Fishing from the Point: Welcome back, tautog
Poor-man’s lobster will be back on the menu when Delaware reopens the tautog season Saturday, Sept. 29. Cooler water should entice the tog toward the rocks. Until then, rockfish, sheepshead and triggerfish are always scratching and biting at live sand fleas.
At the Indian River Inlet, rockfish have been caught recently on swim shads, eels, live spot, fleas and bucktails. Bluefish up to 15 pounds, as well as flounder, have been making the rounds. Motorists might not drive over the old inlet bridge anymore, but fish still loiter near the soon-to-be-removed bridge pilings.
Anglers had a gorgeous weekend Sept. 22 and 23 for the Delaware Seashore Fall Surf Fishing Classic, in which 131 of the total 311 anglers caught a total of 300 fish. Winners included: Trevor Merceron, open division, first place; Donna Guttridge, women’s division, first place; Bruce Gallagher, kids’ division, first place; Fred Parkhurst, Gary Born and John Pilcicki, biggest fish; Born and Pilcicki, bluefish added entry; and Born, grand slam prize.
Blues and kingfish were the most common catches, although croakers, sea trout, red drum and pompano were also going for the gold.
Blowfish, spot and false albacore are also riding the surf. Fishbites, bloodworms, cut or whole mullet and Gulp! are a beach angler’s best friends. Flounder are getting bigger and badder in their final month before the Delaware season closes on Oct. 24. Until then, they’re eating squid, shiners, Gulp! and live spot.
High winds and uneasy waters made deep-sea fishing tricky this week, but boats have made impressive hauls anyway. Mahi were swarming the canyons, with plenty of white marlin action. Reports of yellowfin tuna, sailfish and wahoo have also graced the sites. Scattered thunderstorms in the forecast might affect deep-sea again this weekend.
Inshore, the Old Grounds and A Buoy are getting all the attention for producing boatloads of flounder and sea bass. False albacore were reeled in on trolled spoons, as were bluefish at Fenwick Shoals.
A garfish was reported at Site 10, caught on boxed squid by Leon Martin of Leola, Pa. With beaklike jaws and long, slender bodies, garfish don’t get much attention in Delaware coastal fishing, but other states have entire clubs dedicated to the fish. Perhaps it’s time Delaware jumps in on the action? Happy casting!