Delaware Fishing Report Week of October 3rd, 2019

By Eric Burnley, Sr.

Delaware Bay

Delaware Bay and the rest of the state have experienced some roller coaster weather. Cool one day, hot the next then cool again. Variable temperature changes bring on high winds that don’t make for good fishing. This plus big seas from the hurricanes bouncing around in the ocean have pretty much caused small boats to stay on their trailers.

White Perch

In the Upper Bay it remains a white perch and catfish fishery. The C&D Canal, Augustine Beach, the tidal rivers and creeks and the fishing pier at Woodland Beach have all seen some decent action on these fish. Bloodworms and cut bunker continue to be the best baits.

When boats can reach the Miah Maull Shoal or the Upper Bay reef sites, they find some flounder and trout. Peeler crab, minnows, squid and Gulp! all have worked on these fish. Trout have been caught on peeler crab from the shore at Bowers Beach.
The Lower Bay reef sites continue to see good numbers of kings, spot, blues, triggerfish, croaker and the occasional flounder. By the time we get back out there the air temperature will have dropped 20 degrees and I suspect the water temperature will have also fallen, so things will change. It will be interesting to see what remains.

The fishing pier at Cape Henlopen State Park saw a change from spot to flounder and trout as the mullet run began. The successful anglers are cast netting mullet and fishing them live near pier pilings. For those who lack cast netting skills, large minnows will work.

The Lewes and Rehoboth Canal seems to be devoid of life. I have not had a good report from there in two weeks.

Inshore Ocean

In spite of small craft warnings for seas, several boats went out early this week and found good sea bass action. Boat limits plus a few triggerfish and flounder were taken.

Offshore Ocean

Blueline TilefishThe offshore boats brought in dolphin, yellowfin tuna and tilefish.

Indian River Inlet

Nothing good from the inlet this week. The big heave from the ocean has kept the inlet water dirty and other than a few triggerfish caught on sand fleas I have not heard of much action.

In the Back Bays some flounder have been caught on squid and minnows or Gulp!. Massey’s Ditch saw some small tog taken from the fishing pier on sand fleas.

Surf Fishing

The surf has been rough, but a tournament over the weekend produced blues, kings, small rock and at least one false albacore.


Still not getting many reports from the ponds or tidal creeks or rivers. Crappie and bass seem to be the most popular targets with snakeheads always a frontrunner.

Jon Boats

We lost two men from a jon boat in Maryland last week. It sounds like a repeat of the same thing that caused us to lose a man in Delaware this past spring.

I keep telling people jon boats have purpose and that does not include taking them out in open water. They are fine on mill ponds, but not safe on bays, rivers or even creeks where larger boats may kick up wakes.

I sat on my front yard, when we had a camper on Indian River Bay at Bay Shore, and watched a jon boat sink. There were four people on board and a boat passed by creating a wake that swamped the jon boat. It took about six seconds for that boat to go down putting all four occupants in the water. None were wearing a PFD. The thing that saved them was the water was only three feet deep.

If you have a jon boat, please don’t take it out on open water at any time for any reason. When running a larger boat be aware of jon boats and slow down when passing by. And always wear your PFD.