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“The dust was antique spice, burnt maple leaves, a prickling blue that teemed and sifted to earth. Swarming its own shadows, the dust filtered over the tents.” — Ray Bradbury Something Wicked This Way Comes

“October had tremendous possibility. The summer's oppressive heat was a distant memory, and the golden leaves promised a world full of beautiful adventures. They made me believe in miracles.” — Sarah Gulliory

There is no other word to use that better describes the day outside (as I write this inside) than “glorious.” Abundant sunshine sloughs down through a picture-perfect October sky, Kodachrome blue and full of promise.

Surf fishing has been pretty good when the wind isn’t blowing and there has been plenty of catching from the suds from the Delaware Bay south to the border. That, of course, is the good news.

The bad news is that most of (if not virtually all of) the blues are just barely big enough to be bigger than the bait! Many of them are truly mullet-sized … the kind when you lift them in the wind blows them around suspended, wriggling; a silvery greenish holiday ornament shining in the sun. 

There HAVE been a few foot-long fish landed but they really have been far and few between. 

The best chance to hook up with these snipper snapper blues is to use a “fireball” rig with pretty small hooks. I’d hold the rod and don’t take that schooner mast-sized surf rig you keep for heaving a big pyramid into the sea. Mullet chunks scaled and impaled on the hook are the ticket for the small blues. 

Kingfish have been around as well and they like a nice piece of mullet as well. The kings and blues are often right in the wash so don’t overcast them.

Boat anglers have also been catching plenty of small fish. 

Capt. Rick Yakimowicz on the all-day headboat out of Fisherman’s Wharf in Lewes reports good mixed bag fishing on recent trips. The savvy skipper noted that they are still sailing daily and have been catching up to 10 different species daily.

Trout, blues, bass, triggerfish, porgies, sheepshead and others have been falling victim to anchoring over reefs, wrecks and rocks. 

Capt. Rick noted that more and more tog are starting to be landed along the outer wall and icebreakers in Lewes, perhaps heralding a start to the traditional fall fishing rite of Lewes.

October is really the start of one of the most magical seasons along Delmarva. While the traffic can rival that of a July day in 1975, there are plenty of forgotten corners of the lower Delaware coast for anglers to enjoy. 

Get out there and wet a line. The gales of December are waiting in the wings.

Reports, comments or questions to captjackrodgers@comcast.net

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