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Dw

Lower Delaware Bay and ocean

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I have been doing okay on the all day boat out of Fishermen's Wharf in Lewes the several times I have been out so far this year fishing in the lower bay and ocean. However, in looking around me on the boat, the general catch seems a bit scanty. The mate said that the over all fishing is down in the area and has been this year. Do others here have this same impression? If so, why do you think it is?

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Del. Bay is almost barren this year-been headed that way for several years-we don't even catch many trash fish, skates, oystercrackers, sea robins. Haven't had trout run in 5 years. Probably plenty of blame for everyone. Like to be optimistic about future, just don't have any reason to.

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That explains why things don't seem so good when they head up into the bay. However, usually the headboat goes into the ocean and I understand that it is not so good this year either. What happened with all those subway cars that were to provide a place for fish to live and be prolific? Was their dumping to make the fishing better just a pipe dream?

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Dw the subway cars are not a pipe dream. They are in place and holding fish in good numbers BUT are not in easy access to head boats on a half day charter.

I fished the DE Bay a few days ago. We got their early and anchored up over structure as we have alsways done. The Miss Chris II out of Cape May was not happy about it either but that's life. The pick was slow ... lots of skate, shark and some short flounder ... a couple of oyster crackers as well.

 

While I'm no expert on such things IMO the horseshoe crab harvest of 4 years ago changed the ecology of the lower bay in a large way. That year there were litterally millions of razor clam shells washed up on the beaches from Slaughter Beach to Bowers. With that kind of wholesale destruction of basic life there must be consequences. We're seeing the results now.

 

Without the proper enviornment the bait fish aren't there and without them, there are no predatory fish either.

 

Recently, Sir David Attenbourough was in Slaughter Beach to film the annual horseshoe crab spawn for a report on migratory shore birds. There were so few on the beach that his crew was scouring the beach to collect crabs to film. The town of Slaughter beach bought a 4x4 tractor to clean the beach of dead crabs ... to my knowledge they used it only a handful of times this year.

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Thanks for the info. I started driving past Bowers to Lewes a few years ago, because I like to catch fish and because I am driving that far, I go on the all day boat. Usually, the captain heads into the ocean and south 1 1/2 hours, but last Wednesday he headed north, at which point I abandoned all hope.

 

Nonetheless, some of us had some keepers. My 3 pound 6 ounce flounder was second largest on the boat and I got four croakers, but the overall catch was pretty skimpy for a nearly full boat.

 

I will keep heading down to Lewes for now. I suppose at some point it would be good to move more to the south.

 

Thanks again.

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" I suppose at some point it would be good to move more to the south."--DW

Or maybe more to the North? According to mapquest Elkton,MD---to---Lewes,DE=80 miles and change.

Elkton,MD---to---Brielle,NJ=115 miles and change. I hear the fishing is a little bit better in the northern N.J area, if you are already driving, what like 2 hours? 2 hours the other way (I-295, I-95,NJ Turnpike), might not be a stretch, traffic moves at a pretty good clip up NJTP. Just a thought.

I have read about the lower Delaware bay being less productive.

Bob

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I fish wit a friend a good deal, out of Cape May- and except for this year's drum fishing we haven't headed up the Bay much. We found a surprisingly slow day at The Old Grounds two weeks ago- (a good bit closer to IRI than Cape May) and some say the water temps are cold- (the seabass seemed to shut down) there's nearly 90 feet of water there.

 

This week we headed out east from Cape May instead. Bluefish all over the place!

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Well, I haven't given up on Lewes yet, but I think I will call the day ahead of each time I go to get a feel for whether the captain will be heading up into the bay. If so, I can find some place closer to home to catch fewer fish.

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