Warm waters bring new fish to target

Summer is coming to an end and we are already in August. Woo-hoo! The point is opening soon! All serious anglers love this area for many different reasons. Fly fishermen (me) love Bayside Flats. The point has a variety of structures to fish, the scenery is amazing, and it’s just a really nice place to surf for fish, especially overnight ones. I can’t wait to rig and “drift” the point, off the ground. It requires a weekday with no one in the way and a long, light surf rod. My Tsunami Airwave works well, as well as my Ticas.

This heat wave receded and brought pompano with it. They have been few in number but show up in the Delaware and Assateague waves. The majority of the pompanos are still to the south, below Chincoteague. There are still red drummers getting caught in the Assateague action all summer, confusing everyone, but we’ll take it.

The summer slotted striped bass season lasts until August 31. There were decent slotted striped bass in the Lewes Channel, Broadkill River, Roosevelt Inlet, Delaware Bay and Cape Henlopen beaches and fishing pier. The Lewes Canal is legal as a tributary of the Kings Highway Bridge at Roosevelt Inlet. Some would say it’s bad for striped bass; Personally I think that’s fine – they’re all mostly male fish and won’t harm the population at all. Also, Delaware barely counts in the grand scheme of the number of East Coast catches, both recreational and commercial.

The surf has been decent action for all summer fish: spot, kingfish, croaker, sand perch, tinnitus and now pompano. All small hook rigs, top and bottom, are spot and kingfish rigs. Bloodworms are hard to come by most weekends, so earthworms or sandworms work well. Fishbites bloodworm formulas, shrimp, crab or clam also do a good job. Using squid works just as well as small pieces of shrimp. Be sure to salt the shrimp the day before so the meat is tougher and sticks better and longer. The only downside to cutting squid is that it attracts more scavengers such as skates etc.

The plaice action was much better offshore than inshore for the keepers, which is typical for this area. Inner bays produce, but there are a lot of backtracks for this keeper and the same goes for beaches and flat areas.

According to Don Weber, “The sign at Lighthouse View Bait & Tackle said there was good fishing with Bloodworms and Fishbites. Oh, and using the DS Custom Tackle upper and lower rigs. I have took their advice and boom – happy boys today. They caught 13 fish in total; Chase caught nine and LJ caught four.”

It’s good to see these kids having fun catching fish. That’s what it’s all about, and it’s a great way to teach kids to respect the outdoors and wildlife. Fishing will increase a child’s interest in the outdoors, especially when catching.

The offshore action for tuna, mahi etc. has been great. Weekdays are much less crowded for better action, it seems. The White Marlin Open will start soon. Ocean City, Maryland has been buzzing since the “GOAT” came to town to catch it again. His boat, Catch 23, arrived this week. Yes, Michael Jordan is fishing the White Marlin Open again.

The action of the cobia spreads offshore and on the beaches, and we see more and more of them taken each year. A byproduct of rising temperatures is that more tropical fish migrate further north each season. As this increases, these school enrollments increase. Years ago it was the occasional catch of pompanos in late summer and now we target them as early as June in some years. You can find all kinds of wild tropical fish in our inland bays. Cast a seine net and you’ll be amazed at what you catch – angelfish, butterflyfish and all kinds of tropical reef fish. These do not migrate here; they come with warm Gulf Stream water and storms. Most will not survive the change in temperature in winter unless they are lucky and find an outlet of hot water to hang out. It’s a great way to stock a saltwater aquarium. I have a ton of cool stuff in my tanks that I’ve “found” in our waters over the years.

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