By Eric Burnley Sr.*
Updated: Oct. 8, 2015
DELAWARE BAY After the big blow a few boats managed to get to the Outer Wall on Wednesday, but the tog were uncooperative. The only fish caught were eels and oyster toads.
The pier at Cape Henlopen State Park produced a few keeper flounder and small spot. This may be the best location to try over the weekend since Saturday doesn’t look too good weather wise.
In the upper bay, catfish and white perch were caught on bloodworms or cut bait. It would take a cataclysmic event to turn these fish off and that is a good thing.
The last report I had on striped bass came from the Cape Cod Canal where a huge school was eating everything in sight. As to if and when these fish will visit the Delaware Coast is anyone’s guess.
INSHORE OCEAN Still no boats running out here, but some may give it a try this weekend.
OFFSHORE OCEAN Nothing from here since last week. I am sure a few boats will test the waters looking for tuna as soon as conditions permit.
INDIAN RIVER INLET A few tog and one keeper rockfish were caught here after the storm. If the water has a chance to settle down, tog fishing should improve.
SURF FISHING The beaches are open, but as of Thursday no one had reported catching anything. I was up on Herring Point and the water was brown and rough.
FRESHWATER The one good thing about freshwater, you know the fish are there, you just have to figure out what they want. When the water is high and dirty I go with bait. Earth worms and live minnows are going to out produce any lure.
NOW WHAT? The storm has passed and we want to get back out on the water, but have no idea what to expect. This weekend we will have the passing of a cold front and on Saturday the wind will be a bit too high for safe boating. The wind will drop out on Sunday, but seas will remain high. I would expect some of the larger head boats will sail on Sunday, but conditions will still be a bit iffy for trailer boats.
It is going to take a few days of clam weather before the water settles down, especially along the ocean beaches. Once we have clean water I think the tog will begin to bite and perhaps a few remaining flounder will be caught. Bluefish remain on the menu, but trying to figure out where they will show up and when is just that, a guessing game.
Most saltwater anglers are anxious to see rockfish arrive, but the past few years have been disappointing. The fish have shifted their travel route to areas beyond the three-mile limit and those who chase them out there risk an appearance in federal court and big fines.
As always, fishing is unpredictable and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
*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.