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“Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure ... Consider all this; and then turn to this green, gentle, and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself?”

— Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"

Finally December, that last month, is upon us. It’s a time of glittering holiday lights twinkling on the way home in the dark. The skies are often grey and the waters of the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic can be charcoal edged in cream as the waves build beyond the breakwater.

Not too long ago December meant an end. The stripers started around Halloween and were mainly finished by now. These days “the run” hasn’t even started yet, though more and more short fish are starting to appear along the shorelines. 

These fish are showing around the Indian River Inlet and along the breakwater. Anglers pitching bucktails have been having success with these schoolie fish early in the morning and later in the evening which, of course, is pretty typical. There is hope that we will see some of the bigger fish that once again, fiendishly, remain to our north and well out of range unless, of course, you trailer your rig on up there. 

RELATED: Anglers beware: Catching striped bass in wrong place could cost you $500

Happily, bottom fishing is pretty good right now. 

Capt. Rick Yakimowicz on the all-day headboat out of Fisherman’s Wharf out of Lewes passed along reports of super sea bass action on their extended range trips. 

On many of the trips every angler on the boat walked away with a limit of sea bass (and with the minimum size being a whopping 12.5 inches that is a pile of fillets!) which, as any fisherman will tell you, is a batch of great eating fish.

While these trips haven’t been seeing as many fluke as they once had, there have been more blues and some triggers. There are a lot of short bass, too, which means a lot of fast action for anglers even if not every fish ends up in a cooler.

Capt. Rick also reported that tog fishing, with the advent of the colder water temperatures, has been the “most consistent of the year.” The average size of these fish has gotten better too, which is certainly good news to local fishermen. 

Lewes, given its rich maritime history, is littered with tog habitat from wrecks to breakwaters which offer the wily wrasse the structure they require. Old Inlet passed along that tog fishing in that waterway has also been very good with the dropping water temperatures. Green crabs have been the top producer.

READ MORE: Tropical fish a rare catch off Ocean City

Before closing I wanted to note the passing of Wayne Smith of Bethany. “Uncle Wayne” or as known to many as “The Big Guy” was a family friend and weekly reader of this column. He will be sorely missed but leaves a legacy of memories of Oak Avenue behind.

As the days grow shorter and darkness falls earlier there is no reason that the glittering holiday lights are the only thing brightening your day. With luck, some of the best fishing of the year lies ahead. 

Good luck and Good fishing.

Comments, questions or reports to captjackrodgers@comcast.net

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