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Vol 46 | Num 19 | Sep 8, 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

As Hurricane Ida rolled by to our west, the ocean rolled from the residual flow. Many anglers stayed close to shore or at the docks. Fishing remains strong with good catches of flounder and mahi near shore, as well as flounder and croaker in the back bays.

Back Bays & Beaches

Flounder remains the mainstay of the back bays. The main channels are your best chances for a couple of keeper flatties. Looking north to the Delaware Bay, the various shoals are producing some nice doormats. Brown Shoal and Brandywine Shoal are top producers. The main locations for the flounder on these shoals are on the down current side of the drop off to the deeper water. Large Gulp and curly tail strip baits are your best baits. White and pink are the most widely used colors.

Ernie Stone caught a nice 6.72 lb. sheepshead off the Inner Wall Delaware Bay. For those of you who know sheepshead, this is a very large fish for our area. Way to go Ernie!

In Lewes the canal fishing has been fairly slow. This time of year with lots of traffic coming out of the harbor the best place to fish is along the docks and edges of the canal or north of the inlet opening. Gulp and squid baits are the most productive baits.

Looking towards Indian River Inlet the main entrance along the rock jetties have been producing some nice keeper flounder. Keep in mind this area is a fast current and often hard to control your drift. The area in front of the Coast Guard Station is also a great location to target. Carlina Briggs was fishing Indian River Inlet using a jig with squid and gulp and caught a nice 20” flounder. During the slower tide currents try drifting live spot on a circle hook. This technique will target the larger flounder. When using live spot you will not get the numbers of bites as if you used squid or minnows, but the bites you get will be of higher quality. The main channel winding through the middle of Indian River Bay is also a good place to target flounder. Look for the deeper holes and set up your drift from deep to shallow. The area in front of the VFW remains a good area for keeper flounder as well as Massey’s Ditch near the boat ramp. John Spence fished there before the winds messed up the water and landed a nice 22”, 4 lb. flounder and another one at 18.5” on a homemade bucktail and squid skirt.

Croaker are all over the back bays but finding them can sometimes be difficult. The area near the entrance to the ocean appears to be the most dependable, however, you will have to deal with a lot of boat traffic.

Old Inlet Bait & Tackle reports that rockfish have been few and far between, even at night. The heavy tidal flows due to the hurricane may be responsible for this. As the weather cools over the next few weeks the striper fishing should get steadily better. Chunk baits and bucktails are your best baits.

This week I received several reports of false albacore just outside the inlet and along the shoreline. Large schools of bait can be found inside the inlet as well as outside. Spec rigs, spoons, and bucktails are all good lures to throw at these fish. Further up the bay redfish are still around the power plant however the reports were not as good as past weeks.

Nearshore Wrecks & Reefs

Looking to the nearshore areas, flounder and mahi remain the big catches. Regarding mahi, they are in a different location every day. Most days they are located near A Buoy. When the schools can be located the fishing is fast paced with tons of action. Casting a light circle hook to the fish with a piece of squid seems to be the best option. These fish are only a few weeks old and are not very big. They will make a nice fish taco or fried fish finger but are too thin for much else. This is fun fishing but remember in a few more weeks these fish will be full size so return what you're not going to eat quickly to the ocean to preserve the hatch.

The Old Grounds is the hot spot of the week with big Gulp baits as the clear cut winner.

Diane Vansant was fishing the Old Grounds and landed a huge 27 ¼ “, 7.8lb. flounder while fishing on the boat “High Pressure”. Several triggerfish are also around with anglers reporting if you hook one and leave it in the water you can catch many more that will follow it to the surface. Sand fleas are the best bait for triggerfish, however, squid will also work. 17 year old Connor Mister was fishing with his father using 5” Gulp baits and landed an impressive 22” flounder along with his limit. David Johnson weighed in a huge 7.04 lb. flounder at Lewes Harbour Marina. David caught the fish while fishing on the Lil Skipjack with Capt. Beau. The crew also caught some keeper sea bass. Leslie Raffensperger caught a nice 4 lb. flounder from Canary Creek on minnows. Aaron Hurd was fishing with Capt. Brent Wiest on the “Katydid” and landed a nice limit of flounder with his biggest being 6.12 lbs. Jean Bew was out at Site 10 and got a nice 19” flounder and some croaker using a clam and minnow combo. Corey and Michael Staats had a good day on the Judy V out of Indian River catching a mix of sea bass and flounder on ocean structure. The pair used squid to catch their fish. Sea bass also remains strong with the NJ/DE Reef being the best place to find large numbers of keepers.

As the weather begins to cool the sea bass fishing should get even better!

Until next week...
Tight lines and fins up

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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