Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cape Henlopen Fluke, Croakers, Kingfish, Blowfish

A weekend with the Scouts at Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware, and a charter trip aboard the Pirate King with the Angler's Fishing Center in Lewes. Never got tired after the Friday night drive until totally zonked after dinner Saturday, the croakers, kingfish, fluke, and a blowfish seemed cooked just right. I mixed in a variety of spices, individual to each aluminum pack of fillets, and seemed to cook them just long enough. Lots of parents along, the camp chores and conversation invigorating, the beach in easy walking distance a nice goodbye to summer as weather warmed very comfortably. A front came through around 2:00 a.m. with dramatic lightning, thunder, and heavy, dumping rain, but our tents proved protective, no one among all of us got wet. Leaving early in the morning at 56 degrees--my son had a football game--the drive back took us straight up Delaware Bay and River until crossing over to New Jersey at Scudders Mills. Fast, under four hours with a Diner stop for breakfast and conversation with my son, and without a trace of complication or tiredness, I felt the rush of a good, stable mood the entire way.

Had gone out to a reef with 30 to 40-foot depths in the 50-foot Pirate King. Fishing slow, we caught just enough fish to add to dinner. The boys used rental rods with reels and sinkers as large as eight ounces, standard. I couldn't feel bottom as directly with my two-ounce bank sinker, but able to cast far with my eight-foot Tica, got a good drift. We anchored in place, and from near a corner of the stern, I got that range, the boat not seeming to swing in place much. I knew the bait mulled along bottom with two ounces, Power Pro braid, and the quality graphite rod, but never hooked a really good fish, just some average croakers and a dogfish.

The ugly "orange monk" is an oyster cracker. You can see the powerful grinding plate back in the mouth it uses to break open clams and other shellfish to eat. I used to catch these little monsters by hand when treading clams in a wetsuit during winter, but carefully. To get a finger in the wrong place is to lose that finger gloved in wetsuit. A few seabass under keeper size came over the rail and went back the same way. Clam bait caught all the fish, although some jigs resorted to in desperation got cast before we tried trolling diamond jigs for blues.

Pool winner was an 18 inch fluke!

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