Indian River Inlet Fishing Report
Licenses, Permits and FIN Registration:
- Delaware Hunting & Fishing Licenses
- Surf Fishing Permits
- Delaware On-line FIN Registration
- Delaware Fishing Regulations Guide
Click on any date to expand the report
Things are slowly getting back to normal after more than a weeks work of northeast wind. The water is slowly clearing up. The fishing action is slowly getting back on track as well.
Its a slow pick in the Inlet with shad, small blues and striped bass being reported. Your best bet is shad darts and lead heads with a sassy shad. There have been a few fish picked up in the south pocket and plugs. John Miller reported a 30 plus inch striper on a Daiwa SP Minnow earlier this week.
Tautog season in DE is currently closed until July 1.
Currently, Fenwick and 3R's 4wd beach access ramps are open. They are still working on the ramps north of the Inlet. Cape Henlopen and Beach Plumb Island are open.
The beach looks really fish with a lot of structure having been cut in to the surf by the wind driven storm surge. We've heard of a few blues, small stripers and black drum in the suds recently.
We have live bloodworms and fresh bunker!!
A good bluefish bite has been reported from the Cape Henlopen Pier. Fish up to 30 inches.
Seabass season opened on the 15th, Good catches were reported on structure 25 plus miles out.
The Cast for a Cure Team Surf Fishing Tournament will take place on Saturday, May 21. Packet pick up is on Friday from 12-7pm.
Day 9 of the northeast wind. Its down to less than 15 knots and is supposed to come around to the east later today. We just had a good 7 days of northeast wind sustained at 25-35 knots with some gusts to 50 knots. The beaches have taken a beating and very few people have been fishing. Its just been plain nasty here for more than a week.
The drive on ramps in the Delaware Seashore State Park and the Fenwick Island State Park are closed. They have quite a lot of work to do on the ramps to get them back in shape. The extremely high tides were up in the dunes all week and cut a 6-8 foot drop off into the ramps. According to State Parks, the earliest any of the ramps are likely to get reopened is Sunday and more likely Monday.
With the beaches being closed we have not been able to get live sand fleas. We do have live green crabs. The last day of tautog season in Delaware is May 15. The season reopens July 1.
The beaches being closed means no one has been surf fishing. We did get a report of bluefish on the beach today in front of the Big Chill on the south side. This is the first report in more than a week.
Prior to that there had been some blues, kingfish, black drum and puffers reported from the surf. The bite had just gotten started. Hopefully it will come back strong!!! These fish have got to be hungry. We have fresh bunker!!!!
A few people have tried to fish the Inlet in this slop and we've head about a few shad and shorty stripers. The big news yesterday was John Miller of Boiling Springs PA catching a 21 inch flounder on the south rockpile on a bucktail.
Inshore marine weather forecast for the weekend:
...DENSE FOG ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON... .REST OF TODAY...E winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 3 to 4 ft. A chance of showers. Areas of dense fog late this morning and early afternoon. Areas of fog late. Vsby 1 NM or less, increasing to 1 to 3 NM late. Swell mainly from the E with a dominant period of 8 seconds. .TONIGHT...SE winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 3 to 4 ft. Areas of fog. A chance of showers after midnight. Vsby 1 to 3 NM. Swell mainly from the E with a dominant period of 8 seconds. .SAT...SE winds around 5 kt, increasing to around 10 kt in the afternoon. Seas 3 to 4 ft. Areas of fog in the morning. A chance of showers in the morning, then a chance of tstms in the afternoon. Vsby 1 to 3 NM in the morning. Swell mainly from the SE with a dominant period of 8 seconds. .SAT NIGHT...S winds around 10 kt. Seas 3 to 4 ft. A chance of tstms in the evening, then a chance of showers after midnight. Swell mainly from the SE with a dominant period of 8 seconds. .SUN...S winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 3 to 4 ft. .SUN NIGHT...S winds 10 to 15 kt. Seas 3 to 4 ft. A chance of showers. .MON...SW winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 3 to 4 ft. A chance of tstms in the afternoon. .MON NIGHT...W winds around 10 kt. Seas 3 to 4 ft. A chance of tstms in the evening, then a chance of showers after midnight. .TUE...W winds around 10 kt. Seas around 3 ft. .TUE NIGHT...W winds around 10 kt, becoming NW after midnight. Seas around 3 ft. Winds and seas higher in and near tstms.
