Delaware Fishing Report

The weekly Delaware Fishing Report offers information on when to fish, where to fish, which species are biting, and how to catch them. It is written by veteran Delaware angler Eric Burnley, Sr.

Delaware Bay

It is still white perch and catfish from the Upper Bay, its tidal rivers and creeks. The only rockfish available are shorts. Bloodworms have been the best bait for the perch and rockfish while cut bunker works for the catfish.
Striped Bass (Rockfish)
In the Mid-Bay area, a few keeper rockfish and the occasional keeper trout have been caught around hard structure such as the rocks at the base of lighthouses. Trout have also been taken on jigs with plastic worms. Tog fishing has improved at the same rock structure and at reef sites. Green crabs have been the best tog bait. White perch to citation size have been caught on bloodworms from the local tidal creeks and rivers.
In the Lower Bay the Outer Wall is attracting most of the attention. Tog to six pounds have been caught here with green crab and sand fleas the best baits. From photos I have seen, it appears that anglers are fishing both the bay and ocean side of the wall.

The Lewes and Rehoboth Canal has produced the occasional keeper rockfish. Live eels have been the most productive bait. The area around the Savanah Road Bridge draws a lot of attention from anglers seeking rockfish.

Inshore Ocean

Sea bass remain the most sought-after species in the ocean. Charter and private boats continue to return with limits of these fish from ocean structure such as the Del-Jersey-Land Reef. As the water continues to cool sea bass will move further offshore so now is the time to get out there while they are still a reasonable distance from the beach.

Offshore Ocean

SwordfishSwordfish were captured by a couple of Delaware boats over the weekend. They also had dolphin and a bigeye tuna.

Indian River Inlet

Every day I receive the same report, small tog with a few keepers. The past week saw more keepers, but there are still a lot of shorts. Sand fleas and green crabs remain the top baits. One angler claimed he caught his four-fish limit using three sand fleas on his hook.

Trout have been caught from the North Jetty on jigs with a plastic worm. A few keeper rockfish have been taken from both jetties at night on live eels.

Surf Fishing

Dogfish and skates remain the only things reported from the beach.


In Delaware ponds, live minnows are the best bet for bass. Crappie go for smaller minnows in the same locations. The upper tidal creeks and rivers hold bass and crappie that will fall for the same baits.

The White Clay Creek is still giving up trout, although they are spread out over a larger area since the stocking. Live bait or flies will find them under cut banks or rocks.

Reef Site 11

On Monday, the DNREC Fish and Wildlife Division sunk a retired cruise ship at Reef Site 11. This new structure will join 997 New York City subway cars as well as other ships, barges and military equipment.

The newest addition is the largest single item sunk at Site 11 and should attract a multitude of marine life. Blue mussels are usually the first to grow on new structure and then everything builds from there. By this summer, we should be catching sea bass and flounder over the old cruise ship.

Eric Burnley, Sr. is a native Delawarean who has fished local waters for more than 60 years. Eric Burnley has been a full-time outdoor writer since 1978, with articles appearing in most national magazines as well as many regional publications. He has written three books, Surf Fishing The Atlantic Coast, The Ultimate Guide To Catching Striped Bass, and Fishing Saltwater Baits