Early risers find flounder fine blues reported big in bay

FISHING

May 23, 1993|By Sue Hayes | Sue Hayes,Contributing Writer

Flounder season in Ocean City opened last weekend, and anglers who got up early and caught the high, outgoing tide had the best luck.

Rose Leader of York, Pa., landed a 5-pound flounder from the Thorofare area on a live minnow. The fish was weighed in at Rainy Day Canoe, but Delmarva Sport Center weighed in the biggest flounder of the weekend. It went 5 pounds, 1 ounce and was taken by David Taylor of Berlin. He was fishing where several anglers reported good fishing -- in the bay behind Assateague near the airport.

Other anglers had excellent luck as well. Bob Coolick of Ocean Pines caught his creel limit of 10 flounder and was back at the dock by 8 a.m. And Drew Linzey of Bahia Marina reported that a private boat at the gas dock had a cooler of flounder that ran from 3 to 4 pounds.

Not everyone did as well, though. There would have had better fishing during the day and on the afternoon tides if the wind had not been blowing so hard. South and southwest winds dirtied the bay and made getting a good drift difficult.

Most good anglers interviewed caught an average of one or two legal flounder on the afternoon tides. Red Hamilton of Ocean City picked up an 18 1/4 -inch flounder while fishing during low tide near the entrance to Harbor Island. Jay Ream of Ocean City managed to catch a good-sized flounder on each tide he tried.

The Tortuga, the bay party boat that runs out of Bahia Marina, had 10 people aboard last Saturday. They caught 11 flounder and were able to keep six fish that were at least 14 inches long. Jim Rovinski of Kunkletown, Pa., fishing aboard the party boat, landed a 2-pound, 10 ounce flounder as the boat drifted north of the U.S. 50 Bridge. He was using a minnow and squid sandwich for bait.

Jerry and Lisa Banks of Banks Marina on Route 611 had six keeper flounder over the weekend. They were using large, live minnows, which work best for flounder. Frozen shiners and strips of squid are also good flounder baits.

Anglers also have reported big blues in the bay, especially on the high tide; lots of skates; and numerous blowfish. Blowfish like smaller hooks and pieces of bloodworm or squid. Skates love squid.

Pat Townsend from the Ocean Pier had good fishing news last weekend. The bluefish were still there, although not as prevalent as the week before. There were skates up to 30 pounds, which gave vacationers a good fight, as well as catches of blowfish and kingfish. The pier, which has been open on weekends, will be open daily beginning Memorial Day weekend.

Kingfish were also reported in the surf in Fenwick Island, Del., along with numerous catches of blowfish. The big blues that were in the surf two weeks ago are still there but not biting every day. When the wind blows from an easterly direction, anglers catch them. When the wind comes from the west, it's not as promising.

Mary Brown from Buck's Place on Route 611 reported good fishing on Assateague of blues in the 3- to 10-pound range and a number of blowfish and skates.

The first sea trout were reported from the Indian River Inlet last weekend. Anglers were catching them on white bucktails dressed with pink (bubble gum) plastic worms on the high, flood tide. Delaware Bay also saw catches of these trout.

Tautog fishing is good by the south jetty for folks in boats. Earl Simpson of Ocean City landed a huge 11-pound, 10-ounce tautog on a sand crab. Some tautog are also being taken from the north jetty, where anglers can fish without a boat.

Offshore fishing is uneven. Some days the blues are churning on the surface, and anglers can catch their limit of 10 per person and come in early. Other days, the fish are nowhere to be found. The charter boat Miss Gina with Capt. Mike Tihila caught his limit on one day and found the fishing slow another day.

But the first Atlantic bonito was reported last week. It was taken at the Jackspot.

Fisherman should be aware of some recent restrictions. Maryland's croaker law has been changed. The legal size limit is now 9 inches instead of 10 inches, and there is a creel limit of 10 fish per person. Also keep in mind that the legal size limit on flounder is now 14 inches. The Department of Natural Resources' 1993 pamphlets were printed before the new laws were passed.

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