Effecrtive May 1, 2022
- Minimum summer flounder size limit was reduced from 16.5 inches to 16 inches, with a continued four-fish daily limit and all-year season.
- Scup size limit was increased from 8 to 9 inches, with a continued 50-fish daily limit and all-year season.
- Black sea bass size limit was increased from 12.5 to 13 inches while the season was shortened by 20 days (runs May 15 through Dec. 11), with a continued 15-fish daily limit.
The drive on access ramps in Delaware Seashore State Park and Fenwick Island State Park are closed until the northeast wind stops and they can get the ramps repaired, There is a huge drop off as result of the storm.
Here is the latest inshore marine forecast -
GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT... .REST OF TODAY...NE winds 25 to 30 kt with gusts up to 40 kt. Seas 9 to 12 ft. Swell mainly from the E with a dominant period of 11 seconds. .TONIGHT...NE winds 25 to 30 kt with gusts up to 35 kt. Seas 9 to 12 ft. Swell mainly from the E with a dominant period of 11 seconds. .WED...NE winds 20 to 25 kt. Gusts up to 30 kt. Seas 7 to 10 ft. Swell mainly from the E with a dominant period of 10 seconds. .WED NIGHT...NE winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 5 to 8 ft. Swell mainly from the E with a dominant period of 9 seconds. .THU...NE winds 15 to 20 kt. Seas 5 to 7 ft. .THU NIGHT...NE winds 10 to 15 kt. Gusts up to 20 kt in the evening. Seas 4 to 5 ft. A chance of showers after midnight. .FRI...NE winds 10 to 15 kt. Seas 3 to 5 ft. A chance of showers. .FRI NIGHT...SE winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 3 to 4 ft. A chance of showers. .SAT...SE winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 3 to 4 ft. Showers likely. .SAT NIGHT...S winds around 10 kt. Seas 3 to 5 ft. A chance of showers.
We are coming off a pretty significant northeast storm over the weekend. Winds steady at 25-35 knots with gusts to 50 for three days.
The beaches took a beating. We had to cancel our surf fishing tournament on Saturday.
The sea was and still is very angry. Its nautical and sporty out there.
No water in the store thus far but the forecast for the rest of the week is not good.
..GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON... .TODAY...NE winds 25 to 30 kt with gusts up to 35 kt. Seas 9 to 13 ft. Isolated showers late this morning. Swell mainly from the E with a dominant period of 11 seconds. .TONIGHT...NE winds 25 to 30 kt with gusts up to 35 kt. Seas 10 to 13 ft. Swell mainly from the E with a dominant period of 12 seconds. .TUE...NE winds around 25 kt with gusts up to 35 kt. Seas 10 to 13 ft, subsiding to 9 to 11 ft in the afternoon. Swell mainly from the E with a dominant period of 11 seconds. .TUE NIGHT...NE winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to 30 kt. Seas 8 to 11 ft. Swell mainly from the E with a dominant period of 11 seconds. .WED...NE winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 30 kt. Seas 7 to 10 ft. .WED NIGHT...NE winds 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt. Seas 6 to 9 ft, subsiding to 6 to 7 ft after midnight. .THU...NE winds 15 to 20 kt. Seas 5 to 7 ft. .THU NIGHT...NE winds 10 to 15 kt. Seas 4 to 6 ft. .FRI...NE winds around 10 kt. Seas 3 to 4 ft. A chance of showers. .FRI NIGHT...SE winds around 10 kt. Seas 3 to 4 ft. A chance of showers.
