By Eric Burnley Sr.*
Updated: Thursday, Oct. 1
DELAWARE BAY There was a slight weather window on Tuesday and a few boats tried for tog at the Outer Wall and the rocks around the Brandywine Light. One boat did manage a limit at the Wall and at least two big sheepshead were caught, one at the Wall and one at Brandywine Light.
White perch and catfish should be available in the tidal rivers and creeks when the weather returns to a fishable condition and it looks like that won’t happen until sometime next week. As to when things will improve in the open bay, your guess is as good as mine.
INSHORE OCEAN To the best of my knowledge no boats have sailed out of Indian River or Lewes over the past two weeks. When they do get out it is hard to say what they will find. I suspect some tog will be caught and perhaps a few flounder until black sea bass season reopens on October 18.
OFFSHORE OCEAN I had a report from one boat that ran to the Washington Canyon on Tuesday and managed to catch a limit of yellowfin and a good number of dolphin on the troll. All I can say is they love tuna much more than I do.
INDIAN RIVER INLET A very slow pick of flounder, croaker and rockfish here. Tiny bluefish are chasing shiners and can be taken on small metal lures.
SURF FISHING I expect the beaches to be closed by the weekend and they may not reopen before mid-week. Once conditions improve we may begin to see more blues and perhaps the first run of rockfish.
FRESHWATER The dry nor’easter of last week has given way to a very wet one this week. Heavy rain will make fishing anywhere uncomfortable and unproductive until next week.
GET READY Since we can’t get out on the water, now is a good time to check your gear and get ready for the fall fishing season. Fishing line is a main concern since it has seen hard service during the spring and fall. Mono line is inexpensive and should be replaced. Braid costs a good deal more and should be checked for signs of wear and replaced as necessary.
All those trolling lures that have not seen the light of day since last fall need to be examined for rusty hooks, damaged split rings or hangers. Replace as necessary. The same should be done for hooks on surf, eel or chunking rigs. Any sign of rust or wear on the leader and the rig should be tossed and a new one created.
It doesn’t take much time to do these simple chores and the investment will pay big dividends when that fish of a lifetime takes your bait or lure.
*Eric Burnley Sr. is a native Delawarean who has fished the waters of his home state for more than 60 years. He has been a full-time outdoor writer since 1978, with articles appearing in most national magazines as well as many regional publications. He has authored two books, Surf Fishing The Atlantic Coast and The Ultimate Guide To Catching Striped Bass.