Fishing is good despite fluctuating water temps

SUSSEX COUNTY — The inland bays are warming up after a heavy cold snap.

The water temperatures have been bouncing back and forth from 60 degrees to the high 40s. Masseys Landing has been fluctuating about 6 degrees between tides on average. The fish are biting, however, and some decent short striped bass action has been seen around the inland bays.

These catches consist of schooling resident striped bass, not the migratory bass that run every year.

Blue crabs caught by Capt. Terry Murray. (Submitted photo)

Blue crabs caught by Capt. Terry Murray. (Submitted photo)

A few flounder were caught a couple weeks ago which is early, but that always happens.

Since the winds have been so bad for the last couple of weeks not too many people have been on the water to fish. The osprey are all over the bays feeding and building or repairing nests.

White perch action has been decent on minnows or bloodworms.

Clamming has been excellent and the commercial clammers have been doing well. Crabbing is doing great despite the temperature fluctuations. The water is badly clouded up from winds and storms. Normally this time of year it is much clearer, until the boats start really stirring things up.

If you are into freshwater fishing, it has been great for bass, crappie, bluegills, yellow perch and pickerel. All the normal baits are working fine and even some top water action is being had especially by fly fishermen. Spoons, spinners and crankbaits have been producing some nice catches. Crappie action is still hot in many ponds, and minnows, grass shrimp, and worms are working great for baits or small jigs with soft plastics. You can catch grass shrimp along the mud banks.

Fiddler crabs are all over the marshes, hard to catch, but they are great flounder bait. The marshes are still brown, and the grasses will start growing in very soon. The recent blow out tides helped people locate structure they normally can’t see under the water.

Bluefish recently made an appearance in the Delaware Bay; we should see some around the inland bays soon. The Indian River Inlet has been decent for short striped bass action.

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