MisterTwister

Delaware river worth it?

Rate this topic

19 posts in this topic

Is it worth it to get a slip for my boat on the Delaware around Philly area to try for stripers in the spring?

 

I fished there a few seasons back and it was not very productive. I mostly focused north of Philly and only managed one nice fish and a handful of schoolies after at least a dozen trips. Last year I heard was tough fishing as well. I'm on the fence about whether it is worth the time. Anyone have luck there on a boat this past spring?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The river has been on a pretty steep downward trend the last three years. And I do not see it improving suddenly next season either. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PhilCVG said:

The river has been on a pretty steep downward trend the last three years. And I do not see it improving suddenly next season either. 

And why is that? Upper river seems to be suffering the same fate.

A natural cycle orl is man destroying it again?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know a guy who did incredibly well this year in Trenton. That is not an easy area to fish due to it being at the tide line and having boat-wrecking rocks. He runs a jet boat and got a few 30lb fish. Lambertville is also a very good striper area although even in a Rockproof, I won't go south of the wingdams as that is scary chit. I fish much farther upstream and have been running into resident stripers. There does seem to be a species shift going on....years ago we would catch dozens of rock bass on jigs but they are gone. A striper was unheard of. Flatheads are in the river and supposedly they are eating machines. We had a crazy year weather-wise.....April was bitter cold, May had a lot of rain during the spawn, June was OK, July was blistering and then August was a washout. We've caught a ton of dink smallies on our last few trips.....some guys would lament that but I look it as evidence of a successful spawn in prior years. I also found an area that is filthy with crayfish and freshwater clams which is a sign of  a healthy ecosystem. i attribute my skunkings to an inability to get on the pattern, not an absence of fish. They are there but I'm just not using the right technique. :howdy::huh::o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

7 hours ago, bunker86 said:

And why is that? Upper river seems to be suffering the same fate.

A natural cycle orl is man destroying it again?

 

I think it is a simple lack of fish. The entire Delaware River/Bay striped bass fishery is hurting. The bay fishery is and has been terrible for years now. My boat is on the Maurice River and I haven't even thought about fishing for striped bass in the bay for 4 or 5 years. The Cape May charter fleet that wants to fish for striped bass in the spring have moved their boats up to the Cohansey River and are basically fishing the mouth of the river where it meets the bay hoping to intercept whatever fish are left. Instead of simply going straight out of the CM Canal, fishing the lower bay and finding good fishing and giant fish. The Elsinboro/DoD/National Park bloodworm bite was below average to bad this year also. 

 

I'm assuming the OP is looking to fish for the big spawning fish in the spring. If you want to catch schoolies to low 30 inch fish than that still seems to be ok but you are looking at fishing Trenton north. My last decent fish was July 20th on a swim shad above Yardley. Of course that coincides with the start of our 2018 monsoon season. They may have been around even longer or may have never left but it wasn't very fishable via wading. 2017 I had keeper sized fish on pencils in June around Lambertville. You'll certainly need a jet boat or need to be very careful with a smaller outboard in those areas. The shad fishing was very good this year and the smallmouth fishing has been good also ( I've had a great year on big smallmouth ) when it is fishable. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by PhilCVG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea I'm wanting to target the spawning fish mostly. I would be fishing south of Trenton in the tidal area and I don't think the fish hang out there very late into the season. I think a lot of guys target between the delaware memorial and CB bridge because that is the primary spawning area.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I live minutes from the river and I went striper fishing probably 10 times. I caught schoolies half the time, and one time caught a ~20 lber. I never fished more than 2.5 hours or so at any given time and just tossed bloodworms, so I caught a million catfish and lost bait to perch. I mean if you live that close to the river, it's worth going because you can actually go before or after work (whether or not paying for a slip is up to you) even if the hookup ratio isn't there. I think the spot where I caught the big one is a lot more productive but I only went twice as it is easier to go right down the road for me. I saw guys catch hammers where I was going too. Pulling a hammer out of the river was so cool to me, it was just cool that they were there and I can't really explain it. I'll definitely be doing it again but I get your odds are lower. Driving 4 minutes down the road versus 75 minutes is a no brainer though.

