FIshing from the Point: Fourth of July brings festivity for fishermen
Gusty winds and storms have continued to move across the coastal region, and temperatures have stayed pretty high, but the warm waters are keeping fishermen rather pleased, with a mix of catches continuing to hit the rods as we push into July.
Up north in the Delaware Bay, the flounder fishing is still the favorite for those who head out to the structures. Minnows, squid, fish strips and Gulp! seem to work the best for flatties, stretching from Woodland Beach and Site 2 all the way to Broadkill Beach and Broadkill River. Trout are still finding peeler crabs through the bay, while croaker and spot seem to be hanging around Cape Henlopen State Park, taking to bloodworms and peelers.
With the warm waters here, the stripers will be few and far between while the sun’s out, so stick to the nighttime if you’re going for rockfish in the Indian River Inlet. The report from the Old Inlet Bait and Tackle shop suggests eels, black bucktails, dark plugs, swim shads and floating live sand fleas, but they note that busy summer traffic through the inlet waters, coupled with the hot, hazy weather will keep most of the rockfish deep and away from the lines.
For some action during the day in the inlet, the blues are still riding the incoming tide, while the flounder hug the rocks. Fleas and peeler crabs along the rocks might also sniff out some black drum, and croakers will likely find their way in the inlet as temperatures stay warm.
Around the inshore ocean, B Buoy, A Buoy and the Old Grounds have provided some of the best fishing around, according to Eric Burnley Sr.’s fishing report from the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife. The sea bass have been rather plentiful, and flounder are hanging around, too, some getting up over eight pounds. Two-hook top-bottom rigs with clam can likely find some sea bass, while flounder will take to a leader baited with minnows, squid or fish strips.
In the 30- to 40-fathom waters, particularly outside the Hot Dog, bluefin tuna have been biting on trolling ballyhoo. Blues are also around the same area, but the smaller ones will hit on trolled spoons and bucktails, as well.
Further out in the depths, the tuna bite is staying consistent. Those 40- to 50-fathom areas, especially around the Baltimore Canyon, have been producing plenty of entertainment for trollers, and expect chunking to get the job done as the water temperatures creep even higher. Wahoo, dolphin and billfish are also getting in on the action.
With the hot, hot heat in town, surf-fishing will take a back seat, but early mornings and late evenings can still be profitable for those looking for small croakers, sand perch, kings and blues. Fresh bunker and bloodworms are the favorite bait for the bite along the beaches.
Down in Ocean City, Md., Sue Foster of Oyster Bay Tackle Shop has reported that the flounder fishing is picking up, inshore and offshore. Similar to the Delaware beaches, she noted that sharks and skates are mixed around the surf in Ocean City, along with the kingfish. Finger mullet are being pulled in via cast netting in the Ocean City back bays and serving as ample flounder and striper baits.