So given all this there in NO Fishing report. Nothing is biting because no one has been fishing. Water is really dirty.
Might luck up on a tautog in the Inlet or a striped bass because they do like sloppy conditions.
The beach is pretty much unfishable at this time. The Faithful Steward ramp just south of the shop is closed. The beaches north of the Inlet have a pretty sizable drop off cut in to them by the relentless wave action.
Live fleas and fresh bunker likely not available later this week. Maybe by the weekend if the weather gets our of here faster than expected.
Will update the report when Mother Nature is done with us.
The Old Inlet Spring Surf Fishing Tournament scheduled for Saturday May 7 has been CANCELLED.
The weather forecast is calling for a significant coastal Northeast storm to impact the area Saturday. High winds and rain are expected to cause above normal tides leading to coastal flooding and beach erosion. It is anticipated the parts of the beach may become inaccessible necessitating the need to close beaches/access ramps in the interest of public safety.
If you have already registered and paid the tournament entry fee, Old Inlet will be issuing refunds or credits for future tournaments. You can stop by or call Friday from 10am-6pm to let us know what you’d like to do.
It's Spring Surf Fishing Tournament week. The tournament is scheduled for Saturday, May 7. At this time the weather forecast is not pretty. Weatherman is currently calling for Northeast winds at 25-30 knots with rain. Less than ideal conditions. We will continue to monitor the weather throughout the week and have a Thursday 2pm conference call scheduled with Parks to determine if the beaches will be open on Saturday. Stay tuned!!!
All this bad weather coming just when the fishing was starting to turn around.
Grant Barnhart had a terrific weekend on the surf in Fenwick. He caught a 34.5 inch striped bass on a plug from the surf Saturday night. It weighed 13.5 pounds. Then on Sunday he caught a 29 inch black drum using surf clams.
We also had the first confirmed reports of bluefish and kingfish on the beach over the weekend.
The report from the Inlet is shorty stripers, shad and the occasional blue. The tautog bite has been good.
Breaking news - Ed Heite just weighed a 5.25 pound weakfish caught in the Inlet on a 1/4 lead head with a paddle tail shad. It measured 25 inches. Nice fish!!!
Still waiting for a reliable report on flounder from the Inland bays.
Things are picking up a bit now that the weather has decided to act like Spring.
There have been several black drum caught on the beach lately.
Mike Chambers had a 30 incher on bloodworms off 3R's Friday. Greg Flynn caught one on Saturday down in Fenwick. There was another one reported down in Fenwick as well.
We've had a few reports of puffers/blow fish on the beach too,
We have fresh bunker and should have live bloodworms Wednesday afternoon.
No stripers from the beach yet. Saw a couple of reports of stripers on the surf down in Chincoteague. Hopefully they make it up this way.
Tautog, short stripers and shad are keeping anglers busy in the Inlet. We've had two bluefish reported so far. Both 19 inches.
We have live green crabs. Our sand flea guy says the tides have been wrong for him lately, Hope to get some for the weekend.
Is anyone trying for flounder in the bays? We do know that live minnows have been scarce.
Our phone line are currently down due to a uitlity pole/marsh fire yesterday. Verizon is working to restore our service. We will advise when the lines are back up.
Breaking news: First bluefish of the season reported this morning. 19 inches caught in the inlet on a bucktail.
They are picking at the short stripers in the Inlet.
Tautog bite has been getting better. We have live green crabs and hope to have live sand fleas for the weekend.
Some shad have been reported on the incoming tides.
Saw a pic of a nice black drum caught in Fenwick on 4/17. Reports of black drum up on Broadkill as well.
Live bloodworms will be in Friday around noon.
Shops in Jersey are reporting flounder. Only heard of one caught here so far.
Finally got some better weather here this week. A tad windy today but whats new. Weekend weather looks decent but cooler.
