Offshore anglers have been treated to some good early season action. Warm water that pushed into Baltimore Canyon held lots of life. Boaters reported seeing porpoises, ocean sunfish, flying fish and other bait concentrated along temperature breaks. Much of the activity took place in 40 to 60 fathoms between the West Wall of the Baltimore and Poor Man's Canyon. Yellowfins showed in good numbers, and some crews racked up impressive catches. The biggest bites happened when trolling spreads were covered up with multiple fish at once.
Anglers on the Reel Chaos experienced wild fishing two days in a row over the weekend, returning with 14 tuna on Saturday, and 24 more on Sunday. Plenty of dolphin were mixed in, and the first few wahoos made an early appearance as well. On Sunday, Grant Clubb released the first white marlin of the year aboard the Chain Reaction. Blue marlin were also hooked by trollers looking for tuna. Makos were attracted by all the activity in the area too. Several crews told of big blackeyes chewing on yellowfins that were hooked up. Sea bass still held the attention of inshore bottom fishermen. Reef Site 11 was a popular spot, and twenty fathom structure such as the Dry Docks had bass too.
Captains noted that it often took more stops during the day to put a catch together than earlier in the season. A lot of keeper sized fish have been pulled from the common places, and it involves more work to put bass over the 12 1/2 inch minimum in the box. Bottom bouncers seeking flounder started to find fish around Delaware Bay structure.
Captain Carey's flukers on the Grizzly scored 8 keepers on a half day trip Sunday, while drifting reef rubble in the lower Bay. Lewes Canal gave up flatties as well. Bill Koran captured a 6.29 pounder in the Canal. Lee McClellan managed a 7.45 pound citation doormat from the Canal. Flounder slayer Nick Psaroudakis nabbed a 6.4 pound specimen while drifting minnows. Nick's young daughter Paige is taking after her Dad, and pulled her first flounder from the Canal, a plump 20 incher. In addition, she landed her first trout, also measuring 20 inches. The numbers of trout in the Bay this spring have been surprising, and perhaps the species is on it's way to a comeback. Folks fishing Roosevelt Inlet from shore and small boats caught many weakfish while casting 3 to 4 inch soft plastic artificials and Gulp! lures.
Bait fishing with chicken or peeler crab also produced sea trout. Last of incoming tide during early morning or evening hours was best. Keep in mind the 13 inch minimum size and one trout per person limit. Most fish have been between 12 and 15 inches, but some larger specimens have shown up. Debora Wineland was surfcasting from Broadkill Beach using chicken when she connected with a 4.5 pound beauty. The surf striper bite at Cape Henlopen cooled off, but some decent rockfish were hanging around the Outer Wall and Ice Breakers. Top Fin Captain Pete haines took a busman's holiday to the Wall where he hooked a 17 pound linesider while tossing a Yo-Zuri plug. Nick Sharp nailed a brace of bass scaling 21.1 and 21.8 pounds that grabbed Gulp! eels he was working in the dark.