If you've come to Ocean City to catch flounder, head for one of the resort's many marinas. There isn't a better way to enjoy a relaxing day plus catch dinner than to rent a small motorboat.
Flounder bite on the edges of shoals, drop-offs and in holes. Drifting next to green marshes, across channels, near buoy markers and working the deep edges of a sand bar will catch you flounder. Some anglers find a good hole, anchor several yards up tide from the hole and then let their lines fall into it, catching flounder after flounder.
Marinas in Ocean City are: B. R. Bayside Marina on the west side of the U.S. 50 bridge; Ocean City Yacht Club, also on the west side of the bridge; Bahia Marina at 22nd Street and the bay; Barnacle Bill's at 52nd Street and the bay; 54th Street Marina at 54th Street and the bay; Advanced Marina at 66th Street and the bay; and Watersports Ltd. at 142nd Street and the bay.
Flounder fishing was excellent last week, though there were still many throwbacks. The best areas for the larger fish have been the drift between the U.S. 50 bridge and the inlet and the airport behind Assateague. Gordon Brown of York, Pa., landed a 6 1/2 pounder behind the airport near buoy No. 5 with a live minnow.
Charlie Stine of Red Lion, Pa., pulled in a 4 3/4 -pound flounder north of the U.S. 50 bridge. He was drifting a live minnow. Joan Raymond of Reisterstown had two large flounder last weekend. One went 2 1/4 pounds and was taken near buoy No. 9, and the other was 3 3/4 pounds and was reeled in near Horn Island. Both were caught on live minnows, one of the best baits around for flounder.
Bob Lang of Ocean City proved that the Convention Hall Channel is still producing good fish. He landed a 3 1/4 -pound flounder drifting a live minnow and squid strip combination offshore of 22nd Street. John Kulcycki of Pottstown, Pa., also had luck in that same channel with a 6-pound flounder, while fishing off 28th Street. He was also using live minnow for bait.
Some flounder are still being taken by the Route 90 bridge. Jim Kaplanges of Baltimore weighed in a 2 1/4 -pound flounder there. Anglers are also catching Norfolk spot, small trout and croaker there.
It is that time of the year when we see southern fish in Ocean City. Anglers are picking up triggerfish at the Ninth Street Pier and at both Indian River and Ocean City inlets. Bill West of Willards caught a 6 1/2 -pound sheepshead from the north jetty in Ocean City using sand fleas. Both of these fish prefer crab, though many of the triggerfish have been taking squid.
Surf fishing from Cape Henlopen to Assateague Island has been fair on kingfish and spot in the early morning hours. Bloodworms have been the best bait. Jack Sullivan of Old Inlet Bait and Tackle in Indian River reports that a whole stringer of kingfish over a pound were caught in the surf near South Bethany.
Several larger bluefish were taken last week, along with numerous snapper blues. Blues up to 7 pounds were reported along the surf. There are huge schools of alewife running off the beaches attracting bluefish, Spanish mackerel and sharks. Finger mullet are also starting to run in the bays and should soon be found in the surf. When there is bait in the surf, fishing gets good.
A few sea trout are also being taken from the surf along with a croaker or two. The sea trout are hitting best at night, though Standish McCleary of Ocean City took a 5 pound, 2 ounce trout fishing the surf around 14th Street with a small hook baited with bloodworm. He was fishing for kingfish when this good-sized fish bit.
Party boats offshore are also picking up sea trout. Lee Smith of Monroeville, Pa., took a 5 3/4 -pound sea trout while fishing aboard the party boat Mariner. Party boats and small private boats are also picking up croaker and flounder drifting 1 to 3 miles off the beach. Strips of squid have been working best for the trout and croaker, but the flounder tend to eat strips of fresh cut bait such as bluefish, spot or mackerel. Live minnows do not work well in the ocean for flounder.
The party boats had several good days with sea bass as well. They seem to be picking up in size at certain locations. Ron Carr of Baldwin weighed in a nice tautog from the O.C. Princess. It went 9 1/4 pounds and was caught on clam.
Farther offshore, the action at the Jackspot slowed down on the small-sized bluefin tuna. The larger yellowfins were biting good at the east wall of the Baltimore canyon in about 100 fathoms of water. Charter boats doing overnight chunking trips caught yellowfin tuna up to 113 pounds.
A couple of swordfish were also reported last weekend. Skip Johnson fishing aboard the Shadowfax had an 85 pounder. Several white marlin were caught and released.