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Top Fishing Charters in Indian River Inlet

Fishing in Indian River Inlet

If there’s one place that you should take your nay-saying friend or family member fishing, it’s the Indian River Inlet. After a couple of strikes from the famous North and South Jetties, they’ll develop the taste – take them on a proper charter fishing trip to seal the deal!

The Inlet began its life as an angling destination when the United States Army Corps of Engineers built the North and South Jetties in the late 1930s. The rock and steel jetties have tamed the Indian River Bay, allowing fishers to develop a proper fishing industry. Nowadays the North Shore Marina is the local hotspot where Indian River Inlet fishing charters cast off for exciting inshore, nearshore, and offshore adventures.

Known For

Inshore Fishing

There’s quite a lot to go after inside the inlet, ranging from smallies – perfect for kids – to Cow Stripers – perfect for all anglers. Fishing from the jetties (fishing the rockpiles, as the locals call it) is a popular activity among both resident and visiting anglers and you can catch a variety of fish. Bluefish is a popular target, especially during the Bluefish Blitz – you can land Gator Bluefish right from the jetties. This is the ideal way to get a taste of the area’s action – but the catch can’t compare to something hauled over the side of a boat. As the Bluefish action slows down Striped Bass picks up – the perfect opportunity to upgrade from pier fishing to fighting a Cow from the deck! Other species you can also target in the bay are Spotted Seatrout, Flounder, Black Seabass, and Tautog – though not all are there year-round.

Nearshore Fishing

Step (or well, swim) outside of the Inlet and you’ll be faced with a whole new world of fishing. Nearshore fishing outside of the Indian River Inlet is mostly centered around Tautog and Black Seabass. There are numerous artificial reefs and wrecks dotting the underwater landscape of the Inlet and they’re good places to hit these species. King and Spanish Mackerel move closer to the shore in late spring. Spot and Croaker offer anglers a mixup from the usual action during fall. Sharks, on the other hand, provide you with a constant challenge, be it just off the coast or several miles away. Hammerhead, Bull, Lemon, Nurse, Tiger, the list of Sharks goes on – there are more species you can target than you can shake a stick at! An experienced captain can help you make the right choice as you can keep only one Shark of any species per vessel.

Offshore Fishing

The blue waters off the coast of the Indian River Inlet start swarming with schools of predators and groups of enthusiastic anglers from May to the end of fall. You can start off the offshore season with Bluefish and Mako Shark action, they show up in pelagic waters at the end of spring. After you’ve warmed up, you can graduate to Tuna hook ups – the action stays interesting as you won’t use the same technique for Tuna throughout the summer. After you’ve found your fishing groove with Tuna you can hit the prestigious pelagic predators that are Marlin – they’ll give you a proper fight later in the summer.

Need to Know

Fishing the jetties is normally a low-preparation affair, you show up with some cash and rent out everything you need. One thing you should get are spiked shoes – landing a big fish might require some mild wet rock climbing, which is dangerous even when there aren’t any 6’ waves crashing on you. Luckily, most local shops carry spiked shoes.

Most beaches are protected from pollution by not having parking – unless you can get your hands on a special permit you’ll have to walk to your chosen beach if you’re a fan of surf fishing.


Indian River Inlet fishing charters offer a wide range of services to anglers, with an appropriately wide range of prices. Solo anglers looking to test the waters of the Inlet can go on a shared half day kayak trip inside the Indian River and Rehoboth Bays for around $200. If you’re not a fan of kayaking or want to take your family fishing inside the calm inshore waters, get ready to set aside $400-$900. Offshore trophy fishermen who want to land a Marlin or Tuna are looking at full day trip, going for about $1300 and above. You can rent rods from local tackle shops for a price of $10 per day plus a $50 deposit. However, charter captains will provide you with equipment and fish cleaning services free of charge. All prices are rough estimates and subject to change.

Getting There

The closest air connection is the Delaware Coastal Airport. It’s located about an hour away by car from the North Shore Marina, one of the major docks in the area. Millsboro is another major hotspot for charter captains to dock at and it’s located about 20 minutes by car from the airport.

Alternatively, Delaware Route 1 runs along the coastline and can get you right on top of the Inlet, whether you’re coming from the south or north. However you get there, once you’re in the Inlet all that’s left to do is get on the water!

Indian River Inlet Fishing Seasons

The mild weather of the Indian River Inlet means that the waters are fishable, despite the cold. Striped Bass is the main attraction in January.

Stripers make way for Perch near the end of the month. You can find Perch in backwaters of the Indian River and Rehoboth Bays. Anglers heading offshore can target Tautog, roughly 25 miles out.

Tautog start moving in closer to the shore, as do Mackerel and Seabass. Perch fishing remains good in the backwaters.

Seabass fishing picks up as the Tautog move into the Inlet itself. Striped Bass hit the deeper waters of the area. Bluefish show up close enough to the surf to be caught from the shore.

The Bluefish Blitz starts around this time of year as they make a run for the Inlet. Spotted Seatrout, Flounder, and Striped Bass fishing all improves. Mako Sharks start getting closer near the end of the month.

Inlet action revolves around Tautog and Seabass. The first Tuna start showing up near the middle of June while Kingfish and Croakers move much closer to the shore.

Tuna fishing is in full swing in July. Marlin can be reliably targeted near the end of the month. Striped Bass, Flounder, and Bluefish can all be hooked up in the bay waters.

Offshore fishing gets a new target as Wahoo start showing up. Black and Red Drum appear in the inlet and Mackerel can be reliably caught from the sandbars facing the Atlantic Ocean.

If you’re looking for a Doormat Flounder, this is the month to fish in! Striped Bass and Spotted Seatrout action is good in the Inlet. Longfin Tuna can be targeted offshore.

Spotted Seatrout, Croaker, and Flounder are retreating into nearshore waters, but you can still land them by fishing the bottom. If the weather remains fair, you can still go after Tuna in October.

As the weather cools down most fishing tends to happen around the shore. Striped Bass fishing from the surf is viable this month.

Anglers who can stand the cold winds are rewarded with big Bluefish and Cow Striped Bass in the Inlet.

Indian River Inlet Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Indian River Inlet

"Its a wow!"

John O. fished with Fishing & Crabbing – Sassy Girl on September 30, 2018

Bring a big cooler to take the fish back home.

"Full day with Capt.Goerge"

Jeff B. fished with Fishing & Crabbing – Sassy Girl on August 24, 2018

Don't be afraid to ask to many questions and the Captain will point you in the write direction.

Top Targeted Species in Indian River Inlet


Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Marlin (Blue)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Top Indian River Inlet Destinations