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“But when fall comes ... as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”  Stephen King, "Salem’s Lot"

It’s not here yet but it's right around the corner. If you listen closely you can hear it coming on the wind and the wings and the warbling “ker-honk” of the Canada geese.  Fall is fixing to break out along the lower Delaware coast.

For the downstate angler it is in many ways the best time of the year. The waters are as warm as they get, and sometimes exotic species such as pompano skip through the waves, running through the very wash hunting sand fleas. 

Red drum, too, with their spotted tail and bronze sides are sometimes grubbing through the same waters, along with the occasional spotted trout. 

More likely, though, you are liable to find a kingfish or blue. Both of these species are more common to our area and routinely nabbed from the surf. Using real or artificial bloodworms lobbed just behind the breakers will often get you into the kingfish. It should be noted, though, that kings really do like meat, so a chunk of mullet is a great option for them.

RELATED: Delmarva's long wait for hunting season is finally over

The snapper blues more commonly found this time of year also like mullet, and chunks or strips are good for them as well. Presented on a “fireball” bluefish rig, mullet has accounted for quite a few blues in the lower Delaware area each September. 

Remember to scale the mullet before using it. Doing so allows for more scent to enter the water and, perhaps more importantly insures that your hook point doesn’t get blocked by scales after you run it through the bait.

Ocean bottom fishing has still been producing flounder and sea bass for anglers plying the shipping approaches to Delaware Bay. Bouncing bucktails laced with Gulp! or a strip of meat such as smooth dogfish or sea robin has been a productive way to produce catches. 

Capt. Rick Yakimowicz on the all-day headboat out of Fisherman’s Wharf in Lewes reports some pretty fair fishing for fluke and sea bass on recent trips. Capt. Carey Evans on the Lewes charterboat Grizzly has also reported some fair to good catches of sea bass and flounder since the last northeast blow.

Capt. Carey noted that they have also seen some decent fishing up in Shark bay, with snapper blues and croakers being caught around the rubble in the Shears. The croakers, he noted, are small and “barely legal” at 8 inches. 

There have been some bigger croaks reported from the Lewes Canal, with Capt. Rick passing along that he has seen some into the footlong range.

Fall is really a great time to fish the lower Delaware coast. Good luck and good fishing!

Reports, comments or questions to captjackrodgers@comcast.net

RELATED: Mosquito forecast for fall hunting on Delmarva: Frightening

 

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