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Chunkers Catching Rockfish

Lewes Harbour Marina - 11/30/2012 12:00:00 AM

Sorry I missed last week's report. Time got away from me over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. Striper catches have been fair over the past two weeks, with some days better than others. Trolling Stretch and Bomber plugs on Overfalls Shoal has yielded keepers for some crews, but numerous short fish have been mixed in. Chunkers anchored over structure on the New Jersey side of the Bay fishing cut bunker have also been catching rockfish. The lower end of 60 Foot Slough, Tussey's Slough east of Brandywine, and the Banana Peel east of Fourteen Foot Light have been popular spots. The availability of fresh bunker has been an issue, with changeable weather conditions hampering efforts to obtain bait on a regular basis. Recent reports from chunkers tell of a few nice fish. Yesterday, Katydid returned with 5 good keepers. The largest was a 35.8 pounder decked by Denny Myers. Tom Smiga scored a 28.75 pound linesider, one of 5 keepers landed on the Grizzly yesterday. Captain Pete's bassers on Top Fin took home 4 nice rock yesterday. On Tuesday, Katydid captured 7 keepers and released 15 others. The Grizzly got 3 k's and 15 tb's on Tuesday. Monday's anglers on Katydid enjoyed good chunking, returning with a boat limit of 14 bass to over 20 pounds. Monday was a good day for trollers too. Captain J.W. Hocker on Miss Caroline pulled Stretch plugs at Overfalls for 10 quality fish in the box, and 10 others that were released. Rick and Doc Roberts and Kevin Cross found birds working in the Ocean between Bethany and Fenwick Monday. They trolled the area with Stretch 25s, and limited out with 6 nice rockfish to 18 pounds. The group released other rock, and also iced one big blue. Today is the last day of the 2012 Lewes Harbour Striper Tournament. As of this writing, Evan Falgowski remained in the lead with his 34 pounder. Beau Kemeys held Second with a 29.7 pound rock. John Joe Kabino was still in Third with a 29.2 pounder. Thanks to all who participated in this year's event, and hopefully we'll have more striper catching to come throughout December.

Striper Action Picking Up

Lewes Harbour Marina - 11/16/2012 12:00:00 AM

Striped bass action has been spotty, no thanks to the string of recent storms, and subsequent relentless northeast wind. However, fishing has showed signs of shaping up in the past few days. This morning, Ralph and Ryan Short, Paul Daisey and Mark Stephens endured rough seas and beat their way to Overfalls Shoal. They trolled Stretch 25 plugs during flood current, and within a couple hours, were back at the dock with their limit of quality linesiders to 25.9 pounds. John Joe Kabino and Rhett Passwaters took a similar thrashing yesterday, but were also rewarded with a limit of 4 rock to 29.2 pounds while pulling plugs. Other crews also reported catching by trolling plugs. Stretch 25+ models in chartreuse, cabo sunset, red and white, gold and black, and pink were popular offerings. Bomber CD25 lures were effective too. Trolling produced for Ocean anglers as well. Stripers were found under flocks of gannets along the beachfront, and trolling plugs or bucktails among feeding fish resulted in nice catches. Ronnie Payne and his crew had bass of 32, 39 and 40 inches while pulling lures under birds 2 miles off Indian River. Kevin and Shawn Cross captured 3 rockfish to 16 pounds and a 9.5 pound blue while trolling inshore of Fenwick Shoal. In addition to trollers, live bait fishermen also hooked stripers. Jacob Ness was drifting an eel in the deep near 8 Buoy aboard Katydid when he boated a 38.1 pound lunker. Hix Gilbert employed a spot at 8B to tempt his 26.4 pounder. Bert Long was eeling at Brown Shoal when he boated a 19.5 pounder on the Miss Kirstin. Ann Gudknecht used an eel for the 35 incher she took aboard Quintessa. Chunkers have had success when fresh bunker is available. Mike Newsham nailed a 24.2 pound striper chunking on the edge of the 60 Foot Slough. Katydid's chunkers had 5 bass yesterday in the 60 foot slough. Today, Captain Brent's bassers chunked an impressive 15 fish to 20 pounds with bunker at the bottom of 60 Foot Slough. Surfcasters started catching keeper stipers. Jack Austin, Tosh Tryon and Jim Wahl beached 5 stripers to 24.9 pounds and a big blue while using bunker near the Herring Point jetties. The Lewes Harbour Striper Tournament is going on through November 30th. Evan Falgowski still holds the lead with his 34 pounder. Beau Kemeys caught a 29.7 pounder with an eel aboard Quintessa to put him in Second. John Joe Kabino's 29.2 pound rock is currently Third. Reports from the New Jersey coast tell of plenty of stripers to the north, so we should have several more weeks of good bassing as they migrate through.

