Surf anglers are allowed to fish before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. Avid anglers fish the early morning hours, knowing this is one of the best times to cast in a line.
The kingfish (or whiting) have been biting. These fish give a good fight for their size and are wonderful to eat. The bait is usually a piece of bloodworm or a combination bait of bloodworm and a small strip of mullet on a size No. 6 hook.
The kingfish, which have small sucker-like mouths, a barbel beneath their chins and are gray to black with vertical lines across their upper bodies, do not get much over a pound. They feed rather close to the beach, right beyond the crest of the waves, in rips and right at the drop offs. It is easy to cast too far out when fishing for kingfish.
The anglers fishing for the tasty fish throw out their rigs with a 7- to 9-foot, medium to medium-light surf rods, and slowly work the rigs back in along the bottom. Good surf anglers know that you catch more fish with the rod in your hand than in the sand spike.
Along with the kingfish, surf anglers along the coast have been bringing in Norfolk spot, which also take a piece of worm on a size No. 6 hook; sea trout (mostly toward the evenings); and snapper bluefish (1 to 2 pounds).
Bob Chaffinch of Seaford, Del., caught the early high tide moving out on June 27 and a whole bucket of kingfish. He had kingfish weighing 1 pound, 2 ounces. He was fishing the Fenwick State Beach with bloodworms.
Mary Brown from Buck's Place on the road to Assateague said the fishing on Assateague State Park has been excellent. Kingfish were hitting on bloodworms, flounder were taken on mullet or squid strips, sea trout were caught on squid strips, and blues were hitting on mullet.
Fishing from the Ocean Pier in Ocean City has been quite good. In the evenings the trout run beneath the bright lights. By day anglers having been catching the larger Norfolk spot with bloodworms, kingfish with bloodworms, and flounder with strips of bait or shiners. Snapper blues seem always to be around with a chunk of mullet for bait.
The newly re-opened Oceanic Pier has seen good action, especially at night. The pier, which stays open 24 hours a day, had catches of bluefish and sea trout on lures or strips of squid. Flounder fishing by day has been fair.
Yes, fair is all we can say about flounder fishing lately. Though there are some nice ones out there, a tremendous amount of them are small. Anglers are able to keep maybe one out of every six caught. The best spots for anglers with boats has been the bay behind Assateague, around the airport, buoys 10 through 12, north of the Thorofare, buoys 13 through 9 on the east side of the bay, and the drift in front of the Coast Guard Station.
Robert Eckenrode of Silver Spring found a doormat flounder. He was drifting in the bay, behind Assateague around the Eagle's Nest Campground (buoy 10), when he landed the 5 pound, 2 ounce fish. Mr. Eckenrode weighed in at Delmarva Sport Center.
Anglers are still doing well with the trout in the inlet. Steve Mumford of Berlin weighed in a 7-pounder he caught on a bucktail and plastic worm combination. Anglers are also using bucktails dressed with peeler crab for the trout.
Offshore action has been good. Anglers drifting the bass grounds have come up with some good-size bass this week. Paul Albright of York, Pa., came in with a 4 1/2 -pounder last weekend. Though the party boats complain of lots of small bass mixed in, the big ones are there.
Some large tautog were caught last weekend. Robert Watkins of Washington, came up with a 14 pound, 3 ounce tautog while fishing with clam aboard the O.C. Princess. Randall Smith of Glen Burnie, fishing aboard a private boat, weighed in a 12 1/2 pound tautog at Blue Marlin Bait and Tackle. Tautog usually hit clam or pieces of crab offshore.
King mackerel fishing has been excellent. Anglers were catching them at the lumps at the Bass Grounds, the Jackspot and the Fingers. There were also numbers of Atlantic bonito as well as a few small bluefin tuna and Spanish mackerel. Most of these fish hit spoons. A charter on the Master out of Talbot Street Pier had 12 king mackerel and an 85-pound hammerhead shark last weekend.
Bluefish have made somewhat of a comeback, though they were fairly far out. They were hitting at the Jackspot and the Fingers.
A number of yellowfin tuna have showed up, along with several white marlin releases. This action was happening at the tip of the Washington Canyon. Boats in the Canyon were averaging 8 to 9 tuna per boat. Some tuna did hit at the Baltimore Canyon. The yellowfins and marlin were hitting ballyho or green machines.
A couple of large mako sharks were weighed in during the annual Ocean City Shark Tournament. Charles Payne of College Park took the prize with a 197-pound mako caught west of the Ham Bone on a mackerel bit. He was fishing aboard My Sanity out of Bahia Marina with Capt. Wally Walnick.
Donnie Dyott of Easton caught a 193-pound mako fishing in the area of the Fingers. He was fighting aboard the Virginia with Capt. Fred Phillips. They were using a bluefish fillet for bait. Quite a number of hammerhead sharks have also been taken.