Sussex County, Delaware, August 12, 2008
It was going to be a really nice weekend for fishing so since Jin was in Rehoboth Beach with his family for a few days, we met Saturday morning to target bluefish and croakers at Indian River Inlet.

Named by Saltwater Sportsman magazine as one of the five most treacherous inlets on the Atlantic coast, I was both surprised and shocked by the circus going on in front of me after we geared up at the parking lot and walked down to the jetty near the highway bridge that spans the inlet. The outgoing tide was funneling through the narrow mouth of the inlet, creating massive rip currents and churning water. In this mix there were all types of watercraft drift fishing with the current around and under the bridge as other boats exiting the nearby marina blew past them at full speed as they made their way into Delaware Bay. Add small jet skis speeding in and out of the inlet to ride the swells created by passing boats or the tide--it was quite a sight.

The rock jetties were lined with anglers throwing heavy lead. Most told me that they were targeting flounder but a couple of them were chucking bucktails for bluefish or the occasional striper. Jin and I made our way out to the middle of the outer jetty and began fishing.

The rip current was amazing. It was like fishing a strong river. God help you if you fell in. I began with a lightly weighted size 4 silverside (baitfish) fly and short fluorocarbon leader. However after a few casts I could see it wasn't getting down to the bottom fast enough so I switched to a size 2 fly with heavy dumbbell eyes. That got it down quick. Maybe a little too quick because in two casts I landed two mussels. They had clamped down over the bend of the hook as it passed by. Jin was throwing a fast sink line and was using deceiver patterns but was having just as much luck as I was.
After about an hour of this (and I noticed the other anglers weren't catching anything either) we decided to fish the north side of the beach.

There weren't many people around so we hiked along the sand for awhile then fished back towards the inlet. The water was beautiful and the waves small. But we got not even a nibble. So after spending about an hour and a half casting the surf, we walked back to the inlet and decided to fish near the Coast Guard station near the marina.
We set up on the breakwater and noticed there were a lot of boats drift fishing this area. A good sign. We began casting and Jin caught a couple of small grouper-like fish that were taking his black baitfish pattern. I caught seaweed and another mussel.

We headed back to the outer jetty and I finally caught something other than a mussel. It was one of those small grouper-looking fish--maybe 4-inches long. But he did put up a decent fight.

Jin had family things to attend to so after lunch at Dogfish Head I dropped him and a load of beach toys in Rehoboth and headed back to try fishing at some of the beach fishing areas we passed on the way to Indian River Inlet. However I should have known that because of the beautiful weather, this plan would not work.

I tried Savage Ditch Road and Conquest Road fishing areas but both were packed with people. So I went back to fish at Indian River Inlet for the remainder of the afternoon. Even though I found parking, the place was packed with even more people that in the morning. The rail along the jetty was full of anglers throwing heavy bait rigs so I went back to fishing the jetty near the Coast Guard station and found it relatively empty. I moved around and tried several spots for a couple of hours but had no luck so I left around 7pm to head back to Virginia.

EQUIPMENT: We used 8 and 9-weight rods with sinking or slow-sink intermediate lines and fluorocarbon leaders. We threw the fly box at the fish and they seemed to like Jin's all black baitfish pattern the best. I caught mine on the size 2 silverside pattern stripped in slow.