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Fishing begins to heat up

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Iam sure many of you have heard that Joe Morris of Lewes Harbour Marina has pancreatic cancer. As anyone who has had this dreadful disease knows, cancer treatment is very expensive. Currently Joe is undergoing chemotherapy at the Tunnell Cancer Center and the bills are piling up quickly.

Several of his and Amanda's friends have started a Go Fund Me site to help them pay for these treatments. If you would like to help, go to The process seems pretty straightforward.

Bill's Sport Shop flea market

Saturday, April 2, is the date for Bill's Sport Shop Flea Market. As always, the flea market will be held in the parking lot at Bill's Sport Shop, and parking spots for those who wish to sell their stuff are on a first-come, first-served basis. The year I sold off some fishing tackle, I arrived around 6 a.m. and was lucky to find a spot.

If you are looking for some good deals, this is the place to be. Bring cash, as most vendors won't have credit card machines.

Fishing report

We are beginning to see real good catches of white perch in some of the tidal creeks and rivers. The best action appears to be in the Nanticoke River and Broad Creek, where perch to over 1-pound have been caught on bloodworms and small minnows. The creeks that flow into the lower Broadkill River have been dirtied by the dredging operation at Fowler Beach and Prime Hook.

Small rockfish are beginning to show up in the surf from Fenwick Island to Cape Henlopen. Some, along with small blues, have been caught at Indian River Inlet. The back bays are full of bunker and some flounder have been caught there on live minnows.

On Monday, I saw a photo of a 40-pound rockfish caught at Green's Beach and checked in at Port Perm Tackle. I believe fresh bunker was the bait.

If the big rock have moved that far up the bay, they should be at Broadkill Beach. This has been an early-season hot spot for as long as I can remember going back to the days of big weakfish. Boaters may find big rock at the Coral Beds out of Slaughter Beach. This too was an early-season trout location.

Both places are shallow and the water will warm there before the deeper locations in the bay. Soaking a chunk of bunker or clam is the most popular technique, and while only one or two rock may be caught in a day, they will be large.

Please, if you catch a big cow rockfish loaded with roe, consider releasing her. There is no law requiring catch and release of these fish, but if you take a few photos so you can brag about your accomplishment (and we all like to brag) then release the fish, you will do a great deal of good for the resource. You can keep two rockfish between 28 and 37 inches or two rock larger than 44 inches or one each from both slots, but no more than two total. It is the greater-than-44-inch fish that comprise the bulk of the spawning population.

Those of us who enjoy fishing for flounder should be getting in some licks during the next two weeks. Just like the rockfish, the early run flounder will come from shallow water.

The Lewes and Rehoboth Canal is a good place to begin. The best bite is usually on the falling tide as the warm water will be moving out of the marshes and shallow creeks along with the shrimp, minnows and small crabs that the flounder like to eat. I usually begin along the east side of the canal drifting the edge where the water drops down to 5 or 8 feet.

Flounder will also move into the Broadkill River, and I have caught them as far up as Oyster Rocks. Some of my best catches have been made on the west side of the river from the bend just below the ditch that runs behind Broadkill Beach to the duck blind by another ditch on the west side. There are a lot of shells on the bottom here, and I think this attracts bait and the bait attracts the flounder.

The Delaware Bay south of Roosevelt Inlet can be another good early season flounder location. The area between the two piers and around the Ferry Wall can be productive once again on the falling tide. The shallows in the pocket behind Cape Henlopen can be good on the first of the ebb, but don't stay too long as it can get real shallow real quick.

A live minnow on a single circle hook fished with no weight has been the best bait for me in the shallow areas.

Eric Burnley is a Delaware native who has fished and hunted the state from an early age. Since 1978 he has written countless articles about hunting and fishing in Delaware and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast He and his wife Barbara live near Milton, Delaware. Eric can be reached at

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Original Publication Date: April 1, 2016

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