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I’d be surprised if the “60” in the 60-foot slough isn’t named that way for the amount of 60-pound plus bass that have come out of it over the years. Capt. Don Stein of Fortescue State Marina has fished the Delaware Bayshore waters for decades and notes the 60-Foot Slough as one of the top striper spots in the Delaware Bay.
By Nick Honachefsky

“It’s the deepest cut on the eastern side of the bay, where the Punk Grounds and Tussy’s Slough empty into it,” Stein said. “Usually you’ll see bass moving from the C&B, then the 20-Foot Slough and into the 60-Foot Slough by November and early December.”

In years past, some of the largest striped bass of the season have been taken in the 60-Foot Slough in the fall as 30- to 50-pounders have been weighed in at tackle shops through November, with a few 60-pound plus fish thrown in for good measure, mainly on fresh bunker baits.

“Everybody basically chunks the 60 Slough,” said Stein. “I like to anchor up on the northwest bank on a ledge where it drops from about 30 to 50 feet, and the best bite always seems to be when the tide is running hard and ripping out.”

Stein isn’t shy about using big baits as he will use a whole fresh bunker or cut the tail off of one and use a 3/4-bait. Large 10/0 circle hooks or greater can be used, hooking the bunker in the fatty portion just behind the gills and in front of the dorsal fin. “The key to get the fish biting is to chum heavily and hard,” adds Stein. “Get the slick going and you can have four chunk rods out with the clickers on, and be sure to use enough weight on the slide rigs to hold bottom, usually 6 to 10 ounces can hold well, but you may need to bump up to 12 or 16 ounces when the tide is really ripping.”

When chunking, you will no doubt have to fight off a lot of spiny dogfish that have become prevalent in recent years, but Stein says there don’t seem to be as many spiny dogs in the 60-Foot Slough as there are in the surrounding spots.

Striped bass will stay into the later weeks of December so long as the water temps don’t plummet down under 50 degrees or so, but in years past the week of Veteran’s Day has typically been the time when the ‘60 Slough’ has really shined.

The 60-Foot Slough is approximately a 17-mile ride bearing 160 to 165 degrees from Fortescue.

60 Foot Slough N39 01.119 W75 02.418
Punk Grounds N39 04.815 W75 04.733
(GPS numbers care of Capt. Pete Barrett’s Saltwater)

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