It must have been almost a year ago now, that I was in a bar in Dewey Beach, and somehow got on the subject of fishing with a stranger who was sitting nearby. His name was Rich, and as we talked, he casually mentioned that he had started a website focused entirely on saltwater fishing in the local area. My initial reaction to this was to think “Damn. Someone already did it”.
My beaches and back bays simply don’t see enough recognition on the web, and at the time there was no “home” on the internet for local fisherman to exchange ideas, reports, or simply see what’s going on out there in the local waters . Because there was such a void, I had been considering filling it, but with hindsight finely tuned, I’m damn happy I didn’t. There is no way I would have put the energy, effort and constant nurturing required to create such an entity as Delaware-Surf-Fishing.com, as Rich ended up doing.
Since meeting in that bar, Rich managed to turn his small website into a local entity. Rarely do I leave the house without seeing the DSF logo on the back of a truck window, on a t-shirt, or on a sign in the restaurants, bait shops and local businesses that are one of Rich’s many sponsors.
While the website is where one can catch up on the fishing reports and local action, the Facebook page is where DSF’s value is truly expressed, and in no greater way was this demonstrated than during the recent hurricane.
Rich and his fellow administrators update the Facebook page at a blistering pace, day in and day out, as they travel all over the local area finding out who’s catching what, where and how. They utilize their substantial readership to do the same, and the result is a real-time portal into local fishing conditions that is simply unrivaled by your standard one a week fishing report. If striped bass are making an appearance in the inlet, blues are blitzing off Rehoboth Beach, or the back bays are coughing up croaker, Rich and Co. will let me know, as reports come flooding in from readers and contributors all along the coast.
That same model was utilized with much greater urgency and value as Sandy blew across the state last week. DSF maintained an incredible amount of reports from around the area before and after landfall, that gave much insight into just what the hell was going on out there. When my concern was the flooding of the creek I live on, I was able to find reports from further north – area’s that would be effected before mine – and determine what, if any, danger was approaching. It was DSF that reported road closures, flood conditions, downed tree reports, power outages and flooding, all in real time, relying on information and images pouring onto their Facebook page and website from dedicated readers and
fisherman all over the state who had put down their rods to keep a close eye on the weather. The resulting information didn’t just rival the value and breadth of the reports and updates from local news sources, it obliterated it. Long before the storm had made landfall, DSF had turned the corner – from valuable fishing website, to valued local entity – and while I hope Rich and the boys and girls at DSF never have to keep me abreast of flood conditions again, I know where I’ll look if the need, and waters, arise.