The 6 Best Fish to Catch in Delaware This Summer

Written by Crystal
Published: August 29, 2022
© iStock.com/MarceloDufflocqw
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Paintings on cave walls prove fishing has been around for a long time. Even though the methods have changed, the basic nature stays the same. It’s all about understanding the environment and interacting with the natural world.

Fishing appeals to anyone looking for a challenge and the opportunity to connect with something bigger than themselves. The best part is that you don’t have to be a professional to succeed. You just need to know what fish to target, and this article will help you make a catch-worthy list.

Keep reading to learn about the 6 best fish to catch in Delaware this summer.

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1. Striped Bass

Striped Bass
Striped bass are stubborn game fish.

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Get ready to catch one of the most stubborn gamefish, the striped bass. Striped bass are famous for being strong, smart, and relentless. They can reach 50 lb or more, but it’s more common to catch ones weighing between 5 and 20 lb. They have a heavy body with a long head and an underslung jaw. The name comes from the 7 to 8 long stripes along the side of their body. Other names for striped bass include striper, linesider, squid hound, and greenhead.

The best places to fish for striped bass include reservoirs with deep, cool waters. They’re the perfect challenge for an angler willing to put up with strong currents. Productive flies include streamers, large poppers, and anything resembling shad.

2. Flounder

Flounder - Isolated on white
Flounders usually weigh between 2-4 pounds.

©IrinaK/Shutterstock.com

Make a fun catch that tastes great, too—flounder! Southern flounders have a brown color with hues of tan and white. They also have dark blotches on their dorsal fin. They typically weigh 2-4 pounds. However, it is possible to catch one that exceeds 20 lb! These fish are popular for having excellent food quality.

Flounder is a popular gamefish because they’re strong fighters and hard strikers. When you’re looking for these fish, target shallow riverine shorelines. Groups of flounders typically reside right by the soft bottom, close to rocks and bridge pilings.

The best tackle for flounders includes light spinning and bait casting. The best lures and baits include live shrimp and live minnows. However, the flounder will take dead baits as long as you’re willing to be patient. Some of the most effective lures right now include jigs.

3. Brown Trout

Brown Trout
The brown trout is one of the toughest trout to catch.

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Get ready for a fish that knows how to uncork wild jumps, the brown trout. Brown trout are one of the toughest trout to catch, which is why they’re on our list of the best fish to catch in Delaware this summer. Brown trout are strong, determined, and smart. A lot of fly rodders consider the brown trout to be the number one challenge out there.

If you’re fishing a small stream, stick to lightweight rods, just like with salmon. Heavier tackle and spinning rods work well on big rivers or if you’re deep-trolling lakes. The average size of brown trout in most streams is 1-2 lb. However, you could get lucky and catch a lunker that exceeds 20 lb!

As far as food value goes, the small brown trout taste just as great as the big ones. To make regular catches, look for quiet pools with smooth runs. These are the type of areas that brown trout like to feed. They enjoy areas where there are plenty of covers or undercut banks. While you’re in Delaware, try deep trolling too. You’ll be able to catch a lot of good size brown trout.

4. Muskellunge

Musky or Muskellunge
Muskellunge is a deepwater fish.

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Get ready to target the largest pikes, muskellunge, or muskie. It’s hands down one of the best fish to catch in Delaware this summer. The muskie usually weighs between 15-30 lbs. However, muskies can exceed 60 lb in the right conditions.

Muskies are tough freshwater fish. They fight viciously, they’re showy, and they have a lot of stamina. It’s common to see a muskie on the line, spectacularly leaping through the air, or doing a tail walk on the water.

Some top natural baits to use include live suckers or other fish. Try using large and noisy topwater plugs and hefty jerk baits too. Large diving plugs, live baits, and heavy spoons will all help you troll for these deepwater fish.

Since muskies are solitary fish, you’ll find them lurking alone on the edge of weed beds. During the hot summer months, they like to hang out in the deep waters by submerged structures. They’re most commonly found in rivers, right by the slow bend.

To make regular catches, use stout baitcasting gear. You can also use stout fly rods, but get ready to wait. Fly casting is going to take a while. Muskies aren’t aggressive biters. You might have to catch them numerous times before they decide to strike. Be patient, and success will be yours!

5. Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch
Yellow perch usually don’t weigh over 2 pounds.

©RLS Photo/Shutterstock.com

One of the best fish to catch in Delaware this summer are yellow perch. They have yellow sides, a dark olive back, and dark bars along the sides of their body. Most yellow perch weigh less than a pound. However, you might get lucky and catch a 2-pounder. There’s even the potential to catch a 4 lb perch!

Perch have a wonderful food value, and they’re spirited on light tackle. Try using light and ultralight spinning tackle along with a fly rod.

Similar to sunfish and other panfish, yellow perch respond to a variety of baits. Some of their favorite foods or baits include small minnows and earthworms. They also respond well to tiny jigs, sunken flies, and spinners.

To make regular catches, focus on clear ponds and lakes. Yellow perch tend to stay close to the shore. They’re the perfect fish to target for anyone who can reach the water.

6. Channel Catfish

Channel catfish
Channel catfish weigh around 4 pounds on average.

©Aleron Val/Shutterstock.com

Last on our list of the best fish to catch in Delaware this summer is the channel catfish. Channel catfish are usually light blue or gray on top, with a silvery bottom. They have black spots sprinkled across their body, and the larger ones tend to have more black colors. Channel catfish are the only spotted catfish in all of North America.

On average, channel catfish weigh around 4 lb. However, the potential of catching a giant catfish is possible! You could wind up reeling in a catfish that’s well over 50 lbs.

Channel catfish have excellent food quality, and there are a ton of great recipes for cooking them. For the best results, use a variety of baits. They love all sorts of smells and tastes. Anything from crawfish to cut bait will work well. They also respond to liver baits and homemade concoctions.

Finally, try targeting flowing streams and deep lakes. During the daylight hours, deep fish holes.


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Fishing - Holding a Brown Trout
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About the Author

Crystal is a curious writer who's always looking to learn more. When she's not out in nature, she's writing about it. Animals, plants, survival tips, and more. It'll be exciting to watch this author grow and learn with her along the way.

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