Fishing the Pier at Cape Henlopen State Park
We took the kids fishing for the first time in a community pond in Maryland a few years back. Kid No.3 lost interest fairly quickly, and Kid No. 2 abandoned her pole after reeling in a small sunfish, so only Kid No.1 remained. After sitting with him for a while and not getting a nibble he turned to me and said, “Fishing takes a lot of patience.”
He was only six at the time, but apparently, he learned quickly that primary lesson of fishing.
This spring we went out to a community fishing spot on the Broadkill River in Milton. Kid No. 3 caught three small panfish, which we returned to the water. Kid No. 2 and Kid No. 3 were visibly agitated that their little brother was pulling in fish every couple minutes and they didn’t.
Whether fresh- or saltwater, commissioning a charter or casting from a pier or beach, Delaware offers a ton of options for anglers regardless of experience level.
For freshwater fishing, the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife manages some community ponds throughout the state.
Milton has three public fishing areas in town, and two of them have boat launch ramps. They provide access to both Wagamon’s Pond and the Broadkill River.
Other pond fishing can be found at Killens Pond State Park, Lums Pond State Park, and Trap Pond State Park. Freshwater fishing can be found at Brandywine Creek State Park and White Clay Creek State Park.
DNREC publishes a booklet on pond fishing. Check it out here.
You can also visit the Delaware State Park website for more information on these and other fishing locations.
Anyone 16 years or older does need to get a license to fish. Delaware also has what is called a Fisherman Information Network, or FIN Number. You get a Fin number when you buy a license, but if you are exempt from having to get a fishing license, you still need to get the FIN Number.
Find out more about licensing requirements here.
If you are planning on surf fishing, there are plenty of access points where you can get to the beach and set up to fish. Or, you can get drive onto the beach if you have a surf-fishing permit. Information about that permit is also on the licensing requirement webpage here.
For a complete fishing regulation guide, go here.
And for information about size and limits, go here.
Cape Henlopen State Park offers a nice pier where the fishing is usually good. The convenience store at the end of the pier sells all your basic supplies, including crab cages if you are interested in trying to catch some crabs. Make sure you brush up on the regulations for crabs.
Charter services are also available. Lewes and Indian River have many charter services to choose from. A web search will get you to most of them, along with reviews. The Indian River Marina charter services is a good starting spot in researching charters.
Most don’t include the cost on their websites, but most of them offer half day or all day, and some variations of day into night or other specialties. More than a few also offer dolphin watching or other leisure-type cruises if you want to get out on the water but aren’t interested in dipping a line.
Fishing does, after all, take patience. Even a 6-year-old knows that.