Fall fishing in full flower

September 27, 1992|By Sue Hayes | Sue Hayes,Contributing Writer

The past few weeks have been excellent for flounder.

Anglers have been reeling in anywhere from four to 15 keepers per day, catching them from the U.S. 50 bridge, the bay behind Assateague and the deep holes offshore of the Convention Hall (Buoys 9 through 11). The best baits have been live minnows or frozen shiners dressed with a strip of squid, flounder belly or bluefish strip.

Al Lookinghand of Ocean City picked up a 5-pound, 4-ounce flounder drifting north of the U.S. 50 bridge on a shiner and squid combination. Chuck Nelson of Delmar, Del., was fishing the bay behind Assateague when he picked up a whopping 4 1/2 -pound flounder. His fish took a live minnow.

The trout fishing has been excellent. Anglers are working the inlets with bucktails, squid strips, finger mullet and twisters with good results. Kelly Carrigan of Ocean Pines took a 9-pound sea trout from the U.S. 50 bridge recently. He was using white twisters at night to catch the trout, which was weighed in at Rainy Day Canoe. Keith Kelley of Towson picked up a 5 1/2 -pound trout casting a bucktail off the sea wall into the Ocean City inlet last Monday.

Slim from the Oceanic Pier says that he has had some excellent nights on sea trout. The fish are taking bucktails or white twisters on the pier. Some nights, simple squid strips dangling beneath the lights will work.

Almost anything in the Indian River Inlet was working last weekend. Blues up to 12 pounds were taking spoons, bait or bucktails. Large stripers were taken on bucktails. Sea trout moved through the inlet on the high tide last Sunday, and anglers were catching them on the north side of the inlet between the bridge and the "first break" in the rocks. When northeast winds are blowing, the fish come into the inlets. This is an almost foolproof prediction this time of year.

Surf fishing was absolutely great. Bluefish in the 1- to 3-pound range were grabbing whole finger mullet on mullet rigs. On the incoming tides, the anglers reported catching as many as 17 fish. Even anglers who had never tried surf fishing were catching three and four fish.

Jack Lowe and Jim Tench of Ocean City have been pulling blues in with regularity in the 120th Street surf, and Tim Campbell and his brother caught more than a dozen blues up to 8 pounds at the 142nd Street surf.

Other areas for blues were 25th Street, 28th Street, 51st Street, Fenwick State Park and Fenwick Island. It seems the blues were running up and down the beach, and it didn't really matter where one was fishing.

Offshore fishing saw some unusual catches last weekend. Twelve-year-old Patrick McFadden of Ellicott City, fishing aboard the O.C. Princess, caught a 47-pound cobia. He was using squid tentacles on a size No. 2 hook on a 30-pound leader.

Don Marshall of Greenville, Pa., landed a 20-pound cobia fishing about 8 miles offshore of Fenwick Island. He was bottom fishing with a flounder rig and squid. The fish was weighed in at Old Inlet Bait and Tackle.

The party boat Judy V was bottom fishing between Little Gull Shoal and Big Gull Shoal when it found itself among a big school of black drum. Terry Wildasin of Hanover, Pa., landed a 35 pounder.

Farther offshore, anglers are picking up more and more wahoo, a number of dolphin and a few marlin. Most of the tuna are being caught on the overnight "chunking" rips.

Since it was quite rough over the weekend, many boats stayed closer to shore and fished the Jackspot Shoal for false albacore, Spanish mackerel, bonita and king mackerel. A huge 48-pound, 9-ounce king mackerel was taken at the B Buoy near Indian River Inlet, breaking the Delaware State record for king mackerel.

Here's a fish story for you.

Bob Lang of Ocean City drifted through the inlet trying to catch some of the large fall flounder. On his rig he had a large bull minnow and a long strip of squid. His cooler was already filling. He had a 2-pound-plus flounder, along with a 16-inch flounder and a 15-inch flounder.

The rod bent over double. Hoping for the big one of the day, lTC Lang carefully pulled in the fish with a steady tension. His drag was set so the fish could occasionally pull out some line rather than yank the hook out of its mouth.

Net in hand, Lang got the fish to the surface, only to realize it was a skate. The large, winged creature saw the boat and headed back to the bottom. Lang cranked his drag down to "terminate" and quickly brought the skate to the boat and carefully dislodged the hook.

He rigged back up and threw his line back over. Suddenly, the rod bent double again. He was sure it was another skate. He cranked the heavy creature off the bottom, knowing from the weight that it had to be a skate bigger than before.

His drag was still tightened all the way down. The fish came to the top and Lang's eyes became saucers. It was the biggest flounder he had ever seen. The flounder just stared at Lang, opened his mouth, spit the hook out, sat there for a fraction of a second as if laughing, and headed straight for the bottom.

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