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

Still no sign of large rockfish in the bay. The last report I had places the main body of migrating fish in North Jersey well above Atlantic City. They have been caught from the beach on AVA jigs with a teaser placed 18 inches above the lure. I have seen photos of double headers. Boaters have had larger fish on bunker spoons and MOJOs.

Striped Bass (Rockfish)

Meanwhile, we have to be satisfied with white perch and a few short rockfish. Bloodworms remain the best bait with fish caught out of tidal rivers and creeks as well as along the shoreline from New Castle to Port Mahon.

White Perch

Tog have been taken from mid-bay reef sites and rock rip-rap by the very few boats still fishing during the holiday season. Sand fleas and green crabs remain the top baits.


In the Lower Bay, tog are also the top target. While many are caught, few are kept. Last Wednesday one boat caught 40 tog to keep 10.

Inshore Ocean

Local boats continue to target tog. They find them with about a ten to one ratio of shorts to keepers. Captain Monty Hawkins on the Morning Star out of Ocean City fished on Wednesday catching close to a boat limit of black sea bass to five pounds.

Offshore Ocean

I had no reports from offshore this week.

Indian River Inlet

Tog remain the top attraction here. As with the bay, there are a lot more shorts than keepers. Sand fleas and green crabs are the top baits here as well.

Hardy jetty jockeys that fish the night tides with live eels find the occasional keeper rockfish. These are resident fish as the migrating stock has yet to arrive.

Surf Fishing

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


On days when the weather is at least bearable, bass, pickerel and crappie have been caught from ponds and tidal rivers and creeks. Live shad and minnows will work with lures used by those who abstain from live bait.

Millsboro Boat RampMillsboro Boat Ramp Ribbon Cut

On Monday, the Millsboro Pond boat ramp was officially opened. DNREC Secretary Garvin hosted the event on a very cold and windy morning.

The total cost of the project was $625,000 with 75% covered by federal funds collected from the excise tax on fishing equipment and 25% from the Delaware General Fishing License. In other words, fishermen paid for the entire project.

The new ramp has a courtesy dock, additional parking spaces and is handicap accessible.


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