Deep Sea Fishing in Delaware
Fishing in Delaware is a tale of two halves. You’re either going to spend your day in a few inches of water, or head out a hundred miles in search of the biggest fish on the planet. Delaware deep sea fishing is often overlooked by East Coast anglers searching for big game hookups. Their loss can be your gain, though, with Blue and White Marlin, Bigeye, Yellowfin, and Bluefin Tuna, and some of the meanest Sharks you’re ever likely to see. All this, and none of the fishing pressure you’d expect for such awesome angling!
What to Expect from a Deep Sea Fishing Charter
Whether you’re leaving from Rehoboth Beach in the North or Fenwick Island in the South, you’re looking at at least a 10-hour trip to get to the big game grounds. The action starts at spots like the Hambone and the Elephant Trunk, some 50 miles from shore. Here, you’ll find Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and lots of tasty Tuna. You can also encounter White Marlin here during the heat of summer. These spots can be hit and miss, though, and the risk of coming up short drives many seasoned anglers further out to sea.
For the very best big game action, you’ll need to go over 100 miles out to the edge of the continental shelf. Deep canyons scar the side of the shelf and make for possibly the best bluewater action on the entire Eastern Seaboard. Massive Mako and Hammerhead Sharks patrol Wilmington and Baltimore Canyons, joined in the summer by monster Bluefin Tuna and 600-pound-plus Blue Marlin. You’ll need an overnight charter to get here, but it’s well worth it when you do!
Delaware charter captains aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to billfishing. Trolling around the 20 fathom mark can win you double-digit catches even on a slow day during the August White Marlin rush. Blue Marlin don’t come as close to land, and the best way to target them is to zig zag over the canyons, trolling lures or chugger-headed baits to let you cover more ground at speed.
The most exciting way to target Tuna has to be chunking. This all-adrenaline fishing style is popular out at the canyons, and can be enjoyed both day and night for Bluefin, Yellowfin, and monster pelagic Sharks. During the night, you will often be chumming and chunking at the same time, staying put and creating a feeding frenzy all of your own. During the day, you’ll be following seabirds for run-and-gun chunking action, hitting the fish where they’re already feeding and throwing baits to make sure they stay put.
Need to Know
Fishing licenses are usually provided on Delaware deep sea fishing trips. Limits for Highly Migratory Species (like Tuna, Sharks, and Billfish) can change throughout the season. Your captain will be able to inform you of the current regulations ahead of your trip, so you know what to expect. Bluefin Tuna measuring over 73 inches stay with the boat by federal regulation, but your guide will usually give you a hefty discount or a share of the profits if this happens.