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Vol 46 | Num 21 | Sep 22, 2021

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

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

Well we arrive at the final paper of the 2021 season. It was a great year inshore with many anglers coming in with some impressive catches. As we look at this last week we see it was truly a great one. Flounder fishing both in the bay as well as the ocean has been spectacular. Many anglers returned to the docks with limits as well with many fish over 5 lbs. Sea bass remains strong with the deeper water producing limits even at this late time in our summer season.

Back Bays & Surf

The back bays are alive with plenty of fish this week. Flounder remains the most constant catch. Due to dredging near the inlet the main thoroughfare has been slow this week. The channel in front of the VFW remains the hot spot this week with several fish over 5 lbs. coming in. Drifting this area one hour before until one hour after the high tide appears to be the best time. Most anglers are using a squid and minnow combo with the bigger fish coming off of this rig. Live spot has also accounted for a few trophy fish. Gulp baits which have been excellent in the ocean have not been producing as well as in past weeks. Massey’s Ditch has also been a hot bed this week. Drifting in front of the state ramp is a good location to start. This area has also been producing some big sea trout. James Roe caught a beauty on Monday while casting swim jigs.

The Rehoboth Bay has been fairly decent but not as consistent as in past weeks. This area has had some good catches of croaker which made up for the lack of flounder. The deeper channel in front of Paradise Grill has been pretty good this week but you will have to find the deeper holes that run along the channel. Look for the holes right at the edge of the channel because this is where the flounder will wait to ambush bait that is drifting by in the current.

Looking further towards the back bays, the Indian River power plant has seen some nice sea trout as well as some good sized puppy drum (redfish). The small channel behind the plant is the best place to cast these fine tasting fish. A small 3-5” swim bait with a chartreuse tipped tail has been the most consistent bait. The area is also holding a few sea trout as well as a few reports of tarpon. Anglers reported seeing tarpon but could not get any to bite. I would suggest if you are going to target them try using a live spot on a jig head or weighted circle hook. The bigger tarpon are that size because many of them are very old and have seen every type of bait thrown to them. Live bait will far out fish plastics.

For sea trout use small swim jigs and paddle tail baits. Hit the main inlet area as it’s shown great results. Matt Brough caught some really nice sea trout along with sheepshead while fishing for tog along the rocks. These fish should remain here for the next few weeks as long as the water remains warm. Croaker are still all around with small pieces of bloodworm or squid being the best baits.

Nearshore Wrecks & Reefs

Looking at the near shore areas flounder is still the mainstay, however there are tons of other fish to target. Tim Tribbits took his son Tyler out for his birthday and returned with a 5 man limit of sheepshead. They each kept 3 throwing many keepers back. Tim’s group used small pieces of clam on a #6 circle hook. He stated that he used 20 lb. mono and as light of a weight as he could to get the bait to the wreck.

The Old Grounds are always a heavily targeted spot and this week rewarded anglers with tons of nice fish. Joe Paulson fished there and came away with a nice limit, the biggest being 21”. Mallari Contracting Company fished up a 5 man limit with the largest fish being 6 lb., 5.7 and 5 lbs. Catching one of these would be a trophy but to catch 3 over 5 lbs. is truly a once in a lifetime catch. Great job guys!

Brian Hayden was out at A Buoy and caught a beautiful 29” flounder at 8.5 lbs. Tom Seagreve also fished with him, ending up with his biggest fish being 24.5”at 6.5 lbs. and another one 23.5” at 6 lbs. Not only did they catch a limit but also had 3 fish over 6 lbs. John and Rachel Engler also caught a limit in this area. There was a huge number of trophy flounder this year and if you have never caught one over 5 lbs. now is the time to hit the water. The “Judy V” out of Indian River has trips running every day and is a great way to get to the fish if you don't own a boat. The captain knows these waters very well and often returns to the dock with some real quality fish. Looking further offshore the NJ/DE Reef is still producing limits of sea bass in this late season. Fresh clams are the best bait. Be advised you will have to sort through a lot of throwbacks to get your limit. Bluefish are starting to show up in this area due to all the bait fish in the area. A few mahi are still being caught both at the NJ/DE Site as well as near A Buoy but the numbers have really dropped off this week. Triggerfish are on most wrecks with sand fleas and squid being your best baits.

So that will be a wrap for this 2021 season fish reports. Thank you to all that have told me how they love reading my articles. It is much appreciated.

Be sure to look for the big Winter Issue on January 1! For those of you who haven't seen this issue it's a great recap of how the fishing season went all summer, what worked and where. So be sure to check it out.

Until next year...
Tight lines and fins up

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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