Ocean City flounder fishing, which has been fair to good all season, has gotten even better. The keeper to throw-back ratio is still small (one legal-sized flounder to every 10 flounder under the size limit of 13 inches), but there are more large flounder around for the patient angler.
Flounder were caught in all areas of the bay, even as far north as the Route 90 bridge. Johnny Fato of Ocean City was fishing near the channel of the east span of the bridge when he caught 17 large Norfolk spot and one 2 1/4 -pound flounder. He was using bloodworms for bait.
Many flounder were caught in Ocean City's favorite flounder hole, the Thorofare. Dennis Blessing and Bill Dohner fished the Thorofare last weekend and weighed in a 5-pound flounder, a 2 3/4 -pounder, a 2 1/2 -pounder and a 2-pounder. They were using minnows for bait.
The interesting part of their trip was when they reeled in a flounder that had a hook, line and a 7-foot rod and reel attached to it.
Jim Snyder of Baltimore also had good luck in the Thorofare. He was using live minnows for bait when he landed a 4-pound flounder. He had several good-sized keeper flounder, which he weighed in at Ocean City Yacht Club.
Many anglers were doing well in the shallower waters north of the Thorofare, which many people call the "flats." Water depth in those areas is only 4 to 5 feet deep on the high tide, but big flounder can be caught there, especially when the tide begins to recede. Bob Bishop of Ocean City caught one of these in the "flats" on a live minnow. It went 4 1/4 pounds and was weighed in at Bahia Marina.
On the East Channel, anglers have had good luck by buoy No. 13 and also north of the buoy in the shallower waters. Laura Siltman of Ocean City weighed in a 3 1/4 -pound flounder she caught there on a combination of shark belly and minnow. Shark belly strips, a popular flounder bait in the Carolinas, works here too.
Anglers were also having good flounder luck outside the entrance to the Ocean City Yacht Club. The incoming tide has been good on the flounder, and when the tide goes out, the fishing gets even better. The "bite" can last longer than the usual two hours and more than three hours if the water stays fairly clean. Live minnows with a thin strip of squid have been the best bait, though the flounder seem to be taking shiners as well.
Anglers fishing for Norfolk spot in the bay are doing well with smaller size No. 6 hooks and pieces of bloodworms. These fish are running up to half a pound -- a good size for eating.
Anglers catching slightly smaller spot are using them for bait and having good luck catching sea trout in the Ocean City inlet on the high outgoing tide. This is also working well at the Indian River Inlet beneath the bridge.
George Busada of Worcester, Mass., landed a 7 1/2 -pound trout using live spot in the Ocean City Inlet. It was weighed in at Blue Marlin Tackle Co.
Ron Brandt, Andy O'Hara and Harry O'Brian of Baltimore had luck on trout without using spot. They were anchored near the U.S. 50 bridge at night and weighed in a 7-pound trout and a 5-pound trout at the Ocean City Yacht Club. They were casting bucktails. They also picked up a couple of "keeper" flounder using live minnows.
The Oceanic Pier has seen decent flounder action by day and blue and trout action at night. The pier, which was damaged over the winter, has been repaired, and the end of the pier, which was destroyed, should be open this weekend. The end of the pier butts up to the Ocean City Inlet, creating excellent night fishing.
The Ocean Pier saw legal-size flounder along with an array of sharks, skates, blues, spot and kingfish.
The surf from Assateague to Cape Henlopen was quite active with kingfish in the mornings and spot and bluefish in the afternoons. Bob Chaffinch of Seaford, Del., weighed in a 1-pound, 5-ounce kingfish from Fenwick State Park. Bloodworms are the bait for kingfish and spot.
The Indian River Inlet was active on bluefish on the incoming tide and sea trout on the high outgoing tide. Bucktails with either white or yellow trailer worms have been the best lure. For the trout, anglers are catching large ones up to 8 pounds with live spot or live bunker. Bluefish up to 10 pounds have been taken on whole frozen mullet.
Offshore fishing for tuna and marlin was only fair this past week. The water was not clear and the fish were scattered. The prettiest water and most of the action was centered around Poor Man's Canyon and the Jackspot, which happens when we have no Northeast breezes for an extended period.
Daniel Mueller of Glen Burnie caught one of the largest yellowfin tuna last week. He was fishing in 60 fathoms of water in the Poor Man's Canyon with ballyhoo when he caught the 83 pounder, while aboard the boat Competition. The fish was weighed in at Delmarva Sport Center.
Jeff Herb of Boyertowne, Pa., picked up a 75-pound bluefin tuna while fishing aboard the Grand Slam with Captain Burch Davis out of Bahia Marina. He was fishing with a spoon on the Jackspot.