"Marlin in the baits," called Capt. Bob Gower on the Liquidator. I'mpretty quick, but all I could see was a white streak beneath the surface.
"Oh well," I thought. "This is his game, best if I stay out of the way."
The action took place in the Poorman's Canyon off Ocean City several years ago. We had a good day on yellow fin tuna; the white marlinbanged a couple baits, but didn't get hooked.
The picture came tomind Thursday evening when I heard that Capt. Bob had caught and released a white marlin between the Poorman's and Washington Canyon earlier that day.
Offshore, or blue-water, fishing has been excellent this week. Tuesday and Wednesday were outstanding tuna days and a fair number of dolphin (fish, not mammal) also are being caught.
Capt. Wally Williams, who runs out of Solomons, took a day off last Wednesday and went fishing out of Wachapreague. They had a nice catch of tuna and dolphin around the 100-fathom line. They also had a white marlin in the baits that didn't get hooked.
Offshore fishing is iffy due to weather and sea conditions, and offshore charters are terriblyexpensive, but when it all comes together few experiences are so thrilling. Just being there is exciting because you do not know what youmight see or hook next.
McClane's New Standard Fishing Encyclopedia defines "blue water" as a saltwater fishing term referring to the blue ocean water offshore.
This apparent color is because the clearer the water the greater the average depth from which dispersed light reaches the human eye.
As a result of extensive light filtering in deep water, the color
appears to be more saturated and darker. The adjacent inshore area, for example, might appear pale green due to the smaller depth of reflection and because dissolved and suspendedplant pigments lend a yellow hue to the coastal water. The blue color is particularly intense in tropical seas, where production of colored materials such as plankton suspension is low.
The term "blue water" implies to the angler the presence of large marine species such as the tuna, dolphin and blue marlin. The term "blue-water angling" is synonymous with big-game fishing.
The Ocean City Tuna Tournament, July 11-14 might be an ideal time to introduce yourself to blue-water fishing.
Call the Ocean City Fishing Center at (301) 289-8121 for more information.
One of the hot topics these days among charter captains is "catch and release," and the more I think about itthe stickier the situation appears.
The topic surfaced because a Solomons captain called to say that when a party caught its limit of 10 bluefish per person, it was time to quit and go in.
He didn't want his parties to get used to catch and release especially with the fall rockfish season coming into view. As you might have guessed, they have a lot of bluefish below the Solomons between the Hooper IslandLight and the HS buoy.
I initially disagreed with the captain. I ask my parties to figure out the number of bluefish they want betweenthem and after we catch that amount, we catch and release the bluefish until the time is up, unless we hurt one and then it would go intothe box.
If we have a standard October where the rockfish readilytake bucktails, we probably could catch and release after the party catches its quota. The water will be cold and salty enough so that hooking mortality would be negligible.
If, however, we are forced touse live eels everything changes. Releasing a rockfish that has taken an eel deep is chancy unless you cut the hook off, and then the odds aren't the best for the rockfish.
Bob Spore is a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain from Pasadena. His Outdoors column appearsevery Friday and Sunday in the Anne Arundel County Sun.