Fishing from the Point: Hot weather could mean a hot bite
This week, summer officially got into full-swing. And with temperatures this weekend expected to be knocking on triple digits, be sure to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen — especially if you’re out on the water. The unusual heavy winds have subsided, and anglers all around have been yo-yoing with highs and lows in the flounder bite, as the warming waters bid adieu to most of the keeper rockfish.
The Indian River Inlet (IRI) and the Delaware Bay provided the most successful flounder outings this week. Throughout the bay, as far north as Reef Site 2, flounder were taking to three-way swivel rigs, as well as bucktail, minnow or Gulp. If you’re up in the bay, keep to the wrecks and the reef sites, and any other hard structure, to find the flounder floating around.
Trout are still pretty active in the bay waters, as well, and are particularly fond of peeler crab, bunker and squid. There are plenty of small guys out there, but Broadkill Beach, Broadkill River, Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier and Lewes Beach have each produced keeper trout, some weighing up to 5 pounds.
Keeper croaker have been reported around the Coast Guard Rail. Small rocks and drum are less plentiful but are still showing up in the bays, though their run may be winding down.
The flatties (aka flounders) have been on a tear through the IRI, with the VFW Slough and Massey’s Ditch housing the most success. The jetty jockeys are pulling in some keepers, too, with squid, minnows, shiners, live spot, Gulp! and bucktails all doing the trick. But the fishing along the rocks can be tricky, with most of the flounder staying close to the structure.
Metal lures and small spoons are finding blues and shad, which are coming through the inlet with the incoming tides. But inlet anglers looking for rockfish may be out of luck. The ones being pulled in are small, at best, and with Delaware size limit jumping up from 20 inches to 26 inches at the start of July, the keepers will be that much more difficult to find. For the best results, try plugs and live eels in the evening and at night but, as noted, be prepared to sift through shorties.
Surf fishing has not produced an abundance of prize catches of late. The majority of the fish coming in off the beaches are skates and dog sharks, with an occasional kingfish and perhaps a rockfish bite or two. For best results off the sand, just before dawn through mid-morning is the best bet.
Sharks are being pulled in around the inshore lumps, with makos and threshers being the most popular catches. Brown and blue sharks have been taking to bait, as well. Mackerel and bluefish seem to work the best. Sea bass catches are still up, though the number of throwbacks is still higher than the number of keepers. The Old Grounds, A Buoy and Reef Site 11 seem to be optimal destinations if you’re to find keeper-sized sea bass.
Out at the canyons, trolling ballyhoo, cedar plugs and spreader bars are finding a good number of yellowfin tuna, with the Baltimore and Poorman’s providing the biggest days, in 50 to 60 fathoms. The walls of the canyons seem to be the best locations for action. Mahi mahi are weaving into the mix with the tuna, too. Several reports of white marlin being caught and released have come in, as have some reports of blue marlin being spotted.
Down in Ocean City, Md., the Route 50 bridge has seen some action, with blues, shad and a couple of keeper stripers coming in at night. Snapper blues, croaker and kingfish have found their way into the surf but, as with the Delaware coast, small sharks, rays and skates make up most of the catch on the beach. While many are reporting that the fishing could still be better, keep at it. Even a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work!