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Delaware Fishing Report
When, Where, What and How They're Biting


By Eric Burnley Sr.*

Updated: Feb. 5, 2016

2016 Delaware Fishing GuideDELAWARE BAY If anyone is fishing they are keeping it a secret. The snow was still on the ground in Kent and New Castle counties not to mention the high winds and cold temperatures. The yellow perch run should be happening, but to date I have no reports of anyone even trying in Delaware. A few neds, as the perch are known, were caught in Perryville, Md. before the storm.

INSHORE OCEAN I spoke with Captain Scotty Gold on the Rehoboth Star out of Indian River and while he did fish for tog last weekend, the results were not as good as he would like. The boat had keeper fish both days, but the bite was slow. He said the water was still dirty from the storm and the fish they did catch were pretty beat up.

INDIAN RIVER INLET Nothing to report from here. I drove down on Friday and the damage was minimal ,so if the weather settles down it is possible a few shad may still be around.

SURF FISHING Surf fishing will not be any good until the water clears. I saw where a few hardy souls fished at Cape Henlopen Point over the weekend, but had no success.

FRESHWATER The ponds are pretty dirty from all the heavy rain and snow and I suspect the water temperature is cold. Crappie, yellow perch and pickerel should be available with small live minnows or shiners the best baits.

STILL MORE LITTLE THINGS This week we will look at snaps and swivels. 

Many fishermen, myself included, use snaps on almost all of our terminal rigs. They make it much easier to change lures or hooks than having to retie a knot every time we make a change.

I started using snaps when I fished Indian River Inlet at night. Before I headed out I tied my bucktails, spoons and plugs to 12-inch leaders with a perfection loop on the terminal end. When I wanted to change out a lure all I had to do was unsnap the old one and snap on something different. Snaps are so much easier to use than trying to tie even the simplest knot with cold and wet hands.

I also found that when I snagged the bottom, which was more often than I like to admit, the leader would usually break at the snap. After checking to make sure the snap had not suffered any damage all I had to do was snap on another lure and it was back to fishing.
Snap swivels are used when trolling and I only use ball bearing models. Nothing will twist up mono line faster than a spinning spoon or plug and barrel swivels just don’t do the job in a trolling situation.

Coastlock style snaps are the only style you should use. The Interlock style of snap will fail under pressure. If the snap closes much like a safety pin, it is the Interlock style. The Coastlock style has a small bend in the tag end that goes over the standing part. The closed snap looks a bit like the letter D.  I have never had one of these snaps open under pressure. I did have one close on its self until it looked like the letter P after a rather long battle with a big amberjack.

Just about all of my snaps and swivels are black. I do almost all of my fishing in saltwater where small shiny things seem to attract the attention of large things with sharp teeth. I don’t think having black terminal gear is a deterrent in freshwater.

As with my fishing hooks, my snaps and swivels are stored in plastic tackle boxes that will fit in my tackle bag. They too get a WD-40 bath on a regular basis.

 *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 three books, Surf Fishing The Atlantic Coast ,The Ultimate Guide To Catching Striped Bass and Fishing Saltwater Baits.

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