 bluefish.

Near Shore & Coral Grounds

Tog remains the primary catch on the nearshore grounds. A few big blues can also be found on many of the nearshore wrecks. The “Katydid” charter was out with Rebecca and Adam Hildebrant along with Maggie Lindo, Jane Keller, and John Hollingsworth. Captain Brent put the group on the right wrecks and returned to Lewes Harbour Marina with some nice tog as the main guest for dinner. Sea bass season opens on Wednesday the 15th. The weather looks a little sporty for the midweek opening, but hopefully it’ll calm down before the weekend.

Till next week…
Tight lines and fins up §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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