Go deep, be patient when seeking the elusive sea trout

June 20, 1993|By Sue Hayes | Sue Hayes,Contributing Writer

Sea trout, or weakfish as they are sometimes called, have hit the Ocean City waters.

These fish, which are a silvery-purplish color, seem to glisten in the sun. They are hard fighters, and not so easy to catch as bluefish.

Though taken on the same type of lures as bluefish, such as bucktails and twisters, the sea trout swims deep. While blues can often be seen churning the surface, the trout generally stay below the frenzy. Anglers casting lures must be patient and let the lure sink toward the bottom before beginning the retrieve. Most anglers like to actually feel the lure bump the bottom before starting to reel in. The retrieve itself should be slower than for bluefish. Subsequently, the tackle loss is greater. But the reward may be the glistening sea trout, whose white, delicate meat is prized.

Anglers fishing the Ocean City Inlet caught a number of sea trout this past week. Not all of the anglers had boats; some were standing on the North Jetty.

Jack Fletcher of Ocean City was one of these lucky fishermen, hooking three sea trout up to 7 1/4 pounds while casting a grub lure (a soft plastic body inserted on a lead head).

Lindsey McElfresh of Ocean City also caught three sea trout from the North Jetty. His fish weighed 4 1/2 to 5 1/4 pounds, and were caught with a twister lure (soft plastic bodies with a curling tail that are attached to a led head).

Craig Horseman of Berlin took a 5-pound trout from the North Jetty.

Sea trout are often nocturnal and bite best at night from the U.S. 50 bridge. Anglers there are doing quite well at night on the trout as well as the bluefish.

Jim Wynn and Andy Wendel of Ocean City caught 5-pound and 6-pound trout from the bridge at night on a combination bucktail and grub lure. Many anglers make a tandem rig out of two lures.

Slim Griffin, of the Oceanic Pier, which is now open 24 hours, also had reports of trout taken after dark. The best spot on the pier for trout is at the very end, where anglers cast toward the inlet or far out into the channel. Lures or even strips of squid have worked well here.

Flounders flourish

By day, the Oceanic Pier is seeing good catches of flounder, mostly on the high tide. Live minnows or shiners are the favorite baits.

For anglers in boats, the news was excellent on the flounder scene. The party boat "Tortuga" out of Bahia Marina reported one of the best days ever, hooking 50 legal-size flounder while drifting in the bay behind Assateague last Saturday.

One of the largest flounder last week went 4 1/2 pounds,

caught by William Marney of Baltimore on a minnow in the bay behind Assateague. Anglers drifting in the vicinity of buoys 5, 6 and 7 found it an excellent fishing spot last week. Lisa Malin of Bear, Del., took a 3 3/4 -pound flounder here on a minnow and squid strip combination bait.

Jay Ream of Ocean City has found flounder fishing productive in the Ocean City Inlet. He has been drifting with squid on a bucktailed hook with much success. His friend, Phares Vogel, landed a 2 3/4 -pound flounder while fishing aboard the boat this past weekend.

Other fishing updates:

* Creel: Several anglers have reported catching their creel limit of 10 fish per person. Dave Costanza of Ocean City caught his 10 fish up to 20 inches last Monday morning and reported releasing 10 others, some of which were of legal size. He was fishing north of the Thorofare with flounder belly and live minnows on the same hook.

* Surf fishing: Still good on kingfish, small trout and even some croakers. Some bluefish hit the beaches over the weekend, including a 8 3/4 -pounder snagged in the surf at 60th Street.

* Assateague surf: Alive with kingfish, trout, sharks and blowfish last week, although last Sunday happened to be slow due to the weather. Mary Brown from Buck's Place on Assateague reported anglers having an average catch of five to six kingfish each last Friday and Saturday.

* Makos: Several offshore boats had catches of two makos. Captain Albert Simpson on the charter boat "Pursuer" had a 133-pounder and a 140-pounder. The anglers, Jeff Stone and Matt Breon, are from State College, Pa. The fish was caught on a bluefish at the Jackspot.

Bob Dersch of Baltimore and Ron Odachowski of Fallston took a 170-pound mako and a 220-pound mako while fishing on the "Green Machine."

One of the largest makos of the week was 243 1/2 pounds, taken on the "Fish Finder" out of Bahia Marina, with Captain Mark Sampson. The angler was Calvin Stanley of Spotsylvania, Pa.

* Thresher sharks: Two huge thresher sharks were caught this past week. A 14-foot, 477-pounder was taken by Frank Pilkerton of Edgewater on the boat "Reward" with Captain Greg Brandt. The shark was taken at the Fingers on a false albacore.

The second thresher shark was weighed at 235 pounds after being gutted. The angler was Pat McAteer of the Baltimore area. It was caught on the "Big Blue" with Captain Ben Gilbreath.

* Tuna: Three small yellowfin tuna were caught at the Norfolk Canyon and the first kin mackerel was caught at the Jackspot on the "Grand Slam" with Captain Butch Davis.

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