Fishing in Delaware this summer? Big bluefish move off-shore while Spanish mackerel in abundance
Delaware’s summer 2016 fishing season started off slow, but now seems to be booming, said Stew Michels, the program manager for marine fish and shellfisheries with Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
One surprise however, is big bluefish, which was in abundance last summer, but appears to have moved off-shore.
“Last year, all up and down the coast it seemed like we had a big slug of large bluefish and they persisted throughout a good portion of the summer,” Michels said. “We did not see that this year. They were here briefly and they left and now those fish tend to be a little farther off-shore for whatever reason, probably forage-based.”
But in place of big bluefish, Delaware has seen southern species in abundance, like Spanish mackerel, cobia and even the blue runner.
Fish caught this summer tend to be on the smaller side, but there has been a lot of action, Michels said. He has even been hearing reports on good catches of weakfish, the state fish. But Delaware’s limit is only one weakfish per angler.
Michels said as species start migrating south, DNREC hopes to see a big run of striped bass in the fall, and perhaps even a run of bluefish.
Anglers in Delaware are required to be 16 years of age and older, possess a general fishing license and a Fishing Information Network number.