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Vol 47 | Num 8 | Jun 22, 2022

The Offshore Report Ocean City Report Delaware Report Virginia Report Ship to Shore Chum Lines The Galley Issue Photos
Delaware Report

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

Delaware saw lots of west wind making the ocean ride a little better, however it also made the biting flies even worse than usual. This year has been extremely brutal for the pesky biters. Fishing overall was good last week. Flounder and bluefish action were some of the best we have seen for years. Unfortunately, sea bass has really begun to slow down. Putting in the time will still get you a nice keeper dinner, but the days of limit after limit looks to be behind us now.

Sea Bass & Flounder

Starting with flounder, the back bays are full of flatties. Many are short of keeper size, however a few big trophies were caught this week by those who fished hard and found the right holes and structure. Several keeper fish have been caught along the rock jetty at the mouth of the Indian River Inlet. Along with some big flounder, the first nice group of sheepshead also made their way onto anglers hooks. Jo Fisher fished the rocks and got two big ones. The first was 13.8 lbs. and the second was a whopping 27.5 lbs. Although not a state record, this is definitely a fish many anglers spend a lifetime trying to catch. Great job!

Carl Gutberlett and crew searched the rock wall for some dinner and were rewarded with a nice 17.5” and 20” flounder. Eric Moore from Hartford County was the angler that caught the big fish of the day. The channel in front of the VFW was also holding a few nice fish this week and should only get better in the following weeks.

At Lewes Canal, Anthony Honjnicki caught 3 keeper flounder on the morning bite while using minnows and Gulp baits. Anthony is headed to Florida this coming week. If the kid is this lucky in the canal, I can't wait to see his pictures next week from Florida. Also out of Lewes Harbour Marina was Bob Murphy fishing on the “Katydid”, winning the big fish pool with a beautiful 5.87 lb. flounder. Captain Keith was zoned in on flounder this week and caught several nice keepers aboard his boat “Surface Tension”. Preston, Mark and Tad all caught their fish on Gulp. Keith reported they also picked up a few sea bass on jigs. Angler Fuentes Rivas fished on the “Thelma Dale” and got his dinner with two nice size flounder measuring 23 and 24”. Nice catch for early in the season!

The charter “Skipjack 2” also reported a hard working group this week returning to the dock with a limit of flounder. “Bad Wind Charters” was using their Bad Wing Jugs again to bring home limits of flatties. It's great to see the fishing near shore really starting to heat up. Charter boat “Fish Bound” changed over to flounder trips from sea bass. Although not super hot, they managed to have a great show of flounder at the docks. The outside Coral Grounds are reported as the hot spot for last week, however a few boats ventured up to the ballast piles on the NJ line and were rewarded with some quality fish. If you fish the rock piles up north, be ready to re-tie a new rig as the bottom is very snaggy and you will lose more rigs than you catch fish. The spot does hold some big flounder though and is worth the loss of rigs. Bucktails and jigs work best in this area because the traditional high low rig will snag up way too quickly with the longer leaders. Bennett Prettyman caught a whopping 8 lb. 4oz fattie on Bill's new boat the “Carpe Diem”. The Cape Henlopen Pier reported a few lucky anglers caught some decent flounder, however fishing was a bit slower last week than in past weeks for the flat fish.

The headboats at Lewes Harbour and Indian River both reported that sea bass has slowed down on the near shore wrecks and the Coral Grounds. Site 11 remains the hot spot this week, and if you put the time in and fish with fresh clam you can still manage a nice catch for dinner.

The NJ/DE Reef was also slow this week but did give up a few nice sea bass . NJ/DE reef has been hit very hard from day one with the knotheads. Finding wrecks in this deep 100-120 ft. of water that have not been targeted so hard is the key to finding keeper fish. Jigs are still working, but many wrecks and structure spots have been so over fished, not many fish big enough to take a jig are left.

Bluefish, Rockfish & Drum

Bluefish fishing is some of the best we have seen in years. Many anglers both on boats as well as off the surf fishing beaches are reporting lots of slammer blues ready to bite just about anything you throw at them. On the beach, metal spoons are a big hit when fish are seen crashing the surface chasing bait. Mullet rigs are a favorite using whole finger mullet with a tail twin hook. Bluefish are notorious backbiters cutting your bait in half leaving only the head and hook behind. Using a mullet rig with the hook near the back of the tail usually eliminates this problem. Mel Jones fished off the beach this week and got a couple nice slammer blues. Travis Rash also got in on the bite right off the inlet sand. Rob Douglas said the bluefish bite was good, but the kingfish bite was outstanding. He said he had more fun watching his kids catch them than any fishing he did himself. The kingfish, about 30 total, mainly bit the yellow float top and bottom kingfish rig. “Ocean Arsenal” reports their OA Smoke Bomb chugger pulled in tons of bluefish this week. They said a couple more degrees and it's on for mahi!

Denise Treadwell caught a nice citation size 10.9 lb. sheepshead along the outer wall.

Ryan Focht and son caught a nice 22” black drum on sand fleas off the beach. Drum have begun to slow down as many fish have spawned and left the area.

Until next week...
Tight lines and fins up §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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