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

Patty at Captain Bones in Odessa told us she did hear of large striped bass caught on Stretch 25s and 30s in Delaware Bay around structure such as the Crossover and Ship John.

Striped Bass
Striped Bass (Rockfish)

Otherwise, it was the usual white perch and catfish in the C&D Canal and the tidal creeks and rivers as well as along the shoreline from Augustine Beach to the fishing pier at Woodland Beach. Baits include bloodworms, lug worms, nightcrawlers and Fishbites for the perch and cut bunker for the catfish.

At Smith Bait in Leipsic, I was unable to contact Steve, but from other reports I believe striped bass to 50 inches have been caught at the lighthouses by trolling Stretch 25s.

Image of a White Perch
White Perch

The water in the bay is as clear as he has ever seen it and there are large schools of menhaden that have brought in the big stripers. In the tidal creeks and rivers small stripers, white perch and catfish are available. The white perch and stripers will take bloodworms and shrimp while the catfish like bunker.

Dan at Dan’s Tackle Shop in Milton still had nothing good to say about the fishing at Broadkill Beach. However, keep in mind that in the past some big striped bass have been caught there in the fall. I would use cut bunker or a nice ball of bloodworms when trying for the big stripers.

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

Artwork representing a Tautog

Old Inlet Bait and Tackle said lots of small tog caught on sand fleas and green crabs out of the rocks at Indian River Inlet with the occasional keeper. While this is a bit of a pain for anglers today, I believe it is a good sign for tog fishing in the future.

Small striped bass are caught during the day on white bucktails fished close to the rocks at the Inlet. At night, larger stripers have been caught on live eels fished at the end of the South Jetty and along the southside from the bridge to the end of the campground.

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

Image of a Black Sea Bass
Black Sea Bass

The weather went downhill after last Friday, so all reports are prior to that time.

Sea bass remain the best bet with tog a close second. Charter and private boats both cashed in over ocean structure with limits of both fish prior to the bad weather.

A few flounder, porgies and triggerfish were mixed in the catch.

Offshore Ocean

I did not get an offshore report this week.


I did not get a freshwater report this week.


Those of us who live in Delaware and enjoy hunting and fishing have much to be thankful for.

We have lots of freshwater ponds and streams open for fishing along with miles of beach where we can walk or drive on to fish for some pretty impressive (well maybe not this year) species. Boaters have ramps in all the popular access points where they can launch for free and enjoy a day on the water.

Hunters have lots of state-owned forest and fields where plenty of deer can be hunted with shotgun, muzzleloader or bow and arrow. There are lots of rabbits around to give those rabbit dogs a workout.

Sometimes I think we take these things for granted. This Thanksgiving take a moment to be thankful you live in Delaware where you can go fishing, hunting or boating within a short distance from your home.

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.