Delaware Fishing Report

The Delaware Fishing Report offers information on when to fish, where to fish, which species are biting, and how to catch them. It is written weekly by veteran Delaware angler Eric Burnley, Sr.

Find information on fishing in Delaware on the DNREC Fisheries Section page and in the Delaware Fishing Guide. Don’t forget that you will need a Delaware fishing license. Find information on the tides in Delaware tidal waters from NOAA and about Delaware’s freshwater fishing ponds.

Delaware Bay

Image of a White Perch
White Perch

Patty at Captain Bones in Odessa said the fishing has not changed much with white perch and catfish leading the way in the tidal creeks and rivers and the C&D Canal. Both are also caught along the shoreline from Augustine Beach down to the fishing pier at Woodland Beach. Baits also remain the same. Bloodworms, lug worms or Fishbites for the white perch with cut bait for the catfish.

At Smith Bait in Leipsic, Steve said not a lot of folks fishing due to the cold weather. Those who did venture out found white perch and small striped bass in the tidal rivers and creeks and from the fishing pier at Woodland Beach. Bloodworms, shrimp and crab were the top baits for these fish. In the Bay, casting jigs with soft plastic tails to the bases of the lighthouses has produced slot stripers.

Dan at Dan’s Tackle Shop in Milton told us Broadkill Beach is still the domain of dogs and skates. The Broadkill River holds white perch that will hit bloodworms or Fishbites.

Lewes Harbour Marina reported several boats fished the Outer Wall and caught lots of short tog with two or three keepers for their efforts.

Indian River Inlet

Striped Bass
Striped Bass (Rockfish)

Old Inlet Bait and Tackle reported as of Friday the night shift was still catching slot and larger striped bass along the Southside of the Inlet at the end of the South Jetty and from the bridge west to the end of the campground. Live eels are the ticket to success.

Lots of small tog and a few keepers have been taken from the inlet rocks on green crabs and sand fleas. Those who can fish the Coast Guard Wall seem to find a bigger class of tog.

Surf Fishing

Still no good news from here.

Back Bays

Rick’s Bait and Tackle said stripers remain at Massey’s Ditch on live eels, spot or Gulp!.

Inshore Ocean

Artwork representing a Tautog

I did not get any ocean reports until Thursday of this week.

Lewes Harbour Marina said the Katydid brought in a catch of sea bass and the Grizzly had a catch of tog.

I fished on the Angler out of Ocean City and we were the only boat on the Del-Jersey-Land Reef. It was pure drop-and-crank fishing from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. I had black sea bass on every drop except one and had four keeper double-headers. I ended the day with 20 keepers of which five went to those less fortunate.

Offshore Ocean

No Report


Taylored Tackle in Seaford said not many fishermen out in the cold weather, but those that were caught crappie in the Laurel Spillway on minnows. They also had blue catfish out of the Nanticoke River and Broad Creek on cut bait.

Sea Bass

Image of a Black Sea Bass
Black Sea Bass

If you can find the time, and an open weather day, do get out on the sea bass before the season closes at the end of the year. On Thursday we fished the Del-Jersey-Land Reef and had a great time with many 13-inch keepers hitting the coolers. In addition, there were porgies, bluefish and one 5-pound flounder that won the pool.

Check with your favorite head or charter boat to see when they plan to sail and get onboard. It’s a long winter ahead!

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 and many regional publications. He has written three books: Surf Fishing the Atlantic Coast, The Ultimate Guide to Catching Striped Bass and Fishing Saltwater Baits.