 

I have no idea about using lures and stuff in the river for them. Between the DM and CB bridge is where I caught the big one but I live north of there. I'll try it again this spring and see if there is any way to increase my success rate.

Edited by hurricane1091

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MisterTwister said:

Yea I'm wanting to target the spawning fish mostly. I would be fishing south of Trenton in the tidal area and I don't think the fish hang out there very late into the season. I think a lot of guys target between the delaware memorial and CB bridge because that is the primary spawning area.

 

 

 

If your boat is already on the river, why not give it a shot. But I would not make accommodations to put the boat on the river given the fishing the last few years. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, hurricane1091 said:

I mean if you live that close to the river, it's worth going because you can actually go before or after work

Yea this is pretty much why I think it might be worth it, and if I have my boat docked in Philly I can almost walk there it is so close because I'm moving there soon. A few years ago I was in NJ and could launch my boat close by but it was still a hassle to trailer the boat every time. I think if I get in the habit of going out a few times a week for only 1-2 hours I can figure out some patterns and increase my chances of being there when the fish show up. After spring maybe I can figure out how to catch some largemouth. Apparently they are out there because they had the bassmaster tournament at Penn's landing in 2014 or 2015, although I think I saw that Mike Iaconelli had to go way up some tributary to find fish. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 mins ago, MisterTwister said:

Yea this is pretty much why I think it might be worth it, and if I have my boat docked in Philly I can almost walk there it is so close because I'm moving there soon. A few years ago I was in NJ and could launch my boat close by but it was still a hassle to trailer the boat every time. I think if I get in the habit of going out a few times a week for only 1-2 hours I can figure out some patterns and increase my chances of being there when the fish show up. After spring maybe I can figure out how to catch some largemouth. Apparently they are out there because they had the bassmaster tournament at Penn's landing in 2014 or 2015, although I think I saw that Mike Iaconelli had to go way up some tributary to find fish. 

I have no idea what it used to be like, but fishing in general has been worse all around the board. Big bass go up the river and spawn, so they are definitely there. I had more luck down between CB and DM bridge though, so maybe there is something to that? I didn't even mind catching some of these giant catfish I ended up with, so it was still fun. I'm looking at a house on the creek with easy access to the D-River, so I would definitely go out there and try it on a boat if we do buy this house. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I had the kids out last week in the heat.  Pulled up to the island at the navy yard.  I know its illegal but I threw the bait net and had constant short stripe bass 6 to 10 inches.  also perch.  about 4 years ago we had a lot of top water action around bridges with Rebel Jointed Minnows this time of year. 

As said above i would not get a slip there for the spring run either.  its been down for the last several years.  

Edited by Harf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/8/2018 at 9:36 AM, Harf said:

had constant short stripe bass 6 to 10 inches

Good to hear! I've heard they hang around for at least two years after hatching. I think I'll try to find a spot to shore fish next spring instead of putting the boat in the water. I commute up 95 through DE and PA so I'll have to scope something out. Lures would be really fun but not sure if there are enough fish around, even in the spring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/10/2018 at 8:58 AM, MisterTwister said:

Good to hear! I've heard they hang around for at least two years after hatching. I think I'll try to find a spot to shore fish next spring instead of putting the boat in the water. I commute up 95 through DE and PA so I'll have to scope something out. Lures would be really fun but not sure if there are enough fish around, even in the spring.

Not sure if you trailer your boat but if so the Ridley Marinia will give you access to prime spring fishing.  Great ramp nice restrurant to.  Check it out, right off 95.  401 Swarthmore Ave, Ridley Park, PA 19078

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Harf said:

Not sure if you trailer your boat but if so the Ridley Marinia will give you access to prime spring fishing. 

Thanks, I'm pretty sure I've seen it before driving down 95. Looks like a good spot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.