The tautog bite in the Inlet has picked up. One customer reported seeing the biggest tautog he'd ever seen caught in the Inlet this week.
We have live green crabs and hope to have live sand fleas for the weekend.
The striper bite has been slow to start. The shorties we've seen the last couple of springs have not turned on yet. No keepers yet. They are throwing small lead heads with a 4 inch soft plastic for the the shorties.
A few shad have been reported on the incoming tide. Darts and spec rigs are the best baits.
Look for the blues, if we get them, to arrive on the beach the end of April. Mothers day is the rule of thumb for the Inlet.
No flounder reported yet but that should change any day. It's time.
The report from the surf is sharks and skates. We have fresh bunker and should have live bloods for the weekend.
We are now open 6am-6pm Monday thru Saturday. We will be open Easter Sunday 6am-2pm.
We will be celebrating our 60th Anniversary of Saturday April 9. Festivities start at 10am with a short presentation at 10:30AM. There will be random swag giveways!!! Stop by and say Hi!!!
Bait update - we have live bloodworms, live minnows, fresh bunker, live sand fleas and live green crabs!!
Looks like the weather is finally going to get straightened out. We need people to get out and fish!! Don't read the fishing report. Be the fishing report!!!!
Just got out first live sand fleas of the season!!
Confirmed that we will be getting live green crabs Wednesday April 6.
We have fresh bunker, live minnows, and live bloodworms.
Several keeper tautog caught in the Indian River Inlet over the weekend. A few shorty stripers around as well.
First flounder of the year caught in Ocean City over the weekend.
Flounder also reported in Chincoteague along with black drum.
We will be celebrating our 60th year in business on Saturday April 9. Stop in and say hi!!!
Sun is finally out but the wind refuses to quit blowing,
After some mild weather to start the spring we have been stuck in a cool damp rut for the last two weeks. Needless to say, it has slowed down the start of the fishing season.
There have been a few short stripers caugth in the Inlet and on the beach so far. A few short tog in the Inlet as well. That has been it. Its been too woindy to fish most days lately.
We have expanded out hous to now closing at 6pm on Friday and Saturday.
We have live minnows, live bloodworms and fresh bunker.
Still waiting on live green crabs. Hopefully next week.
Reports are starting to roll in slowly.
We have heard of two shorty stripers caught on the surf so far. Two short tautog caught in the inlet.
Finally getting some good freshwater fishing reports.
The Williams brothers, Frank and Jonathan, checked in two citation Rainbow trout caught in Newtons Pond (stocked). One was 2 and a half pounds the other was 2 and 3/4 pounds.
Edward Bush, 87 years young, weighed in a 1 pound 8 ounce white perch caught in Vines Creek.
We should have live bloodworms and fresh bunker for the weekend!!!
No green crabs until the first of April.
First fresh bunker of the season arrived Wednesday!!!
It's a beautiful spring-like day here in Coastal Delaware.
While mother nature appears to be ahead of schedule bringing us spring, the fishing bite has gotten off to a slow start.
Starting to get sporadic reports of shorty (dinks) striped bass on the beach near the Inlet and in the Fenwick ditch.
Weather forecast looks decent. We are expecting some people to be out and about giving it a try.
We have live bloodowrms, minnows and night crawlers.
No word on live green crabs yet.
We will be open 7am-5pm Friday and Saturday this weekend. March 18 and 19
2022 Fishing Guides and Rulers are now available.
Mother Nature is acting like she wants to end winter early. Signs of spring have started. Groundhog not withstanding.
Daffodils are starting to push through. Bunker are on the beach with dolphins pushing them. Even had a report of an osprey.
Quite a few people out and about wanting to fish. The only action reported so far has been perch in the back waters.
Water temp out here on the beach is still hanging around 41 degrees. Needs to get up to 45 before the stripers will start feeding again.
Long term forecast is for above average temperatures over the next two weeks. So spring is likely to get here sooner rather than later.
