Norfolk spot, sea bass, blues abundant

August 25, 1991|By Sue Hayes

This is the time to take a kid fishing since it's almost impossible not to catch a fish from one of Ocean City's piers or the U.S. 50 bridge.

Though the much sought-after flounder are becoming harder to find in the bay, Norfolk spot, small sea bass and tiny snapper blues are abundant. The spot, which are averaging 7 to 9 inches in length, are getting the interest of locals and visitors alike. The spot, one of which we heard tipped the scales at 1 pound, 2 ounces, are definitely large enough to eat.

The Norfolk spot take bloodworms or night crawlers for bait. The little sea bass, which will put a smile on any child's face, will take shiners, squid or worms for bait. The hungry snapper blues will also take almost anything for bait.

For children, use a rod with a top and bottom rig with size No. 6 hooks. Let them drop it to the bottom from any one of Ocean City's piers or docks on the incoming to high tide, and something should shake the rod.

Many boat anglers are fishing for flounder and catching a few good-sized ones. The flounder have been averaging 16 to 16 1/2 inches with a few larger ones mixed in. Most boaters are averaging two keepers per trip.

Some boaters, tired of the long wait between flounder bites, are switching to the quick-paced spot fishing. Locals drifting in front of Hooper's Restaurant on the west side of the bay are coming up with coolers of spot. Anglers drifting near Harbor Island are bragging of catches of spot and numerous blowfish, another fine eating fish.

The big news in the bay has been the U.S. 50 bridge. Anglers fishing with a bit of worm, trailed with a small strip of squid, are catching all kinds of fish -- some of the largest Norfolk croakers (10 inches), porgies, small sea trout and even a few stray flounder. For best results, anglers should fish near the bridge in about 8 feet of water, anchor near the channel, and then cast and slowly retrieve their lines.

The Ocean Pier, which runs parallel to the Ocean City inlet, saw some fantastic fishing last week. According to pier manager David Townsend, one group caught 23 legal-sized flounder, all more than 15 inches, in a four-hour span on the pier. Anglers were using a squid and shiner sandwich on a long leadered single rig.

The flounder have been hitting the pier strictly during the daylight hours along with good-sized Norfolk spot. At night, the whiting move in, along with some keeper-size croaker.

Surf fishing from Cape Henlopen to Assateague Island has remained fairly constant. Norfolk spot and some whiting can always be caught on bloodworms.

Blues seem to hit on the dead low tide on mullet, but these fish haven't been consistent enough for anyone to get excited about. Large sharks, though, are still exciting news on the beach with duskies and sand sharks being reeled in.

Indian River Inlet had a nice surprise last weekend when Charlene Wright of Antesfort, Pa., caught a 7 1/2 -pound flounder from the campground sea wall. Her companion, though, ended up with bloody knees after he had to climb down on the rocks to retrieve the catch, which took a live minnow and was weighed in at the Old Inlet Bait and Tackle.

Party boat fishing, which had slowed up recently, has picked up considerably. The boats have reported catching a variety of fish. The Judith M, running out of Bahia Marina at 22nd Street, bragged of catching hound fish, trigger fish, porgies and sea bass up to 3 1/2 pounds.

J. R. DeWees of Lanham landed a 10-pound king mackerel while fishing aboard the Taurus party boat on Dorchester Street. This is an unusual catch for a party boat, but not as unusual as Gary Bloomsfield's catch. The Frederick man was fishing aboard the Judy V out of Shantytown when he hooked a 25-pound cobia. The boat was fishing the first lump of the bass grounds with squid strips.

Small boats fishing inshore had a good week. Spanish mackerel were breaking all over the ocean. The first and second lumps of the bass grounds and the Fenwick shoal have been the hottest spot for the Spanish mackerel. Most boats fishing for them are getting the federal limit of 10 fish per angler. (Minimum size limit is 12 inches.) These fish, not to be confused with the oilier Boston mackerel, are very good to eat, and are mostly caught on small spoons. The fish are easily spooked, and wire leaders and big snap swivels should be avoided.

White marlin fishing has turned on. These fish have been scattered from the Baltimore to the Washington canyons. One of the largest whites of the season -- 84 pounds -- was caught last week aboard the Island Girl out of the White Marlin Marina.

The yellowfin tuna fishing picked up in the Baltimore and Poor Man's canyon once again. They were hitting in the 60- to 100-fathom line.

Anglers are also picking up lots of false albacore in the area of the second to third lumps and also a king mackerel or two.

In tournament news, no blue marlin were caught in the annual blue marlin tournament. The winner was the boat True Grit, which released two white marlins in the shortest period of time.

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