Noxontown Lake is located in Middletown, Delaware, right next to St. Andrews Prep School, just minutes from the main road, Rt#1, on Noxontown Lake Road. It’s in New Castle County, Delaware, 40 minutes south of Wilmington.
rules and regulations
Noxontown Lake is a privately owned lake and is bordered on both sides by St. Andrews School. This is the location where “Dead Poets Society” was filmed with Robin Williams. They allow fishing here by the public, but they can revoke the permit or prohibit access at any time. They do not allow fishing before sunrise or after sunset. They have a gardener who opens and closes a gated and fenced area around the lake. They’ll come open it about 15 minutes before sunrise and lock it once it gets dark. If your vehicle is there after this time, you will spend the night there! They do have 10 HP restrictions on the motors, but that was to stop the army of bass boats that descended on the lake from various states in the late 1980s and early 1990s when word spread about the size of the fish in Noxontown . Now for the last few years they have been allowing people with fishing boats to come there but there is a NO WATCH policy. If you cause a stir or ruckus you can be banned again, so be respectful. The school has boats docked on their property lake for students to use, and there is an area that is restricted and marked with signs on the water. Races are also held there, and there are marked lanes with floats for this purpose, so be careful with your outboard when fishing or crossing these areas. They also prohibit alcoholic beverages, and most times during the spring and summer there is a state ranger on the ramp. He will check your license, coolers and boats. The ramp is good, but it does have a slight drop when you get a few meters in, so launch slowly. The parking lot itself holds 8-10 vehicles, but you can park on the side of the road and walk back. There are signs on the fences clearly stating all the rules.
Noxontown Lake is larger than most other Delaware lakes and ponds, and you should have a plan of action when you first arrive, as the time you can spend on the lake is limited. The massive decline of out-of-state anglers is over, but it’s still getting its fair share of pressure. Many days there will be 8-10 boats here. The area by the dam and the path to your right after you come off the ramp is not worth messing around with. Small bass and panfish are caught here, but there are better places. Noxontown is about 4 feet deep on average, but most of the shoreline up close is in 1-2 feet of water. The water is always tinged with mud, so your lure selections and colors should reflect that. There are just hundreds of trees, rocks, gravel, sand, and lying around, so you need to know where to spend most of your time. There are various types of vegetation, including many water lilies, that rise above the surface. The upper end is shallow and muddy, and is home to smaller bass than other sections of the lake.
The first place to start is the north shore, about 200 yards from the school. This area is best tried with spinnerbait and buzzbaits first for active fish, but it is definitely a jig or tube area. Build up all of this coverage, (and there will be plenty), with a 3/8 oz. Black/blue jig with Zoom or Uncle Josh trailer. Work each member on the laydowns and move to the bases, before moving on to the next. Trees reach out into the water from the shore in many areas, so you need to practice jumping and throwing, as well as flipping, if you want to work this lake properly. Move these lures to the next cove on your right, then head up the lake about 200 meters and start again. All of these areas are home to large bass in the 4-8 pound category, and could be found anywhere along this coast. Bass over 9 pounds has been caught in the past in Noxontown, which is why it came under so much pressure. Very large bass still reside here, but numbers have dwindled over the years. In 1999, I caught and released a 10.1-pound largemouth from Noxontown, which was just ounces shy of the state record. The main forage is panfish, white perch and tarpon, but there are also a good number of Golden Shiner. This lake also produced the state record White Crappie, over 4 1/2 pounds, which can be seen at the Tackle Box store, on the main road just south of the 13th and 40th divide, by Dairy Queen. They have a variety of lures and baits, and can also provide current information about the lake.
The next area to work on is the south shore next to the cabins and the adjacent cove. Large bass spawn in this area, and also feed on baitfish and frogs in the coves here, especially early in the morning and near dusk. Many 4+ pound bass were caught here with 3/8 ounce buzzbaits worked in the brush and pads, and with 4 and 5″ Senkos and Tube baits in black and blue. The area by the launch ramp until the first cove you should work hard with these same lures, and then go back and work the same area, a little further offshore, with a Rat-L-Trap in Chrome/Blue, and Crawfish patterns, and a Spinnerbait in shad or Bluegill colors, rolled slowly down the drop.Areas by the floating docks in the mid-lake are also a good choice for small straight-tailed worms equipped with a 1/8-ounce bullet sinker , or a Senko, weightless.Work them slowly around the floating docks and in the coves here.The Tournament Frog has also taken some big bass off the pads, and shouldn’t be overlooked later in the year.
Must have 6 and 6 1/2 foot long spinning rod, for Senko and small worms, worms, etc. It should be a good quality high modulus graphite such as G.Loomis and have a quality spinning spool with a 5:1:1 or 5:3:1 gear. You’ll also need a 6-6 1/2 foot baitcaster, with which you can get close under overhanging branches, and a good 7 foot long Crankin rod with a medium and medium/high action. Good quality 5:3:1 oriented reels and higher speed for buzzbaits like a 6:1:1 or 6:3:1. I use Stren line on the 8-10lb test on spinning reels and the 17-20lb test on baitcasters. Remember, get out on the water early, as soon as it reaches 48-50 degrees. I have caught large bass here at the beginning and end of the year. Sometimes with air temperatures in the low 30’s. Your chance to catch the fish of your life is possible if you follow these simple rules.
The state record for largemouth bass is 10.6 pounds. This nearly broke in 1999 with a 10.16 pound lunker.