We have live minnows. We plan to have live green crabs and live bloodworms within the next two weeks.
We will keep you posted!!
Sale! Sale! Sale! Sale! Sale!
Don't miss our biggest event of the offseason!
Old Inlet Inventory Reduction/Scratch and Dent Sale
Presidents Day Weekend
Friday through Monday, February 18-21
Friday and Saturday: 7am-5pm
Sunday and Monday: 7am-3pm
Same Weekend as OC Boat Show
Deep Discounts on Overstocks, Closeouts, Cosmetic Blemish,
and Discontinued Items
Penn Slammer iii Spinning Reel Closeout
Penn Pursuit iii Spinning Reel Closeout
Hundreds of Used Reels
Used Sinker Molds
Okuma Aria 40a Spinning Reel Closeout
Master 6’ Bait Caster Rod - $10
Trout Killer Soft Plastic Clearance
And much more!!!
Senator Carper's office announced that the recently passed "Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act" contained nearly $44 million in funds for the Philadelphia Army Corps of Engineers to address the repairs needed on the north side of the Inlet. This includes the scour hole in the rockpile that has undermined the sidewalk and limited access to the handcap pier.
There is no definite timeline in place for the repairs at this time.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced that the sale of 2022 Delaware State Parks surf fishing permits will begin Tuesday, Feb. 1 and the sale of annual passes will begin Tuesday, Feb. 15. Sales will begin at 10 a.m. both days. The sale of 2022 surf fishing permits and annual passes was delayed due to nationwide supply chain disruptions.
The Indian River Life Saving Station Museum will be open for tag sales Tuesday through Friday from 10am-3pm.
How to Purchase
- Online: Due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and demand for surf fishing permits and annual passes, the quickest and safest way to purchase permits and passes is online at www.destateparks.com. Sales will start online 10 a.m. Feb. 1 for surf fishing permits and Feb. 15 for annual park passes.
- At state parks: Permits and passes will be on sale at offices within Delaware State Parks starting at 10 a.m. on Feb. 1 for surf fishing permits and Feb. 15 for annual park passes. Those who choose to purchase annual passes or surf fishing permits at a park office should expect long wait times and must wear a mask inside the building. Park office locations are listed at www.destateparks.com/FindPark. (Please note: Permits and passes are not available at DNREC’s Dover office.)
Annual passes are a convenient way to access the parks for the entire fee season from March 1 to Nov. 30. A Delaware resident annual pass costs $35, and Delaware residents 62 and older will receive a discounted rate of $18. A $65 lifetime pass is available for Delawareans 65 and older. Reduced rates are also offered to Delawareans who receive public assistance, or who are active duty military or veterans. Active duty military personnel with an out-of-state license plate can purchase an annual pass at the in-state rate.
Surf Fishing Permits
The purchase of a surf fishing permit allows individuals to drive onto designated beaches for fishing. First-time permit holders must also obtain a surf fishing plate on which to affix their surf fishing permit decal. In addition to entry onto Delaware State Parks drive-on beaches, the decal enables the vehicle to gain entrance into the other state parks without paying the daily entrance fee.
Surf fishing permits are sold on a first-come, first-served basis and are capped at 17,000 annually to manage a limited resource, protect against overcrowding of parks beaches, and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors to Delaware’s award-winning state parks system. The surf fishing permit fee for Delaware residents is $90 or $180 for out-of-state residents. Delaware residents 62 and older will receive a discounted rate of $80.
In 2021, 77% of surf fishing permits were held by Delaware residents and 23% were held by residents of other states.
Off-Peak Surf Fishing Permits
The off-peak surf fishing permit, which was piloted in 2021, will return for 2022. There is no cap in place for the off-peak surf fishing permit.
Off-peak surf fishing permits may be used seven days a week during the off season, which runs from Feb. 1 to May 29 and again from Sept. 6 through Dec. 31. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, off-peak permits may only be used Mondays through Fridays; Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day are excluded. The off-peak permit also allows entry into all Delaware State Parks without paying the daily entrance fee.
