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

Not much change in the Upper Bay as white perch and catfish make up most of the catch. A few slot rock have been caught along with the perch and cats, but not in the numbers you would expect. Bloodworms will catch everything while peeler crab gives you a slight advantage on the rockfish. Croaker have been caught from the pier at Woodland Beach. A few flounder were taken on squid and minnows at the Crossledge and Miah Maull Shoal.

White Perch

The various reef sites have seen good croaker fishing with squid or bloodworms doing the most damage. One Lewes head boat had 300 croaker last Saturday. Keeper trout and flounder are also at the reef sites and will take minnows, squid and Gulp!.

The fishing pier at Cape Henlopen State Park is experiencing good croaker and spot action. Both species will take a bloodworm. A few keeper flounder have been caught on live minnows. Incoming to high tides have been the best time to fish.

Reports indicate good fishing for croaker and spot in the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal. The occasional keeper flounder has been caught on minnows, squid and Gulp!. Slot rockfish will take live eels around structure and along the edge of the marsh. Early morning or late evening is the top time to fish for rock.

Inshore Ocean

The inshore waters will be a bit crowded this weekend as 300 boats take part in the Flounder Pounder Open Tournament. They can fish any three of the five days from August 15 to 19. Top prize is $100,000 so the competition is hot.

Flounder action has been decent at the Old Grounds, B Buoy, A Buoy and Site 11. Gulp! on a bucktail or on a top-bottom rig is the best bet right now. Live spot will draw the attention of the largest flounder.

Summer FlounderI don’t have any reports of tuna at Massey’s Canyon or the Hot Dog. It seems every one’s attention is on the $100,000 prize for the largest flounder. I think the tuna and dolphin are still there with chumming the top technique.

Bigger cobia were taken at Fenwick Shoal and off of Bethany Beach. John Burbage III from Ocean View caught a 79.4-pound cobia off of Bethany Beach. He snagged a menhaden and used that to catch his big fish.

Blues and Spanish mackerel have been caught on Fenwick Shoal. Trolling small spoons 30 feet behind a one to two ounce sinker or planner has been the top method.

Offshore Ocean

Friday was the final day of the White Marlin open and I was once again on the Toast. We released three white marlin near the Washington Canyon in 50 to 100 fathoms of water. The winning white marlin weighed 83 pounds and was caught on Welder’s Arc. They collected over two million dollars.

There are white and blue marlin in the canyons along with dolphin and wahoo. The marine weather does not look good offshore for the weekend.

Indian River Inlet

A few more keeper flounder are coming out of the Inlet, Rehoboth and Indian River bays. Massey’s Ditch and the VFW Slough are popular locations and a live minnow on a Carolina rig has been the best bait. Fish the flats on high water and the channels on the ebb.

The croaker that were in the Inlet have moved into Indian River and Rehoboth bays. Bloodworms will be the best bait with clam and squid also effective.

On occasion, small blues will move through the inlet on incoming water. Small spoons make the best bait for these fish.

Surf Fishing

Kings continue to come from the surf on bloodworms and FishBites. Unfortunately, fish are not the only thing biting as barn flies will eat you up on this southwest wind.


Red Mill Pond is green and Millsboro Pond is covered with green algae. I did have reports of bass caught on early morning trips. Scum Frogs worked around the vegetation or other structure seems to be the go to technique.


Atlantic CroakerCroaker are in good supply in the Inland Bays, the Delaware Bay and the tidal creeks and rivers. These fish are pretty easy to catch and put up a good fight on light tackle.

I use a light bait casting outfit, much like you might employ for freshwater bass fishing. The reels is filled with 20-pound braid and I use a six-foot, 20-pound Fluorocarbon leader connected to the running line with an Albright knot. A similar spinning outfit will do just fine.

I tie up top-bottom rigs using 30-pound mono fishing line and two small circle hooks. Bait is bloodworms and in most cases a two-ounce sinker will be more than enough to hold bottom.

Once you locate a concentration of croaker keep going back over the area. They have large swim blatters and show up well on SONAR machines.

These are the perfect fish for young people. They hit hard, fight very well and will keep the kids interested.

Delaware has an eight-inch minimum size and no bag limit on croaker. Please take only what you can use. They don’t freeze very well and develop a strong taste after freezing.

Eric Burnely, 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