By Eric Burnley Sr.*
Updated: April 19, 2018
DELAWARE BAY With the weekend weather going from summer on Saturday to winter on Sunday, fishing has suffered accordingly. The water temperature in the bay close to Lewes was 49 degrees on Wednesday and could pass 50 degrees by the weekend. Once we see a steady temperature over the 50 degree mark we should have flounder in the lower bay, especially in the shallow areas around the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier and in the Lewes & Rehoboth Canal and Broadkill River.
I checked the Canal on Wednesday and it was about as clear as it gets. I suggest live minnows or frozen shiners for these early run flounder. A bucktail tipped with Gulp! and worked very slowly across the bottom may also work.
Small rockfish along with the occasional keeper have been caught from shore and pier between Augustine Beach and Port Mahon. Bloodworms are the top bait along with chunks of menhaden.
White perch and catfish have been caught from all the tidal rivers and creeks that feed the bay. Here too bloodworms and cut bunker have been the top producers.
No reports of bluefish last week.
INSHORE OCEAN We did have one late report from last week: The No Limit caught a limit of tog April 11, while fishing out of the Indian River Marina. Other than that, no one has left the dock due to winds and rain.
INDIAN RIVER INLET No change here. Small rockfish are still being caught on bucktails and swim shads at the Inlet. The South Jetty and the North Pocket have been the top areas.
SURF FISHING No report at all from the surf with the exception of skates and dog sharks.
FRESHWATER So far, trout fishing is pretty good in the stocked streams of New Castle County. More trout have been added, according to the Delaware Fishing Guide. Perhaps the only good thing about this cold weather is it keeps the trout happy.
Bass, pickerel, crappie and perch are available in the local ponds. The Division of Fish & Wildlife has available online maps and charts for all of the Delaware ponds managed by the agency. These include good information on the size of the pond, the depth, and both boat and shoreside access points.
FINAL SEA BASS AND FLOUNDER REGS The final regulations for black sea bass and summer flounder in Delaware waters have been approved. Sea bass season will begin on May 15 and continue until December 31. The minimum size will be 12.5 inches and the bag limit remains at 15 fish per day.
Summer flounder regulations, effective immediately, will see the minimum size drop to 16.5 inches while the bag limit remains at four fish per day.
Now all we need is the fish.
*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.