Summer fishing is good | Cape Town Gazette

Summer fishing is in full swing. I’m just waiting for Pompano to arrive and the other summer monsters and we should be ready for fall. Now we avoid the hottest days to fish on cool nights and mornings.

Cobia catches are resuming, but a large one has been lost at the Cape Henlopen fishing pier. You should never fish a pier or bridge without a proper net. If you don’t have one, make friends with the guy who does. It’s actually better to have your own net; now you’re the guy everyone wants to be friends with.

Tautog season has started and walls and breakers are producing in Delaware Bay. Sheepshead hits and the triggers are around. There’s plenty of variety to target or at least fill in the box. Creeks are slow for keepers but hold a few fish. Slot striped bass season produces quality fish in the Delaware Bay and its tributaries. They are thick with good meat for the table. You can give them sand fleas or use small shads and bucktails.

Charters and lead boats come out for a variety of catches – you can pick and choose. Weekdays are much better if you can manage those days as weekends are very busy, even on the water.

There are also beautiful state unicorns; acoupa captures are more important when you find them. It’s a tough goal. There are plenty of “spike” (small) trout in the waves and waterways.

Offshore flounder anglers catch a lot of slivers for the box. They are good fish to eat, just boring to clean. I suck at filleting fish, so I just pay the guys at the tables. Otherwise, I chop the head off, clean them, and cook them, which we love to do with pompano at the beach.

Cape Henlopen’s fishing pier has been intermittently for spot action and decent plaice. This area is fun to fish, but you never know what you’ll get. Fly fishing is excellent around the apartments in the evening when the tide comes in. You can’t always choose your tides, but you can choose your conditions, and one of my favorites is night surf fishing.

Cool nights and warm days are perfect for night surf fishing trips. That time of year is here. Fishing is more difficult in the summer, with crowds being the main problem. At night, on the other hand, there is hardly anyone on the beaches. You go out, set up and fish until the sun comes up or the morning crowds appear. As long as you are actively fishing, you can hunt and surf all night. You cannot pitch a tent or camp; you have to actively fish.

Crowds are less of a problem on weekdays, but in late summer even some weekdays are very busy. Just like weekends, the best times of late summer on weekdays are in the morning and late at night. At this time of year, stretching that late night into an all-nighter into an early morning trip is perfect. The weather is generally flat calm, with a light breeze. If there is a full moon, you can see your shadow all night. During a new moon, it is pitch black.

There are plenty of fish to catch at night, including all the little summer suspects. We usually organize a croaker and trevally contest. Upper and lower platforms with pieces of squid will tear small fish at night. The same will be true for fish bites and bloodworms. There are so many baby fruit bats – the parents breed at night in the waves; babies are hungry. Larger sharks also like hammerhead pups in the waves at night, just like other sharks. So yes, there are a lot of sharks near the beach at night, a lot. Don’t swim, it’s not like “Jaws”, but it’s kinda like “Jaws”.

If you enter a school of fish, you bail them out one after the other. We generally use short rods with a one or two ounce weight on the rigs. The smaller fish can be found just behind the waves, feeding, especially on those calm nights. Yes, they too avoid sharks and large predators. That’s why we take out big bait for big fish at night.

Don’t point your headlamp at the water. This will scare the fish you are targeting. Yes, the light will also attract fish, but in an area that is usually devoid of light, sudden illumination scares them away. We take the solar spotlights from the backyard and shine them on the waves “upstream” of us on night rides. The light attracts fish, but it is better to do it further from your current fishing area. You now have two alternatives for fishing, and one attracts fish and sharks.

One of the benefits of night surf fishing is the scenery. The summer night sky has a few different meteor showers and you’ll see at least one throughout the night, even more if you just watch the sky. If you’re really lucky, you’ll see one lighting up the entire beach; it was a wild sight many years ago.

Stringing a surf rod at night, if you’re not holding it to feel a strike, is tricky. It’s hard to look at the tip of your rod in the dark, but there are a few tricks. The bells on the ends of the rods are a novel trick, but they make a lot of noise with the wave action and end up annoying you. There are these little clip-on incandescent lights, but it’s a single-use product that I don’t like.

It’s fine for offshore, but on land you have a lot of options. Solar garden floodlights are perfect. Place one in front of your surf rod and point it towards the tip of the rod. This illuminates the entire setup without shining any light on the water or your eyes. I have one that I ride on the sand spike that shoots light up the stem, you can see the tip as clear as day.

Excess light also illuminates your fishing area. A small solar light can illuminate the entire bait and chill area. For most of the night you will keep them off and let nature be your light.

The fires are permitted as cooking fires in a metal container. We cook and eat all night. Cook what you catch and eat fish while you fish.

Children love overnight stays. They can hunt ghost crabs with flashlights, and just like sand fleas, ghost crabs provide you with an excellent source of bait. All fish will eat a Ghost Crab. Just make sure little Timmy hasn’t named that ghost crab you’re about to hook on a hook.

It’s a fun family trip for sure. One thing you will need to keep in mind. The dew at night and the mist of the ocean settle on everything. Keep your vehicle closed and cover anything you don’t want to get wet. We learned to use as little as possible on overnight trips. It can get quite humid at dawn. Then the sun dries you up and you go home.

About Patricia Kilgore

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