Kingfish, or whiting, is the big news in the surf this week in
Ocean City and Delaware. Jay Ream of Ocean City caught more than a dozen in the surf in front of 120th Street on squid. Kingfish, which do not get much more than a pound, usually take bloodworms on a small No. 6 or No. 8 hook, but the fish in Ocean City last week wanted squid.
David Townsend, manager of the Ocean Pier, said that anglers were catching large-sized kingfish along with several bluefish on the pier using squid for bait.
Flounder fishing in Ocean City picked up considerably last week. Anglers are still catching many throw-back flounder, fish under the legal size limit of 13 inches, but the big fish are there, too.
The best areas in the Ocean City bay are the Thorofare, the
"flats" just west of the Thorofare, and the channel in front of Hooper's Restaurant (also called Horn Island).
The choice bait still seems to be the live minnow with a thin strip of squid dangling beside it. The best tide is two hours before high tide and two hours after high tide.
Local anglers commented on how clear the bay's waters were. At times, you could see the bottom in 7 feet of water. Light southeast breezes usually bring this kind of water. And, the best part, fish always bite well in clear conditions.
One of the largest flounder caught last week was weighed in at 6 1/4 pounds at Rainy Day Canoe by Hans Ringler of Red Lion, Pa. He was drifting near Drum Point with a live minnow.
John Bowen of Frankford, Del., landed a 5 1/2 -pound doormat while casting a white grub lure from the shore of "Stinky Beach" in West Ocean City. Chuck Yealdhall of West Ocean City also landed a 5 1/2 -pound flounder while drifting in the Thorofare with a live minnow and squid combination.
Bill and B. J. Boyle had a 2 1/2 -pound flounder from the area of Buoy 11 with a minnow and squid combination. Paul Cascio weighed in a 2 1/2 pounder from the Thorofare on a minnow.
Area anglers are seeing more and more sea trout. Large ones, up to 10 pounds, have been reported from the U.S. 50 bridge at night.
Surf fishing from Assateague to Cape Henlopen has improved. Light easterly breezes brought some much needed action to the surf. Anglers commented that they could see blues breaking just beyond the shore break. Though few anglers were in town, the ones that were there caught fish. Bill Shockley from Shockley's Market on Route 611 reported that anglers caught blues and kingfish on Assateague.
The oceanic pier, at the southern end of Ocean City, saw an unusual catch last week -- a 2 1/2 -pound trigger fish. Trigger fish, traditionally a Southern fish, have been showing up in our area more and more. They usually take sand fleas at the inlets, or squid offshore, and despite their tough hide, are very good to eat.
Another unusual catch was reported aboard the party boat Miss Ocean City. It got into a school of spade fish. These fish look like trigger fish and are also good to eat. Besides this catch, the party boats did well with large sea bass.
Small private boats drifting over the bass grounds are getting excellent catches of sea bass up to 4 pounds. It seems the bass are on the move this time of year.
Scott Baltz of Old Inlet Bait and Tackle reports that Indian River Inlet has turned on with bluefish on the incoming evening tide. Anglers are using bucktails for these fish. Besides the blues, anglers are also catching large stripers at night with bucktails or live eels. Sea trout in the 2- to 5-pound range are hitting mostly at night with black mirrolures and bucktails.
Reporting on offshore fishing, Bruce McGuigan of Captain Mac's Bait and Tackle on Route 54 said, "Big blues are at the Jackspot and the Delaware Lightship. Shark fishing has really turned on. Numbers of mako sharks were weighed in over the weekend. The best areas were the Fingers and the Poor Man's Canyon (where they also spotted some yellowfin tuna). Most of the boats were chumming and using mackerel, bonita or bluefish for bait. Many of the sharks went between 200 and 300 pounds."
John King of Fenwick Island landed a 300-pound mako shark, one of Ocean City's largest, aboard the Mo Jo out of the O.C. Fishing Center. It was caught at the Hot Dog on a bluefish.
Jack Redinger of Sea Hawk Sporting Center in Pocomoke said that flounder fishing has improved in Virginia. After 1 1/2 hours, he came back with 17 keeper flounder.
Gene Racz, owner of R and R Fishing Center in Rehoboth, said that trout fishing has really turned on in the Delaware Bay. Mr. Racz said fishing is best around the structures with light bucktails, no more than 3/4 of an ounce. Anglers dress the bucktail with a plastic worm and a small piece of peeler. The fish are running 3 to 6 pounds, and though they are biting during the day, they are biting even better at night.
Mr. Racz also said that a boat fishing around the Horseshoe caught nine black drum in the 40- to 70-pound range.