Another Nor'easter Behind Us

Lewes Harbour Marina - 11/9/2012 12:00:00 AM

We were just getting settled in after Sandy's passage when another northeast storm blasted the coast, bearing wind, tidal flooding, rain and snow. Delaware Bay water temperatures have fallen to the mid 40's, after a continued stretch of chilly days and nights. The past couple days have been brisk and breezy, but the forecast looks good for the weekend and early next week, with less wind and warmer daytime highs in the 60's. Conditions have kept boats at the dock most days, and many striper and tog fishermen have been chomping at the bit to get back out and see what's going on. Looks like they'll get their chance this weekend. Rockfish were caught on the few occasions when boaters were able to make it to the grounds. John Joe Kabino trolled up his limit of linesiders scaling 22.7 and 25.4 pounds while pulling Stretch 25+ and Bomber CD25 plugs at Overfalls Sunday. Evan Falgowski fooled a 26.3 pound bass with a plug, and Ryan Falgowski landed a 23.5 pounder. Beau Kemeys captured a 29.7 pound striper while drifting an eel at Overfalls Sunday aboard Quintessa. That fish moved him into Second Place of the Lewes Harbour Striper Tournament, which has now been extended to run through November 30th. We have live eels and spot available, and a good assortment of trolling plugs on hand for the striper crowd. It's been tough to obtain fresh bait, but we'll attempt to have bunker when we can get it. Surf fishermen have had success, despite adverse weather. It's surprising how many red drum remain along the coast. Jack Austin had several puppies from the beach in the Herring Point area in past days. Most were in the 16 to 18 inch range, but he did manage a keeper drum, and a beautiful 22 inch speckled trout from the wash. Numerous short stripers were pulled from the suds as well. Frozen mullet, bunker, sand fleas and live bloodworms got bit. Tog should be avaialble on Bay reef sites. Clean water will probably be critical to catching.

Good Riddance To Sandy!

Lewes Harbour Marina - 11/2/2012 12:00:00 AM

It was a tense few days as we braced for and endured one of the worst storms in recent memory. Wind and waves battered the region for days, and relentless rain saturated the area. Tidal surge compounded by a full moon caused flooding along most of the coast. To our benefit, the center of the weather system passed to the north of us, and winds shifting to westerly quadrants prevented more severe flooding. However, folks in New Jersey and New York took a real pounding, and we feel for the families and businesses dealing with the destruction and aftermath. We, personally, had no real troubles. We never lost power at the store, or at home. Tidal levels rose to the edge of the deck out front, but saltwater didn't make it into the walk in freezer or bait tank pump motors. We were very forunate. Bay and Ocean beaches had quite a bit of erosion. Angry waves washed over and leveled dunes between Dewey Beach and Indian River. Tons of sand covered Route 1. The beach at Cape Henlopen actually seemed wider, like more sand had been redistributed there. Lots and lots of freshly exposed whelk shells were visible. I talked with Bert Long, who mentioned some friends fished near the Herring Point jetties yesterday. They said the water was clean, and they caught and released short stripers and puppy red drum while baiting with cut mullet and bunker. Jack Austin also fished the surf there yesterday and today. He released 6 drum and 3 rockfish Thursday, and 6 stripers and 6 drum today. Striped bass also showed up at the mouth of Delaware Bay, on the heels of Sandy. Many bassers predicted their arrival would be brought on by the combination of a strong flow from the northeast, dropping water temps, and the effect of the full moon. Things had settled down enough yesterday for some boaters to give it a try. Striper sniper Evan Falgowski returned with the first big bass after the blow. He weighed in a 34 pounder taken while trolling a diving plug on shoal structure Thursday morning. That fish currenty leads the Lewes Harbour Striper Tournament. More rockfish should arrive daily, and roam rips across the lower Bay. We'll have live bait and a good selection of trolling lures for those pursuing stripers this fall. We also had some customers who attemped togging at the Outer Wall yesterday, but none reported back. Blackfish action should bounce back soon. The Lewes Harbour Tog Tournament finished up October 31st. Rodney Shoemaker took First with an 8.1 pound Tautog he pulled from the Ice Breakers. Brian Wazlavek wound up Second with his 7.5 pounder, and Scott Bucka also boated a 7.5 pounder that put him in Third. Thanks to all who participated in the annual event, and made it success. Some other quality tautog were checked in prior to the storm. Jim Hukill had a 9.9 pound bruiser, Ted Garman got a 7.3 pounder, and Geoff Klopp captured a 7 pound citation winner. Sheepshead were still avaialble prior to Sandy. Bruce Bennett bested a 12 pound brute at the Wall. Large flocks of gannetts have been working of Cape Henlopen the past two days, indicative of baitfish being present. The activity should attract more migratory stripers. Tog action will kick back in soon, so there's plenty of great fishing ahead now that we've said goodbye to Sandy.