The Beacon Inn

Posted on 04-24-2023

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Your Guide To Fishing In Delaware

Fishing is a popular sport and pastime for millions of Americans and Delaware is a fantastic place for angling. Whether it’s recreational, relaxing, or competitive, we find many people visiting our town of Lewes and the nearby areas for some great fishing spots.

But if you’ve never visited the region before, you might be unsure of what to expect and where the best spots are. That’s why this month we’ve created a guide to fishing in Delaware, to give you some helpful advice and info that will hopefully make your experience more enjoyable and hassle-free.

Don’t forget to reserve your room right here at The Beacon Inn for your next fishing trip. We’re always happy to welcome avid anglers to the area and can offer more information and advice when you arrive.

Fishing guide in Delaware

Do you need a license to fish in Delaware?

Yes. All recreational fishermens need a license for fishing in Delaware. You can obtain a fishing license online before your trip or you can get one in most bait and tackle shops.

Daily and annual passes are available, though you won’t need a license if you fish on a chartered boat, as the captain and the boat will usually be licensed for the entire crew. Be sure to check this before you set out to ensure you adhere to state guidelines.

In celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week, anyone can fish for free in Delaware without a license from June 3rd to the 11th, 2023. However, anyone 16 and under will still need to get their free FIN number.

What fish can you catch in Delaware?

What fish can you catch in Delaware?

From fresh and brackish waters, along with ponds, streams, and lakes, to the bay and ocean waters that offer endless opportunity, you can find a wide variety of fish species here in Delaware, including:

  • Striped bass
  • Black sea bass
  • Flounder
  • Tautog
  • Bluefish
  • Tuna
  • Wahoo
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Marlin
  • White perch
  • Rainbow trout
  • Hickory shad
  • Black drum
  • Large & small mouth bass
  • Smooth & Spiny dogfish
  • Stingrays
  • Toadfish/Oyster Crackers
  • American eels
  • Sheepshead

The region is popular thanks to this range, but it’s important to note that certain species are seasonal so if you’re after a specific catch, it’s best to do a little more research to plan your visit around the right season.

You should also take note of the creel limits for Delaware when fishing recreationally. You can find these online or in pamphlets at any good bait and tackle shop.

Where to fish in Delaware

Where to fish in Delaware

The best places to fish in Delaware include a number of different water body types, but it should be noted that State Parks might charge fees and you may find metered or permit parking for some beaches. 

Check out our list of where to fish in Delaware:

  • Cape Henlopen State Park – Try your hand at fishing right here in Lewes, either on the pier or along the beaches of The Delaware Bay and Atlantic.
  • Lewes and Rehoboth Canal – There are plenty of spots along this canal between the two areas and it is accessible by foot and boat.
  • Brandywine Creek – There are plenty of ways to fish in this Wilmington spot, including fly fishing.
  • Indian River Inlet – Part of the Delaware Seashore State Park and known for saltwater fishing, where you can choose to fish from the beach, via boat, or along the banks and ramps to make your catch.
  • Becks Pond – A particular favorite for pond fishing, this New Castle County spot is actually a small area just outside of Bear.
  • Woodland Beach – Stop off in Smyrna and make the most of this fishing location that winds out into Delaware Bay.

Rehoboth Beach – Thanks to its stretches of beach along the Atlantic Ocean, you can’t go wrong with a little ocean and surf fishing in Rehoboth.

Do you need to hire a boat to fish in Delaware?

While you can charter a boat for fishing, it’s not necessary when you visit Sussex County as we have plenty of great spots that you can either drive to or reach on foot. The only thing you need to do is make sure you know which area you’re in and that you’re not trespassing onto private property before setting up to fish.


When is the best time to fish in Delaware?

Thanks to the various fishing habitats, the chances of landing a catch in Delaware are good almost all year round. However, we recommend the beginning of spring in March through to December or January as the best window, with summer bringing a great variety of species to catch compared with other times in the year.


Whatever time of year you want to visit Delaware and fish, don’t forget to reserve your room with us at The Beacon Inn. Providing fresh and comfortable rooms as well as a swimming pool and sun deck to enjoy, we’re within easy reach of some of the best fishing spots. 

We look forward to welcoming you as you explore this beautiful and historic area of Delaware — reserve online today and avoid disappointment or call our helpful team if you have any questions.

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