The off-peak permit fee for Delaware residents is $70, while the fee for out-of-state residents is $140. Delaware residents age 62 and older will receive a discounted rate of $60.
Passes/Permits for Delaware Firefighters, EMTs
Delaware firefighters and emergency medical technicians can obtain an annual pass or surf fishing permit for free. Those who qualify must first obtain an application form from the president of their fire company or the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association and then visit a park office to receive the pass or permit.
Delaware’s state parks are primarily self-funded, with 65% of revenue to operate and maintain the parks generated by park users. This revenue is used for trail maintenance, environmental and recreational programs, visitor amenities, guarded beaches, management of campgrounds, cabins and more.
For more information about surf fishing permits and annual passes, go to www.destateparks.com/Know/PassesTagsFees.
Happy New Year!!!
Winter is here. Twenty degrees and sunny here today. Needless to say the fishing action has pretty much come to a halt. Still a few people trying for stripers in the Inlet on the warm days but the water temp is getting to the point where the fish will stop feeding.
Hope you got in on the trolling action for stripers between Christmas and New Years. Quite a few nice fish up to 50 inches within a few miles of the beach from the Inlet down to Sea Colony.
Capt Terry Murray had a 49 and 51 incher on the troll off Sea Colony New Years day. The 49 was caugth by 93 year old Bill Dempsey!!!!
Weather permitting, the boats will go out for tautog on the wrecks and reefs about 25-30 miles out this winter.
Be sure to check out our 2022 Calendar of Events!!
Confirmed reports of over the slot striped bass on the troll two miles off the Inlet.
Also had reports of stripers on the troll on the Fenwick shoals, on Overfalls Shoals and up off Wildwood NJ.
Go get em!!!
We have live green crabs, fresh bunker and live eels.
Old Inlet Webmaster will be out of the office Dec 26 though January 10. Call 302-227-7974 for updates!!
We will be open Christmas Eve from 9am-1pm. Closed Christmas Day and reopen on December 26. Our winter hours are 7am-3pm. Seven Days a Week!
Still good tautog fishing in the Inlet. We have live green crabs and frozen sand fleas.
Spiny dogs and not much else on the beach. We have plenty of frozen bait.
They are picking at the shorty stripers in the Inlet on the daytime incoming tides. Nice thick fat fish. Good fighters.
There have been a few keepers caught at night on eels. Be prepared to fish a whole tide for one fish.
Stripers on the troll up off Cape May and Wildwood. Hopefully the migration will make a pit stop in Delaware for Christmas!!
Some nice tautog on the near shore wrecks and reefs. Jim Ruback weighed one 13.5 pounds while fishing on the Grizzly out of Lewes.
Starting to hear about keeper stripers caught on the troll on the New Jersey side of the Delaware bay. Stretch's and Mojo's were used.
Nice fat short stripers in the Inlet. Its a slow pick. No keepers yet. Bucktails!!!!
Plenty of tautog in the Inlet. We have live green crabs and have a few frozen fleas left.
There have been some shad in the Inlet this week.
Didn't get and fresh bunker this week. Plenty of spiny dogs on the beach.
Weather permitting, the boats are catching seabass on the near shore wrecks and reefs.
Live green crabs and fresh bunker in for the die hards.
Spiny dogs beach and tautog in the Inlet!!
There should be some stripers around on the troll.
We have live green crabs and live sand fleas. Plenty of tautog in the Inlet. 14-22 inches.
We have fresh bunker. Mostly spiny dogs on the beach with the occasional short striped bass. Even had a report of one kingfish on the beach this week. Talk about a lost fish.
We have live eels. There are some diehards trying in the Inlet most nights. A few above the slot fish reported but its a slow pick.
Fishing report still pretty much the same. Tautog in the Inlet and spiny dogs on the beach. A few shorty stripers around on plugs