Doing business with DNREC during the coronavirus period. More Info logo

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

The weather has been consistent over the past week. Consistently bad. Thursday was the first day without small craft advisories since the preceding Friday. After a week of turbulent seas, I have no idea what the fishing will be like over the weekend, but I feel certain we will see some changes.

White PerchAbout the only area in the state that will remain the same is the Upper Bay where white perch and catfish should be available in the tidal creeks and river as well as along the shoreline from New Castle to Woodland Beach. A few small rockfish should be in the mix. There were croaker at the Woodland Beach Pier before the blow and they may remain. Bloodworms, clams and peelers, if you can find them, will be the baits for the perch, croaker and rock. Cut bunker will work on the catfish.

The Mid and Lower-Bay remain a big question mark. The water temperature has dropped, but not below the tolerance of most species so flounder, trout and kingfish should still be available on the reef sites. How long before the bottom clears is anyone’s guess, but my guess is at least Saturday.

SheepsheadLook for blues around the end of the Outer Wall on outgoing water. Sheepshead should still be available on the walls and the Ice Breakers with sand fleas the best bait.

The fishing pier at Cape Henlopen State Park could see some blues at high tide with mullet a good bait. Broadkill Beach is another good spot for blues with a few kings mixed in the catch. Mullet for the blues with bloodworms for the kings.

Inshore Ocean

No reports from the ocean all week.

Offshore Ocean

I have not seen an offshore report all week due to the rough sea conditions.

Indian River Inlet

All during the rough weather blues have been caught out of the inlet on incoming water. Metal lures and bucktails have been the best lures. The action has been both day and night. At night a few just above legal-size rockfish were caught.

Sheepshead have also been taken from the inlet, but the numbers have been low. Sand fleas have been the best bait.

I have had reports of keeper flounder caught right out of the rocks along the inlet on minnows and Gulp!. This is a very delicate fishery and until you develop the right feel for it you will lose a lot of tackle.

Surf Fishing

With the surf up to the toe of the dunes I have no reports of any success from the beach.


Still not seeing or hearing much from the ponds. Perhaps the recent cool weather will get folks out on the water again.

Head Boats and the Virus

Last week I recommended a head boat if you wanted to go after sea bass once they move further offshore.

The head boats are very careful about requiring anglers to wear masks in the cabin and take every precaution to protect their customers.

Taking a trip on a head boat is up to you. As for me, I would go on a day trip, but have cancelled plans to go on the 20-hour trip out of New Jersey that my son Roger and I enjoyed last year.

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