The Indian River Inlet offers a good place for fishing for both land and boat fishermen, but requires some preparation before leaving. The first trips will be learning experiences, no matter how much you think you know, but knowing a little can make the experience a little less painful.
The most exciting time to fish at the entrance is when the blues, the shad or the rockfish burst the surface chasing the bait under the diving birds. The adrenaline flows and the lures fly, and before you know it, your line becomes entangled with a couple of people and new friendships are quickly lost.
As exciting as the action may be, you must stop before you begin and observe what is happening. Find a place along the rail, then combine your casts so they don't cross with your neighbors. Be sure to use lures of a similar weight as the rest of people throw, and be careful with those who throw weights or use too heavy or too light rigging. Going to break fish in Indian River Inlet is a good dance, and must be carried out with care and balance.
If the goal is the blues, use metal lures such as Stingsilvers, Castmasters or Hopkins. Take it out as shad darts or very small spoons. Place these light lures 6 to 8 inches behind a shortstop or Stingsilver to give them weight.
The standard lure for rockfish is a white bucktail with a white plastic worm. This also seems to be the standard for everything in the minds of some fishermen, but while it will catch the blues and even the occasional spine, the metal lures are better for the first, while the crab bait is better for the second.
Rockfish is more likely to be taken after dark. In saying this, I remember walking down the sidewalk under the Route 1 bridge around noon on a very hot August day. There was a poor wrong guy fishing for a plug just below the surface in loose water and I thought, "Boy, he doesn't know anything about fishing."
Around that time, a 15-pound rockfish swam slowly from the depths and inhaled its plug. I kept walking. I filed it with the guy who caught the sheep's head in the white tail with the white worm.
If you are going to chase rockfish at night on the jetty, you must be careful. I have seen some terrible falls on those rocks, and we have even lost fishermen from there.
You must have the right shoes. Korkers are the standard and will do the job better than anything else. It is not a bad idea to use a PFD. Do not wear mosquitoes!
Most jetty riders carry a small bag of plugs with many white bucktails and white worms, white Storm or Tsunami hats and one or two favorite plugs. A small flashlight around the neck and a good pair of scissors and fishing pliers are useful. If you plan to keep your catch, you will need a crossbar.
It has been a long time since I caught the rocks at night, but we used to leave when the tide went down and re-entered when it flooded. Unfortunately, some of the best rockfish actions came at night when the ocean was angry. While no one accused me of being a fleet of feet, I never fell while dodging the waves between the breaks in the rocks.
Bottom fishing at the entrance is another challenge. The main catch will be tog, but you can catch rockfish and now maybe a trout. Most fish will be caught on the rocks. That is why you will have to bring many rigs. I use a bench deck as small as possible and try to fish my line directly from the tip of the rod. I use a single hook platform that ties me to save money. Sand fleas and green crabs are my baits.
The feds have made it official. The regulations of the summer flounder in federal waters will be the same as those of the state where the fish land.
Very little has changed. There are still many kings in the surf along with small trout, spots and croaker. Bloodworms, FishBite bloodworms and cut bait will do the job. Keep your platform moving at the bottom for best results.
The Delaware Bay reef sites are home to kings, trigger fish, sole, croaker and spot. CCabbages, squid, small live fish and blood worms all produce here.
Sole fishing on the structure of the ocean is decent. Some charter boats have limits or are close to the limits. Jigging with bucktails seems to be working better than simply dragging baits down the bottom.