The Lewes Harbour Canal Flounder Tournament was a great success. Over 300 anglers participated in the event, and many flatties were caught. Frank Zeccola was the big winner with a 7.25 pound doormat. Nikki Rice nailed Second with her 4.35 pounder. A 4.32 by John Mitchell took Third. Ron Webster wound in the the Fourth Place 4.31 pounder. Ed Bush boated a 4.17 for Fifth. Bobby Smith scored Sixth with his 4.11, and Tom Hudson had Seventh with a 4.04 pound fluke. In addition to cash prizes awarded to the top finishers, more than $1,500 was raised for Camp Awareness Youth Programs.
Many thanks to all who took part in the Tourney. Brian Clark captured a 5.94 pound flatfish in the Canal, but unfortunately it happened the day before the Tournament. Flounder fishing was good at night for sharpies working the Cape Henlopen pier using small jigs tipped with shiners or herring.
Waders inside the Cape and between the piers also hooked flounder. Frank and Sue Gaworski had three keeper flounder and released several others, along with some nice weakfish and puppy drum while tossing Bass Assassins around the old Broadkill Jetty. The striper bite in Indian River Inlet last week was the best most area fishermen have seen in a long time. Schools of big, migratory post spawn bass pushed through the inlet with each flood tide and fed aggressively on bunker, shad, small trout, kingfish or whatever happened to be in front of them. It was a bonaza for both jetty jocks and boaters. As word of the action spread, the crowds grew, and it was common to see casters lining the rocks elbow to elbow the full length of both jetties, most of them with bent rods. Upwards of a hundred boats drifted the inlet at the same time. The best catching took place at night. Although tempers flared among some anglers in the crazy scene, fishermen who kept their cool were rewarded with rockfishing rarely seen.
Gary Kaminski checked in a brace of bass weighing 32.5 and 34.1 pounds he caught with bucktails. Harry Blades and Shane Townsend had limits while drifting Storm Shads on multiple trips to the inlet. Their take included Shane's 31 pounder and Harry's 23.2 pound rock. Bill Lux brought in a 29.1 pounder using a bucktail tipped with herring. Dominic Coviello fooled his 28 pound striper with a white bucktail. Mason Newsham trolled a Stretch 30 plug to nail a 27.8 pound linesider. Joe Bowski bucktailed bass of 24.3 and 17.6 pounds. Jim Weber wound in a 25.5 pounder with a Storm Lure. Phil Chandler had a 23 pounder, and Ricky Chorman captured a 24.5 pound rock. Brock Kauffman caught a 22.3 pounder on an eel. Drew Rose was casting a Bomber plug when he connected with a 20.3 pounder. Striped bass also came from Delaware Bay. Timmy Barnett, Chad Tingle and Vince Lahr trolled Stretch plugs along he edge of Hen and Chickens Shoal for their limit of lunkers to 31.5 pounds. Other crews reported rock while casting Storm Shads and Bomber plugs around the Ice Breakers and Outer Wall. Joe Zaleski boated a 35 pound bass while soaking a bunker chunk at Site 2. A few stripers were taken from the surf at Herring Point and in Roosevelt Inlet by anglers using bunker and clams. Black Drum continued to come from the Coral Beds and submerged pilings off Slaughter Beach. Martha Clemmer landed a 71.5 pound behemoth, one of four boated Thursday night aboard Martha Marie. The Miss Kirstin returned with 5 drum Friday evening. Grizzly's guys got seven on Saturday night. Paul Grim decked a 68 pounder on the Indian. Jake McNitt managed a 66.9 pound drum on the Pirate King II. John Mancuso muscled in a 61.1 pound boomer. Kahekili Gomez was drumming on the Joint Venture when he hooked his 67.8 pounder. Many drum have been pulled from the surf at Broadkill Beach. Clam or peeler crab on a short leadered fishfinder rig produced plenty of puppies from 10 to 25 pounds at the end of ebb tide and beginning of the flood. There was much excitement over the opening of sea bass season Sunday. Boaters had good catches at Reef Site 11, and on wrecks in 100 to 120 foot depths. The crew on Katy Did returned with a limit of quality bass and several cod on Sunday. Captain Pete Haines and Bob Witte iced their limit of nice bass Sunday aboard Top Fin. Bassers on the Lil' Angler II had good catches as well. Bill Swords and his buddies had a box of big bass and a bunch of cod aboard Swords Fish. It's encouraging to see cod in such numbers again. Crews working structure in twenty fathoms in search of sharks and tuna encountered plenty of big bluefish. Wes Olson said it was all the slammers you wanted at the Hambone. Blues were also caught by sharkers at the Fingers and Jackspot. Jon Kitchen reported that an overnighter to the Carteret Canyon produced a blue shark, three small yellowfin tuna, a pair of big dolphin and surprisingly, three wahoo. Warm water has been working it's way inshore, and trollers tell of catching bluefins along temperature breaks this side of the canyons.