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After accumulating an array of equipment that made me feel like I was going into combat (free set of Orvis Chest waders my sister-in-law somehow was given and then gave to me, Cabela's wade fishing belt, fishing life vest with pockets, wade fishing net that clipped on to the belt, and finally my minnow bucket also tied to the belt) I decided to go to Henlopen yesterday as based on the computer models it appeared to be the last sunny day with light winds for about the next two months.

I went out about 10:30 to fish the top of the flood and then I intended to fish pretty much all the outgoing.

Unfortunately, after wading out East of the Pier about even with the Porta-Potties, I felt a small jet of on the right side of my leg...yep, a pinhole leak (I'd never used the waders before.)

So I only ended up fishing about an hour and a half, till the shivering was so bad I couldn't tie knots; water was in the low 50s :) I've gotten a repair kit and will be trying to repair the leak. Would have been fine were it not for the leak, as the air was relatively warm. Water was a little murky though.

Spent much of the time accosted by bluefish despite my efforts to avoid them. Tried a drifting float rig, but found it annoying and went back to what I used on the pier usually for flounder, a spec rig with squid and minnows. Fished with a very slow retrieve, but still had three double-headers of bluefish and probably caught 8-9 overall. Really was destroying my tackle. Every time I thought I had a flounder bite and went for a hookset, that was enough movement to attract a bluefish. Had a 5-6 lb. bluefish rocket out of the water 2 feet in front of my face as I reeled my rig back to my rod tip. Closer than I want to be to them :)

If I'd been consciously fishing for them with something like a fast-retrieved rattle-trap I easily could have caught 20-30 blues in an hour. Many were bigger than the usual I used to see there fishing the pier. And there were a lot more than usual. Hope they clear out some in the next few weeks.

Only snagged on small Horseshoe crab, which actually was a little disturbing; usually at the pier in May I'd be snagging big groups of them all the time. Didn't bump into or see any others wading. Maybe they're in as much trouble as is claimed.

Right before I went in I did get two short flounder. Probably would have been better flounder fishing on the outgoing. I suspect with 3-4 more degrees of water temp, and beating the water for a good day, a wader could get 2-3 keeper flounder there.

Kept the last bluefish I caught as I was walking back as it was bleeding all over the place; gave it to a surf-fishing guy on the way back to the pier. As usual, after I asked him if he ate bluefish and he said yes and happily took the fish, I was then subjected to the inevitable sermon about how they're really great if you PROPERLY prepare them through an elaborate 45-step process I've heard about a million times; There's a Jehovah's Witness/Hare Krishna quality to the efforts of people that like to eat bluefish trying to convert those that don't :)

There were no other waders out there. Took a walk on the pier after I was done. Quite a few people but not that crowded for a nice weather weekday. Saw a couple short flounder come up and of course blues and one woman did have a keeper (I really stopped fishing the pier much after the size went to 17.5.) No one had seen any trout.


Almost NOBODY was casting and retrieving though, just sitting around staring at their deadsticked rods. I've caught flounder with a deadsticked rod there but if you're serious about it you really need to cast and retrieve or slow-troll by walking on the pier. When I used to fish the pier a lot 3-4 years ago plenty of people would be casting and retrieving.
 

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John,

I've got to try wading near the pier! Armed with waders and a light baitcaster with plugs, I would have a ball! Thanks for a really informative post. :)

You've answered a lot of my questions about wading the pier area. ;)

Do you think I could fly fish in the early AM for blues and stripers there?
 

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Wade fishing the shallow water from RI around to Henlopen point can be very productive especially early and late BUT look out for SHARKS especially once you get around by the fishing pier.In the distant past there was some wading done around there until fall in 80 or 81.It was the last of the flood tide about 1.5hrs till sundown. The whole flats area was full of black back Aelwive and trout and blues and flounder were on a blitz.There were a # of us fishing from just below the fishing pier down to the old burned out pier. We all had stringers of fish attached to our belts and the blues were even hitting the stringers of fish. Lots of blood and fish in the water.
Someone,not me, noticed that there was a boat coming towards us in a hurry and that those in it were waving their arms wildly.
we looked around and by golly there was a whole line of sharks between us and the shore line.
The boat came in and 3 of the older fellows got in the boat.The rest of us 4-5 decided to give our fishstringers to the guy in the boat and have him ease in and throw all the stringers in the water close to the sharks. He did and it worked and we flew out of the water.
There were some BIG sharks in that group, I'm talking 7-10 feet from dorsal fin to tail.
That ended my wading days in that area.Probably shouldn't have but I just never again felt comfortable about wade fishing there.
So have fun but BE CAREFUL. reelseat
 

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FYI - Most shark attacks occur during periods of low or fading light. Of course that's one of the best times to fish...lol. Seriously though, most likely those sharks weren't one of the notorious maneaters but they would hit a stringer of bleeding fish inadvertently biting the fisherman. I'm not saying to stay out of the water because I wouldn't go that far myself. But please take precautions like taking caught fish to shore or anchor a floating basket to deposit them away from you.
 

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the shark thing is real enough, but they are mostly sandsharks. but, there are others in there and to ignore them would be foolish. sandcrab there is a lot of fly fishing in that area. in fact, they have been catching trout while the pier is getting shut out. i'm leaving town for the weekend, this is one of the theree crazy weekends in the year. :mad: :mad: :mad:
 

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Hey Billr,

I'm planning to head down there sometime in june and was wondering if you recommend any good eats over there? Last time I met you, Husky and Sandcrab took me to this breakfast joint. It was pretty good. :D

-John
 

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The name of the place was "Sunshine" and it was located at the fork in the road on Route 1.
 

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I used to do some wade fishing around Roosevelt Inlet for Flatties.Though I wasn't fishing with minnows;I caught alot of them.I was using bucktails tipped with bait and caught throwback flounder left and right.If I was using minnows I 've could have caught some real nice ones.Its better to target flounder like that when it not overcrowed by people fishing for Weakies.It can be crowded there.I will probily try some wade fishing like that.
 
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