Sweet September brings good fishing

September 13, 1992|By Sue Hayes | Sue Hayes,Contributing Writer

Ocean City is a wonderful, quiet place to be in September after Labor Day. The weather is usually pleasant, and one can drive the whole length of Coastal Highway in less than 20 minutes. For the angler, it's a ripe month for fishing.

Blues, croaker and sea trout move in schools, feeding heavily 1 to 3 miles off the beach. Any lucky angler in a medium-sized boat can pick up a cooler of fish on a simple monofilament top and bottom rig with size No. 2 hooks baited with strips of squid.

Sometimes the angler hooks a large, dusky shark in the 30-pound range or a huge, fighting 3-foot bluefish. Anglers working the edges of offshore shoals and drop-offs find good-sized flounder. Flounder will take the squid strips, but they also like fresh strips of bluefish.

Occasionally, the boater will look up and see a splash. A king mackerel or Spanish mackerel breaking water is a splendid sight. The angler can quickly snap on a small spoon to a long 60-pound monofilament leader with an end-line sinker or small planer and troll the area. King mackerel on the grill is not a bad way to end the day.

King mackerel fishing has been good at the Big Gull Shoal, the Bass Grounds, Fenwick Shoal and B Buoy. Unfortunately, windy weather held the boats in on some days. When the boats did get out, the while marlin fishing was turned on. The Dixie Lady with Capt. Jack Falcucci had two releases. White marlin usually bite this time of year.

Good-sized dolphin were caught this past week. Bob Bell of Glen Burnie had a 33-pounder aboard the Shamrock out of Harbor Island. Barbra Johnson of West Ocean City landed a 26-pound dolphin aboard the Black Eye with Capt. George Johnson. They were fishing south of Poor Man's Canyon in 500 fathoms of water with an eel.

A few tuna up to 67 pounds were taken last week. Many of these were hooked during the daytime by anglers trolling. This is a refreshing change, as most of the tuna lately have only been taken at night by anglers chunking.

Party boat fishing in Ocean City has picked up. Besides the trout and croaker fishing, the boats are also picking up better-sized sea bass. Capt. Monty Haskins aboard the party boat O.C. Princess had an interesting day recently. The party got into a school of spadefish up to 7 pounds.

Capt. John Bunting of the Miss Ocean City had a day where anglers had coolers of sea bass up to 4 pounds. The sea bass also begin to migrate this time of year, giving us better catches than in the heat of the summer.

The Ocean City Inlet has been alive with fishing activity. Tom, Al and Dave Clark of Bel Air had a catch of 19 triggerfish up to 2 3/4 pounds. These tropical fish, which have visited us over the past couple of years, were taken on squid strips just south of the south jetty.

Bluefish and sea trout have been active in the Ocean City Inlet. Lindsey McElfresh of Ocean City took a 5 1/4 pound sea trout from the north jetty last week. The blues and trout are taking bucktails with plastic worms, spoons or cut bait such as squid or mullet strips.

When the weather is nasty and blowing from the east, inlet fishing can be very good. David and Mike Rackey and Raymond Minton of Oxon can attest to that. They came to Ocean City to surf fish Labor Day weekend and the wind got up so bad Saturday they were forced to try their luck at Indian River Inlet.

Manned with surf rods and a couple of Gator spoons, they braved the wind and rain and ventured to the south side. They began hooking bluefish on every cast. They came back with more than a dozen bluefish up to 3 pounds.

Sea trout up to 6 1/2 pounds were reported at the Indian River Inlet on the beginning of the incoming tide by anglers casting bucktails with plastic worms. Anglers are also reporting better catches of tautog at the inlets.

Ocean City flounder fishing has been up and down. The best fishing continues to be between the U.S. 50 bridge and the inlet. Mike Deckerman and Dave Harris picked up four flounder here drifting in front of the Coast Guard station with live minnows. The fish ranged from 2 1/2 to 1 1/4 pounds.

The Tortuga, the bay party boat out of Bahia Marina, has also been fishing this area. It had 20 keepers on one trip last week. Anglers are still picking up flounder north of the Thorofare and in the area of buoy No. 13 on the east side of the bay, but the fish are not running as large.

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