• 302-645-6227
  • 217 Anglers Rd. Lewes DE 19958

Flounder And Hardheads

Lewes Harbour Marina - 8/16/2012 12:00:00 AM

Delaware Bay structure continues to produce some pretty decent flounder action. Reef Sites 5,6,7 and 8 have yielded good numbers of flatties, with many keeper sized. Success has alot to do with presentation, and drift conditions are important. A light breeze against the direction of the current allows for slow coverage of the strike zone. Sometimes using the engines helps keep the boat where it needs to be. Bucktails and short leadered jig rigs are effective for rubble bouncing, but be prepared to lose tackle. Cut baits such as squid, bluefish and croaker work well, and smelts, shiners and Gulp! artificials also get the nod. Lots of small fish seek cover on reef site junk, and offer a ready food supply for flounder roaming the areas. Fishermen noted that they found little spot, croakers, ling, trout, blues, silver perch, sea robins, pigfish, sea bass and others on the deck that fluke spit up when brought aboard. So, it stands to reason that offering up live baits such as spot will get the attention of resident flatfish. As an example of how good the flounder catching has been this season for crews that are dialed in on working structure, guys on the Katydid kept 29 fish to 6 pounds on Saturday, bringing the boat's total number of keepers for the summer to over 600! Dennis Fish and friends joined Captain Carey on the Grizzly Saturday to put 27 flatties to 6 pounds in the box. Captain Pete's fishermen had 13 flounder and 42 blues Saturday aboard Top Fin. Captain Vince limited out a recent 2 person charter on Miss Kirstin, with 8 nice flatties from the Star Site. There is a load of bait in Delaware Bay, with schools of bunker, silversides and anchovies showing in many locations. During moving tides, hordes of snapper bluefish herded bait up against the shoal off the tip of Cape Henlopen. Baitfish forced to the surface were easy picking for blues below and birds above, and the ensuing melee involved diving gulls, terns and pelicans all vying for their share. Snapper blues were seen feeding around the Outer Wall and on the Star Site as well. Casting bucktails or metal spoons and jigs is a fun way to catch the scrappy choppers. In addition to surface action with blues, bottom bouncers got into plenty of croakers both inside and outside the Outer Wall, and on Reefs 5 and 8. Clams, squid, shrimp and Fishbites were favored by hungry hardheads. Size of the croakers has increased, with more fish over 12 inches being landed. Captain Ted's boats at Angler's Fishing Center have been returning with nice batches of hardheads, along with kingfish, spot, blowfish and spike trout. Captain Jim on the Hawkeye has had several successful half day trips, returning with a nice mix of panfish. Triggerfish have been hanging around Bay reefs and wrecks, and Captain Brian's fares on Little Angler II have had triggers mixed in with their croakers. All the panfish activity in the Bay has attracted larger predators, and there have been numerous sharks around. Fishermen have tangled with sand tigers, browns and other species. Captain Brian on Lil' Angler II has tagged and released many big sand tigers. Captain Pete on Top Fin was sharking outside the Outer Wall Wednesday when he hooked a 5 foot sandbar shark that as bitten in half by a much more sizeable toothy critter. Kinda' makes you think twice about taking a swim...Ocean bottom bouncers did well on flatfish. The Old Grounds southeast of DB Buoy gave up flounder, and rough bottom in the vicinity of DA Buoy also held fluke. Captain Charlie's flukers on Tranquila scored 14 quality keepers while drifting near DA Thursday. Captain Les had some good Ocean fluking on Martha Marie this week too. Reef site 10 continues to give up some impressive flounder. Matt Baker checked in a 9.91 pound trophy doormat he decked there while drifting live spot. Site 11 also offered some decent fluking over the past week.