With an entire lengthwise side running against the ocean it is hardly shocking that Delaware has some great saltwater fishing; Delaware Bay allows for immediate access to the Atlantic. For inland fishing Delaware is not a land of variety, but what it has is evenly distributed across the state. This small wonder of a state offers fly fishing, surf fishing, and trolling through deep, ocean waters. There is something in Delaware to appease almost every angler.
Much of Delaware’s freshwater fishing occurs in smaller water bodies like ponds and creeks. Many ponds are stocked with perch, and bass such as Diamond Pond (state record bluegill) and Lums Pond. Largemouth and striped bass, pickerel, catfish, and crappie thrive in this larger pond. The Delaware River is a state gem for good bass fly fishing. Plus, there are also some trout to be found in the Delaware River (Additional rout stamp required).
Delaware benefits from a stocking program that allows for some trout fishing. White Clay Creek is one of the most popular trout fishing streams to fly fish. Christina Creek is one of the lengthier fly fishing locales, and it is frequently stocked.
Brandywine Creek is another fine spot for Delaware fishing on the fly. Within its waters swim bluegill and smallmouth bass. This tributary allows for miles of outdoor entertainment, and is the holder of four state records, including tiger muskellunge, but is best known for bass.
Delaware Bay yields immediate ocean access for fine coastal fishing. Its bays and inlets give many fish a brief reprieve from the ocean currents, and these vibrant fisheries make for excellent recreational fishing. Between fishing for kingfish, bluefish, sea bass, wahoo, swordfish, and drum, at various times of the year, you are sure to find something you enjoy casting for, whether from a pier or out in a boat.
An area off Cape May called the Old Grounds, that was once a shipping lane into Delaware Bay, provides a good chance to catch saltwater species a little ways into shore. The most popular species there is flounder, but striped bass also swim in its waters.
Around the lower portion of the Indian River you can run into saltwater species like red drum, sheepshead, flounder, or others. The Indian River Inlet is honored with Delaware’s striped bass record of over fifty pounds, as well as an impressive flounder record bypassing seventeen pounds.
Surf fishing is a popular pastime in Delaware. Fenwick Island is a favored surf fishing destination. Delaware Seashore State Park has coastline along the Atlantic open to surf fishing. Pick up a surf fishing permit, note dune crossing routes before you head out, and, if necessary, buy a vehicle permit.
Anyone over sixteen must have a fishing license, however seniors are not required to be licensed for recreational fishing. Social security numbers and creating a FIN number, are required to obtain fishing licenses. Purchase a license in person at distributing agent, by mailing in an application, or going online. Saltwater fishing requires licensure as well, though it is available all as one license. Residents in the military who have been honorably discharged after serving at least ninety days may apply for a no-cost license. Annual licenses are available to both residents and non-residents, with non-residents also offered a week long license. Delaware has free fishing days every summer, if you can wait for them!
Whenever you head out fishing to a new place, it's always best to speak to local anglers. Use fishing forums to ask questions and learn about the most accurate and up to date conditions.