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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

As I am sure you have heard, the governor has opened the state parks and wildlife areas for free during the pandemic. This includes access to some Delaware Bay beaches and the tidal rivers and creeks where white perch are currently being caught.

White Perch

It is very important that everyone maintain at least six feet of separation between themselves and any other anglers or just other folks out for a stroll. It was the crowding of the beaches during a warm Friday that resulted in them being closed.

Inshore Ocean

I have no reports from the ocean.

Offshore Ocean

No offshore report this week.

Indian River Inlet

On Tuesday my wife and I drove down to Indian River Inlet just to get out of the house and see what was going on. The parking lots on the north and southside were open and a very few fishermen were working from the rocks and the sidewalk. The Inlet is open for fishing and there is no charge to enter. What they call Bubblegum Beach also appeared to be open and there were several people working on their boats at the marina. The ocean beach is closed.

I did speak to one man who said he had caught a few short rockfish on a jig. The current was running out and he was fishing from the southside. Later in the day I saw a photo of a 30-inch rockfish that was caught and released from the northside.

I also saw a photo of a black drum that was caught from the Inlet, but I am not certain that was accurate. It is difficult to ascertain exactly what is being caught with so little information available.

Surf Fishing

The ocean beach is closed from Cape Henlopen to the Maryland state line. Before it closed, I saw photos of small rockfish caught from the surf.


Freshwater fishing remains very good. Bass, crappie, yellow perch and pickerel have all been caught out of Delaware ponds. The best bait seems to be a live minnow on a jig.

Trout are available at Newton and Tidbury ponds. Once again, I missed out. This time it was a case of gout in my right knee. Oh well, the regular season in New Castle County opens on March 30 for youth (16 and under) and March 31 for all anglers.

Tackle Shops

I called a few tackle shops before making this report. Some were open, some were not. I suggest calling before stopping by your favorite place.

If you need bait, grocery stores have frozen shrimp and squid, but live minnows, blood or earthworms from a tackle shop will always be better.

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