Fishing from the Point: Fish and flies bite on Labor Day
Anyone unfortunate enough to be fishing on the beach last weekend probably felt like bait themselves. Biting flies rose off the marsh on a westerly wind to attack the shoreline. The best bet in this situation is to wear long sleeves and stand in the surf while casting. If nothing else, it’ll save your ankles from the vampiric appetite of a creature that maybe should have been excluded from Noah’s Ark. Of course, there were also reports of flies that hitched a ride 60 miles offshore, so there was little escape last weekend.
However, the marlins were ready to rock, if you knew where to go. Following the warm eddies off the Gulf Stream, the billfish switched it up from 30 fathoms to way overboard. Golden tilefish are still gracing the canyons, and reeling 400 feet of line can be a great workout. Trollers have also pulled in dolphin, wahoo and the rare tuna.
Flounder fishing has been decent of late but perhaps not quite what it was a few weeks ago, as flatties start moving away from that feeding favorite the Old Grounds. Cut bait and squid drifting over the structures and around Site 10 can still lure them in, though. Sea bass and weakfish briefly took their place for drifting boats in the mid-70-degree water.
Blues keep bizarre hours at Indian River Inlet, but if you find some, try bucktails and metal lures. Croaker are small but plentiful, and they’re all looking for cut mullet. They’ll also accept offerings of bloodworms, squid, Fishbites and Gulp!
Kingfish, spot, croaker and short stripers and small trout are breaking on the surf. Sharks and blues are nipping at the mullet chunks. Dogfish and skates are ever-present, and some rays were reported as too big to even reel in. Early morning on the sand is still the magical hour, especially with an easterly breeze bringing bait and fish close to shore. Delaware also has an early mullet run, so these baitfish can help bring home the goods.
Small trout have made their debut, which could lead to good trout action in the coming years. The tautog season ended in Delaware on Sept. 1, but will resume again Sept. 29 to Dec. 31 with a five-fish possession limit. Here’s hoping school’s in session for your target fish, as well as local students.