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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

The weather has not been a friend to the fisherman over the past week. It has been cold and windy with small craft advisories up more days than not. With white and yellow perch the only fish available from shore, most anglers are not venturing outside. I don’t blame them.

White Perch

There could be the first sign of yellow perch at the spillway below Noxontown Pond very soon if it has not already occurred. Worms and small, live minnows will be the best baits.

Yellow Perch

In my travels around Sussex County, I have not seen anyone fishing the tidal creeks and rivers. My reporting stations are hearing a few reports of white perch and catfish at Woodland Beach.


Inshore Ocean

When the boats can reach ocean structure, they find tog that run into double digits. The weather has hindered this fishery, but when they can go the fish are there.

Offshore Ocean

No report.

Indian River Inlet

There are a few die-hard tog fishermen that continue to work the inlet with green crabs. They have not had much, if any, success.

Surf Fishing

Very few if any surf fishermen because there are very few if any fish.
Black Crappie


Massey’s Mill Pond produced two citation crappie. Phillip Williams had one weighing 1.17 pounds and Joe McDurmott had one tipping the scale at 1.26 pounds. Both were caught on minnows.

Ed O’Donnell fished the White Clay on Thursday January 14, going one for two on 16-inch rainbows. He used the Green Weenie and a pink egg pattern.

Fish the Spillways

Delaware has several spillways that have easy access and are out of the wind. These are perfect locations for a few hours of fishing on a cold afternoon.

My favorite spillway, below Records Pond in Laurel, is closed, but I went by there last week and the construction seems to be on schedule and everything looks great. Don’t have a date for the opening, but it should be soon.

The spillway in Milton at the head of the Broadkill River is open and it fishes well on a flood tide. At this time of year expect the usual white or perhaps a yellow perch on worms or small minnows.

The spillway below Garrison’s Lake is another popular location. The fishing here will be about the same as in the other locations.

Actually, catching fish is secondary at this time of year. It’s just getting out and making a few casts to limber up the arm and get ready for better weather and bigger fish.

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