The first white marlin of the season has been caught. Brent Hofmann of Ocean City ventured out to the Washington Canyon with his father, Capt. Ron Hofmann. They trolled an eel for bait from their boat Searoamer, out of Harbor Island. This first white marlin, which was about two weeks late compared with last year, weighed 70 pounds.
Yellowfin tuna has showed up in numbers, proving that the water finally warming. Aileen and Ray Delario of South Bethany decided to spend their honeymoon fishing aboard the Grand Slam with Capt. Butch Davis. The couple came back with nine yellowfin tuna, a couple of dolphin and a hammerhead shark.
The charter boat Magic Marlin, out of Harbor Island with Capt. Mark Hill, had eight yellowfin tuna and three dolphin. The charter boat Coupon Lady out of Fisherman's Marina with Capt. Tom Baldwin, had eight yellowfin tuna on a weekend trip. The best tuna fishing has been south of the Washington Canyon.
Mako shark fishing has slowed down somewhat due to warm water. There has been quite a number of hammerhead sharks, however.
Closer inshore, there is plenty of action. Spanish and king mackerel have shown up on the First Lump of the Bass Grounds. Anglers use spoons to catch these fish. A 16 1/2 -pound false albacore was caught at the Jackspot by Alan Delauder of Ocean City, also on a spoon.
Offshore on wrecks, anglers picked up some large tautog, up to 13 pounds. Angles use crab or clam for these fish. Although sea bass fishing on the wrecks has slowed up, there were some good-sized ones for anglers drifting over rough bottom or drifting near the bass pots on the Bass Grounds.
Offshore fishing for bluefish has also slowed. It could be that the bluefish were in the inlet and bays. Anglers fishing the inlets and piers did especially well with the bluefish. Bluefish in the 2- to 5-pound range were hitting at the Ocean City Inlet, Indian River Inlet, Shantytown Pier, Ocean Pier and the newly reopened Oceanic Pier. Anglers were using bucktails with purple worms and tandem twister rigs.
David Townsend from the Ocean Pier said fishing has been good. A large variety of fish were available for anglers to catch, including kingfish (whiting), Norfolk spot, sea trout, bluefish, large sand sharks, flounder and even stripers. The stripers, of course, must be released when fishing in Maryland.
Surf fishing from Cape Henlopen to Assateague Island has been good. Although June 21 was a little too windy to produce, June 20 saw some of the best fishing we have seen since the bluefish blitzes four weeks ago. The day began with a light northeast breeze, which always makes for good surf fishing. Five anglers ++ fishing at Fenwick State Park, just north of Ocean City, the fish were biting on every cast.
Surf anglers all over the beaches did well on kingfish, spot and blues. On Assateague, Mary Brown, from Buck's Place on the road to Assateague, added that anglers were also catching some flounder and large sand sharks, as well as kingfish, spot and blues.
Flounder fishing in the bay has been only fair. The problem with flounder was probably more weather-related than fish-related. Wind, cool temperatures and "run off" from rain storms can put a damper on flounder fishing. Although the numbers of flounder have slacked off, some nice ones were caught.
Bob and Sandy Miller of Broge, Pa., weighed in a 4 3/4 -pounder along with a 3 1/2 -pounder. They were drifting between No. 11 and No. 12 buoys north of the Thorofare with live minnows. These fish were weighed in at Delmarva Sport Center. Other good-sized flounder have been reported from this area, as well as the waters between the inlet and the draw of the U.S. 50 bridge.
Though many people only think of the Thorofare as a flounder hole, there are other fish there as well. Anglers reported good-sized bluefish taken there. Lester and Larry Smack of Berlin caught a number of sea trout weighing up to 8 3/4 pounds. They were fishing the deep hole just north of the Thorofare close to the marsh with peeler crab for bait.
Striper and sea trout fishing as the Indian River Inlet has been excellent. Night fishing especially has seen catches of sea trout in the 5- to 6-pound range and stripers as large as 19 pounds.