No matter what kind of fishing experience you desire, you can find it at the Delaware seashore. Within just a minute’s drive, you can choose surf fishing, plying the waters of the Delaware Bay, the Indian River Bay and the Rehoboth Bay, or going “deep” on an offshore charter in the Atlantic Ocean.
March is the start of the surf fishing season, and it runs through November. There are plenty of prime spots for surf fishing in the state parks – Cape Henlopen near Lewes and Delaware Seashore south of Dewey Beach.
Both offer dune crossovers for walk-on or drive-on anglers. Permits can be obtained for driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle on the beach.
In Delaware, all anglers 16 years of age and older are required to obtain a fishing license.
At Cape Henlopen, a quarter-mile pier on the Delaware Bay offers fishing opportunities. This is a great place to take the little ones in your group for a first fishing experience. A satellite of the state park at Beach Plum Island also offers surf fishing on the Delaware Bay.
For inshore and offshore fishing, charter boats are available at the Indian River Inlet Marina, south of Dewey Beach, or at Angler’s Fishing Center in Lewes or the Fisherman’s Wharf at the Lewes Harbor Marina.
If you want to be able to step out your front door and start fishing, the new cottages at Indian River Marina might be what you’re looking for. The cottages are located at the north shore of the Indian River Inlet inside Delaware Seashore State Park. The park features six miles of ocean and bay shoreline.
In addition to fishing, visitors can enjoy swimming, surfing, sailing, paddling, hiking, bird watching and much more.
Located on the bay side, north of the Inlet, the park’s marina features many convenient services for boaters and fishermen, including bait and tackle sales, fish cleaning, fuel and sewage pumps, oil recycling, and year-round marine repairs and service. A snack bar provides refreshments during the summer months. The marina’s 295 boat slips can be rented on a yearly basis. Two launching ramps at the marina allow access to the bays and the ocean. If your boat is registered out of the state of Delaware, you must purchase a $35 annual ramp certificate available at the Hook 'em Cook 'em bait shop.
Charter boats can be rented for short cruises – beginning at about five hours – or for overnight trips. Day trips start at $400, and overnight trips to locations farther offshore begin around $2,200 for a group of six. When you charter a boat, all tackle is generally provided. All you need to bring is food, drinks, sunscreen and sunglasses. Don’t forget a cooler to get your catch home – and a camera to record the big moment!
Information on charters can be found on the Internet, at any bait and tackle shop, and at the marinas themselves.
While the fishing season begins in March, massive schools of mackerel really kick things into high gear around the first week in April; then come the blues, which run from April to November.
From May through October, spotted sea trout, kingfish, and summer flounder are plentiful; weakfish, northern porgy and sea bass continue to be found through November.