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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
January 3, 1997     Cape Gazette
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January 3, 1997

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Delaware's distinctive stock of stripers doing well like all the rest in Mid-Atlantic For a few weeks before Christ- mas, Capt. Jerry Blakeslee's Griz- zly and Capt. Pete Floyd's Skip- jack were the last two charter boats running out of Lewes for striped bass. Now the number's down to one. J.B. Walsh pulled Skipjack from the Lewes-Rehoboth C anal recently and placed it among the other charter and private ,essels now lined up like an immobile Navy near Angler's Marina. Pete headed south to Florida for the winter. But just because the boats are out of the water doesn't mean the fish havestopped biting. Even over the telephone lines you can see the smile on Jerry Blakeslee's face. "I' m the last one in the water," said Blakeslee, who serves as president of the Delaware Charter Cap- rain's Associ- BLAKESLEE ation. "I went out last Friday [Dec. 27]. we were headed out the canal at 7:20 a.m. I checked my watch. And before 9 a.m. we had 14 stripers in the cooler. All keeper fish [28 inches or more]. The biggest was 16 pounds. We were catching fish on every drift and they were in water 40 to 60 feet deep. The tide broke and the fish- ing stopped. Then when it started running again, the fish started bit- ing again. The people fishing with us were"from Centreville, Maryland. They're used to catch- ing this many fish in the Chesa- peake but not this size offish. It's unheard of to be catching fish this late in the year but I'm going to keep fishing as long as fish are there and people want to go. It seems like we learn more about these stripers and how to catch them every time we go." The past year, 1996, proved the best for striped bass fishing that most people have ever seen in their lives. "We started catching stripers last April," said Blakeslee, "and we're still catch- BAREF00TIN' Dennis Forney ing them now. It's been great." The water temperature of the lower Delaware Bay and the near shore ocean waters right now is about 40 degrees. "The bigger fish are moving into the deeper water now," said Blakeslee. "When it's warmer you can catch them in water 10 feet deep. I sus- pect they're here for the" winter. We were catching them last year in snow storms so I don't see why this year will be different." Chuck Epifanio, a professor at University of Delaware's College of Marine Studies in Lewes, takes his striper fishing seriously and has made learning about them a hobby of his. In the past several months, be- tween trips in his Parker to the Shears or 8A or 8B buoys in the mouth of Delaware Bay, Chuck compiled information about stripers and stapled it together in a package he's titled: "How Old Is That Fish7 A Striped Bass Ex- pert's Kit." In the kit Chuck has included a series of charts he created from in- formation gleaned from a number of scientific sources. The charts show the age of striped bass ac- cording to their length; the weight of the fish according to their length; the percentage of striped bass that die after they've been hooked and released and some other facts. For example, Epifanio's excur- sions on the Internet have provid- ed the following: The oldest confirmed striped bass from the natural environment Continued on page 8 Striped Bass Total Length vs. Age ' I 1 I ,,- i i I ar 41r " ii ir I ,: .... i 1 I li ! 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18- 20 Age (Years) Chuck Epifanio chart This chart demonrates the age of striped bass according to their length. CAPE ZETrE, Friday, January 3 - January 9, 1997. 7 Just Reduced to $229,000 | 166 Henlopen Avenue Rehoboth Beach Brand new Charming Key West style cottage built for Summer or year round living. 3BR/2BA. First Floor bedroom & bath. Well insulated, gas heat, central air, oak floors, nice details, maintenance free exterior and nicely landscaped. I I New Listing Boyside Court Townhomes - Unit 13 - Well maintained bayview unit between McKinley & Dagsworthy Sts, in Dewey Beach. Seasonal rental rate $13,000. Weekend private security service. Fully furnished for $153,000. Call me. New Listing i st24 hS w It Golf Y O n Clubhouse Drive. Turn right. Wooded Lot in Old Landing Woods - Privacy, year round neighbors, easy access to Super Fresh, close to the beach the bay and a golf course across the street. This is a very nice subdivision. All for only $38,500. Check it New Listing Reholx Avemm I im c s a K . I! b ,, .I g ! : ,.... : Building Lot on Hickman St. - in Country Club Estates. Great location with a southern exposure for all day sun near the comer of Stockley. Four to five blocks to the beach. Good spot for a spec house. $95,000. Call me. Price Reduced Fantastic Buy - 4 Ocean Sands - Ocean block unit second from the street affording a real view of the ocean. This is an older 4 bedroom, 2 bath townhome that rents like hotcakes. You must take a look. Asking only $167,500. Please Call Doug Davis, Associate Broker O'Conor, Piper & Flynn, REALTORS - Rehoboth Beach 226-DOUG (Direct) - 1-888-226-DOUG (Toll Free) Fax 226-0970 -